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Nicholls State Colonels look improved
The difference was obvious to Nicholls State head football coach Charlie Stubbs and I.
When Nicholls held its annual Spring Game, it capped the first full cycle of Stubbs’ program.
Stubbs has said all along that once the program goes through “a full cycle” things will start to progress.
On Saturday, at least to my eyes, the Colonels looked better.
If not only for the faster tempo of practice, it was evident by the attitude at which the drills, sprints and repetitions were carried out by each player.
The 2011 team, mentally, is way ahead and that should be expected.
Remember, the entire program started on the ground floor last year.
The second cycle starts now, with studying for finals, summer workouts, welcoming in the recruiting class and fall camp.
Last year, Stubbs was extremely guarded with his comments toward the team. He was seeing this team for the first time. Who wouldn’t be guarded?
After Saturday’s scrimmage, while still guarded, Stubbs had a little more admiration for his players.
“The thing I like is we have some leadership developing on the team. I have some kids that can really play and do things right. I mean they are practicing hard, making plays and setting a good example for the younger kids,” Stubbs said.
Stubbs was equally satisfied with the progression of his three quarterbacks.
“(They’ve progressed) very well and (fall camp) will be interesting. I will have three on scholarship, and I have some walk-ons joining us. The biggest thing (all spring) they took care of the football. I have seen a lot of scrimmages with a lot of turnovers, and I didn’t see that,” Stubbs said.
The Colonels finished 2010 with a minus-6 in the turnover ratio and most of those mistakes can be blame on mental errors.
The 2011 Colonels are mentally sharper and just for that fact alone, the ball hit the ground only once and it wasn’t a quarterback’s fault. A lot of turnovers come from mental mistakes and in Saturday’s scrimmage, mental errors were limited.
I hate to use these words in describing the team’s improvement, but the Colonels looked like a football team.
They also looked like a football team that is poised to be more competitive in 2011.
I am not calling for a Southland Conference championship or anything of that nature. This team finished 3-4 in the SLC last year.
With Stephen F. Austin winning conference with a 6-1 mark, Nicholls isn’t as far off from the conference elite as we think.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This team still has a little ways to go and Stubbs said as much after the scrimmage.
With what I’ve seen this spring, I can’t wait for the 2011 season to get here.
Stubbs has said that after the second cycle, his program should be ready to compete for championships.
If the improvement after the first cycle is any degree of measure, whose to say how good the Colonels can be after the second cycle is complete.
By Teddy Renois, LaFourche Daily Comet