ATLANTA -- "If you're a coach, this is what you live for," head coach Shawn Elliott said as the Panthers opened spring practice on a blustery morning at the GSU Practice Complex.
"You get a chance to come out here and work with these individuals and help them get better. That's what's really special about coaching," Elliott added as he enters his second spring with the Panthers.
Georgia State looks to build on the momentum of a 2017 season that ended with the Panthers' first bowl victory, a 27-17 win over Western Kentucky in the AutoNation Cure Bowl.
:Last year was a pretty good season for us, but this is a new team, new faces are going to emerge during the 15 days of spring practice and over the course of the summer," Elliott said. "We're trying to get fundamentally sound and continue to learn how to play with great effort and discipline."
Nowhere will a new face be more evident than under center, where Georgia State must replace two-year starter and all-conference quarterback Conner Manning.
"Certainly it's a little bit of an unknown," Elliott said. "We've got four individuals who are competing at that position to see who can lead our football team. Right now there's really no frontrunner. We've got Aaron Winchester who has some playing experience, we've got a redshirt freshman who's going to get a lot of reps in Jack Walker, we've got Dan Ellington, a junior college transfer, and we've got Jaquez Parks. We've got to give them all an opportunity to lead our football team."
While the quarterback position is the most visible project for the spring, it's certainly not the only one.
"When you look back at what we didn't do great last season, our special teams have got to improve," Elliott said. "Our running game has to get better, and that involves better blocking up front and better vision by our backs. We've got to work on doing all the little things correctly to hit on all cylinders."
The Panthers will practice again Thursday morning and then pause for spring break before resuming spring drills on Monday, March 19. The Blue-White Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 7 at Georgia State Stadium.
Season tickets for Panthers' the six-game home schedule at GSU Stadium begin as low as $100, with discounts available for GSU faculty and staff. Single game tickets range from $20 to $25 per game, while group ticket packages are available for groups of 10 more ranging from $10 to $15 per game.
Fans can purchase tickets online at GeorgiaStateSports.com/TIX or by calling the ticket office at 404-413-4020 (M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.).