What You Need to Know:
* Georgia State is in its first spring practice under head coach Shawn Elliott.
* The Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 15 at noon at Grady Stadium in Midtown Atlanta.
* The Panthers return 52 lettermen and 17 starters.
ATLANTA -- The Georgia State football program has concluded Week 3 of its first spring practice under new head coach Shawn Elliott, with only three practices remaining before the Panthers' April 15 spring game.
The Blue-White Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 15 at 12 p.m. at Grady Stadium in Midtown Atlanta. The day will kick off at 10 a.m. as the team and staff conduct a free youth clinic, followed by a holiday egg hunt and other activities for children. All events are free.
Elliott, the former South Carolina assistant coach who took over the GSU program in December,
"You've got to be good offensively and defensively, but special teams-wise, you've got to really take advantage of what you can do. Moving that forward is a true piece to us being successful," he said. "Reflecting back on it, there were a few games here a year ago that could have gone either way from a special teams standpoint, so we've really made a conscious effort to get better in that phase."
The Panthers return 17 starters from last season, including
"I try not to talk about individuals because every position is a battle and they've got to go out and do it every day," Elliott said. "We have an offensive, defensive and special teams player every single day who we pinpoint to our team as someone that we need to emulate.
"Positions battles are all up for grabs, from right tackle to left tackle to our quarterbacks to our kickers," he continued. "There's only 15 days of spring practice, and I don't think that's enough. Some of the guys are starting to separate themselves, but in August we'll get a really good feel for that."
Naturally the quarterback position always draw the most interest from fans and observers, and Elliott noted that the competition there is no different from any other position. Last year's starter, senior Conner Manning returns after passing for 2,684 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 games, leading the Sun Belt with 268.4 yards per game. Sophomore Aaron Winchester started two games when Manning was injured, and junior Jaquez Parks lettered last fall as the holder. Redshirt freshman Josh Shim is also competing.
"You've got four totally different styles, and the battles at that position are going great," Elliott said. "We throw a new guy out there every day with the quote-unquote first team and see how they lead them. But they're all playing really well, and I think we can benefit from their skills."
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.
"Every time I look at that stadium, I want to jump on one of those trucks and make them go faster, faster, faster. I can't wait, but it will be here soon enough," Elliott said.
2017 SPRING PRACTICE DATES (Subject to change)
Monday, April 10, 8:45 a.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 8:45 a.m.
Friday, April 14, 8:45 a.m.
Saturday, April 15, BLUE-WHITE SPRING GAME, Grady Stadium, 12 p.m.