ATLANTA--For Georgia State's third day of preseason practice, the Panthers donned shoulder pads for the first time in their Friday morning workout at the GSU Practice Complex.

"It was good see guys aggressive and anxious to hit," said GSU head coach Bill Curry. "We got in a lot of good work on the kicking game, and we had a really good inside drill."

The Panthers will work again in shoulder pads Saturday morning before Sunday's first practice in full pads.

"There was a lot of enthusiasm," continued Curry. "The effort is getting better, but we're not there yet. Football today is a track meet, and whoever is in the best shape and goes full speed for every single second of every play can win a lot of games."

Georgia State opens the 2012 season by hosting South Carolina State on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.

One of Georgia State's top returnees is senior running back Donald Russell, who led the Panthers with 665 yards rushing in 2011. The transfer from Kentucky found the end zone the first time he touched the ball in a GSU uniform for the first of his team-leading nine touchdowns.

The 5-11, 212-pounder recently spoke with GSU play-by-play voice Dave Cohen to discuss the upcoming season. Click the video icon above to view the interview with Russell.