What You Need to Know:

  • Georgia State opened its first spring practice under head coach Shawn Elliott Monday morning.
    * The Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 15, time and location TBA.
    * The Panthers return 52 lettermen and 17 starters.

ATLANTA -- The Georgia State football team practiced under new head coach Shawn Elliott and his staff for the first time as the Panthers opened spring drills Monday morning at the GSU Practice Complex.

Spring practice continues through the April 15 Spring Game (time and location TBA).

"It was a good to be able to put a football on the field and actually see these guys play some real football," Elliott said after the workout. "I thought there was some decent effort out there and that's what we're looking for. We've got to get better, and we certainly will, but I thought we won Day 1. And that's what we're trying to do.

Elliott's high-energy personality was evident all over the field.

"I love being at practice," he said. "I love being around players and the game of football. Anytime you love to do something, it generates intensity and excitement. The energy level is going to be very high from every coach and player out here.

"We want to play with a lot of effort, a lot of toughness and a lot of discipline. We really want to be sharp mentally because that's the No. 1 thing we can control right now. We need to come out here and be sharp and focused every day."

The Panthers return 52 letterwinners and 17 starters, including nine on offense and seven on defense, but everyone begins with a blank slate.

"Every position out here is up for grabs," Elliott said. "I want to see these guys go out and compete every single day. We are looking for improvement out player. There's promise at a lot of positions, but there's work to be done at a lot of positions, too. The same as every program in the country."

A couple of veterans are working at different positions to start the spring. Perhaps most notable is former running back Demarcus Kirk working at inside linebacker. Among the other changes, former running back Kendrick Dorn is at wide receiver and former safety Kendrec Grady, who redshirted last fall, is at outside linebacker.

Introduced as the Georgia State head coach on Dec. 9. Elliott spent the last seven years at South Carolina. He was asked about the Gamecocks' big win yesterday over Duke in the NCAA Basketball tournament.

"I just sent [USC coach] Frank Martin a text and told him, 'I want our players to go out there and play defense like ya'll played last night in that second half," Elliott said. "It was amazing to see, and it got me so excited about today's practice that I really couldn't sleep at all. I just wish them the best of luck."

Georgia State football will play its first season in the new Georgia State Stadium in 2017, with the inaugural game scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31 vs. Tennessee State. Season tickets are on sale now, beginning at $100.

2017 SPRING PRACTICE DATES (Subject to change)
Tuesday, March 21, 8:45 a.m.
Thursday, March 23, 8:45 a.m.
Saturday, March 25 (TBA)
Monday, March 27, 8:45 a.m.
Tuesday, March 28, 8:45 a.m.
Thursday, March 30, 8:45 a.m.
Friday, March 31, 8:45 a.m.
Monday, April 3, 8:45 a.m.
Wednesday, April 5, 8:45 a.m.
Friday, April 7, 8:45 a.m.
Monday, April 10, 8:45 a.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 8:45 a.m.
Friday, April 14, 8:45 a.m.
Saturday, April 15, SPRING GAME, Time & Location TBA