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Georgia Southern football goes through first workout of spring
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STATESBORO -- Georgia Southern University football began spring drills on a chilly Monday morning at the practice fields.
Players didn't have to adjust too much to the practice schedule time change since they were up that early for off-season conditioning. According to head coach Chris Hatcher, who normally had morning practices in spring while at Valdosta State, players were looking forward to Monday.
The players were in shorts and helmets during the first day. Later this week the Eagles will start working out in shells, then eventually full pads. Hatcher thought day one went well and the new players adjusted.
The start time wasn't the only thing players had to adjust to. Monday was the first official practice without 2007 Walter Payton Award winner Jayson Foster at quarterback and the entire starting offensive line, key members of last year's graduating class.
Hatcher said that is the nature of college football, players move on and new faces step in.
The battle for the starting quarterback role will be one of the points of interest this spring.
Three players return from last fall: sophomores Kyle Collins and Billy Lowe along with redshirt-freshman Lee Chapple. Two walk-ons also joined the team, redshirt-freshman Jordan Hagardy and junior Chris Burnette.
For the first time since spring practice 2005, Georgia Southern returns the same coaching staff as the previous fall. Hatcher thought the players certainly benefited from not having to adjust to a new system during the off-season.
Not only did Georgia Southern graduate 21 seniors last fall, a few juniors left the program early. Defensive back Brandon Jackson is trying out for the NFL. Defensive lineman Jerry Barker, running backs Travis Clark and Sean Gray and defensive back Robert Roulhac are on track to graduate.
Several Eagles are recovering from off-season injuries and will not participate in contact drills this spring. Those include: Carson Hill, Ronnie Wiggins, Zeke Rozier, Chris Teal, Dio Herrera, Adrian Mora, Michael Veal, Justin Callaway, Josh Petkovich and Matt Wise.
The annual Blue-White game has been set for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Paulson Stadium on Saturday, April 12

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