Despite being the first practice since the Mountaineers closed the 2013 season with a 48-27 rout over Western Carolina on Nov. 23, Fridays session was crisp and conducted at a fast pace. In fact, the tempo was so accelerated that head coach Scott Satterfield ended the day with a few minutes still remaining on the clock due to the fact that the practice script had already been exhausted.
We had a good day, Satterfield said. I was really pleased with the tempo on both sides of the ball. We are very far ahead of where we were as a team at this same point last year.
Offensively, four different quarterbacks took snaps for the Mountaineers incumbent starter Kameron Bryant (Cary, N.C./Panther Creek), veteran backup Logan Hallock (Ferguson, N.C./West Wilkes), redshirt freshman Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) and true freshman J.P. Caruso (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens). Caruso is one of five early enrollees that participated in his first practice as a Mountaineer.
With a year in defensive coordinator Nate Woodys 3-4 scheme under its belt, Appalachians defense looked especially sharp, particularly during 7-on-7 passing drills where the black-shirted defenders made several big plays, including a handful of interceptions.
Making the defensive effort even more impressive is the fact that it was without four returning linemen for Fridays spring opener. Thomas Bronson (Brooksville, Fla./Hernando), Stephen Burns (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central), Deuce Robinson (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) and Darian Small (Hampton, Ga./Dutchtown) all sat out of Fridays practice while they continue to recover from injuries sustained last season. There is a chance that all four could return before the end of the spring and all are expected to be at 100 percent in time for the beginning of fall camp in August.
Spring football continues for Appalachian State through March and concludes with the Mountaineers spring game on Friday, April 4 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.