Alabama State’s first practice ended with a challenge from the head coach on Friday, with Reggie Barlow reminding players of the excessive number of heat-related cramps that wilted his players in the second half of the 2012 season opener in the SWAC-MEAC Challenge.
Whether it was a better attitude or an adjustment to the heat, the players responded on Saturday with a better practice performance that appeared more energized despite the heat.
“I saw guys get better and practice with a little more energy,” Barlow said. “We’ve got to continue to develop and get in better shape. There were more guys working at a good tempo, which was a good thing. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect from the new guys and some of the older guys as well. I think it was some of that (getting adjusted to the heat), the initial shock to the system, but today was better.”
Barlow, for the second consecutive day, continued to praise true freshman defensive back Trey Jenkins of Daphne.
“I saw a few guys particularly on defense step up,” Barlow said. “It’s good to see guys take things from individual drills to team drills and (Missouri transfer cornerback) Ka’Ra Stewart was one of those guys. Some of the freshmen are catching on and doing a good job. Trey Jenkins and (freshman offensive lineman) Marquis Parker each did some good things. We have a good core of returning players on offense with (fourth-year junior) Nehemiah Henry being in that group. We just have to continue to develop.”
Alabama State will continue to practice in the afternoon each day until Wednesday, when it holds a two-a-day session at 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. The Hornets open the season on Aug. 31 at home against Jacksonville State.