Football media day recap: training starts on Friday

Steven Jones Jr.

Austin Bartolomei Hill


BOONE, North Carolina — Assistant coaches David Lockwood and Rod West used an undefeated dominant run through the Media Day Cornhole Challenge bracket to claim a title Thursday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Serious competition begins Friday with the first App State football practice of preseason training camp. Once Practice No. 24 is complete on Sept. 2, the Mountaineers will be less than 6 p.m. from opening the 2022 season with a highly anticipated home game against North Carolina.

“We’re not looking at Game 1 right now; we’re trying to get through Day 1,” the App State head coach said. Shawn Clark said. “We’re going to work on us for the first two or two and a half weeks and then we’ll get to North Carolina. I know our fans and their fans are thrilled, and it’s going to be great for college football, but the two weeks and next half or three weeks it will be about App State and our style of football.”

Thursday was report day for all climbers not already in Boone, with a team meeting at 2 p.m. that officially kicked off the camp schedule.

A total of 18 players who have started at least one game in 2021 return from a team that had a 10-win regular season and captured a Sun Belt East Division title in Clark’s second full season as a captain. head coach. Clark’s staff in 2022 includes three new assistants in Kevin Barbay (offensive coordinator/quarterback), Lawrence Dawsey (receptors) and Geep Wade (offensive line).

While the 2021 roster included 14 players who returned to Boone to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA following a COVID hiatus in 2020, the 2022 roster features only eight returning players who have one more season of eligibility: LB Trey CobbKG Logan DoublinKG tyler birdAND Henry PearsonRB Daetrich HarringtonCB Steven Jones Jr.P Clayton Howell and QB Chase Bricewhich was a newcomer to App State in 2021.

“I can’t wait for camp to start,” Jones said. “Since the last game of last season I’ve been waiting for this, so I’m really excited and can’t wait for day one.”

As App State brings Brice back to quarterback, the Mountaineers’ three most experienced running backs have totaled 5,298 career rushing yards, six offensive linemen have valuable college experience and there are veterans tested in the narrow room, there are many questions and excitement about the potential for a younger receiving corps with the departure of four “super seniors” who signed with NFL teams after the draft.

Defensively, App State only returns four full-time starters in Cobb, Jones, OLB Nick Hampton and DT Jordan Earl — although OLB Brendan HaringtonSS Nick Ross and FS Ronald Clark started multiple games in 2021. Hansky Paillant is the most experienced defensive end, a place with plenty of young talent who grew up behind two other deceased “super seniors”, and Jones is the only returning cornerback with substantial playing experience at the FBS level. Young players, newcomers and veterans who have contributed more to special teams will compete for playing time at inside linebacker, as D’Marco Jackson moved to the NFL after being a fifth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints.

App State must also fill the gaps to bettor and kicker, although Howell was the starting punter in 2018 and Michael Hughes started last year as a real freshman who was recruited to be part of the December 2020 signing class.

“I think the most important thing we need to figure out early is who the playmakers are going to be,” Clark said. “The two coordinators, Coach Jones and Coach Barbay, and you add Coach Haines as the special teams coordinator, you can work with your players for a few hours a week during the summer and meet the players. We need to know who is going to give us the best chance of winning.”

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