ATLANTA--Georgia State's third day of spring practice marked the Panthers first session in full gear and first opportunity for new head coach Trent Miles to see his squad in contact drills.
"We're still trying to get them to understand the tempo that we want," said Miles. "Not just playing fast, but thinking fast. It's still a work in progress as far as getting them to understand the speed that we want.
"And I want to see us be more physical," Miles continued. "Our expectation is that when we step on the field, we are going to be known as a physical football team. We have to learn to understand the drills and how to be physical, and do it consistently."
One area where the Panthers look to have some pieces as they try to develop depth and consistency is on the defensive line. Two of Georgia State's top returnees on defense are senior tackle Theo Agnew and senior noseguard Terrance Woodard, who were GSU's second and third-leading tacklers, respectively, a year ago. The 6-4, 280-pound Agnew collected 60 tackles with eight tackles for loss and three pass breakups, while Woodard, 6-4 and 308 pounds contributed 59 tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
Junior Nermin Delic, a 6-4, 285-pound transfer from Kentucky, is eligible to play this season after sitting out last fall.
Sophomore David Huey, 6-2 and 290, returns after missing most of the 2012 season due to injury, and 6-3, 310-pound junior college transfer George Rogers from NE Oklahoma A&M also joins the mix. The Panthers also return 6-1, 298-pound sophomore Joe Lockley.
"Everything starts up front, on both offense and defense," said Miles."We've got some guys who have good size and some guys who have played football games. Then you add in a transfer who played at Kentucky. Now it's just getting them to understand our scheme and learning to play fast."
The Panthers will return to the practice field on Tuesday morning. Spring practice continues through the April 20 Spring Scrimmage, scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.
SPRING PRACTICE DATES:
Apr. 2 (Tue.), 8:55 a.m.
Apr. 4 (Thu.), 8:55 a.m.
Apr. 5 (Fri.), 5:25 p.m.
Apr. 6 (Sat.), 10:40 a.m.
Apr. 9 (Tue.), 8:55 a.m.
Apr. 11 (Thu.), 8:55 a.m.
Apr. 12 (Fri.), 5:25 p.m.
Apr. 13 (Sat.), 10:40 a.m.
Apr. 16 (Tue.), 8:55 a.m.
Apr. 18 (Thu.), 8:55 a.m.
Apr. 19 (Fri.), 5:25 p.m.
Apr. 20 (Sat.), SPRING SCRIMMAGE, 1 p.m. at Georgia Dome