ATLANTA -- Georgia State returned to the field Monday morning to resume spring practice.
GSU opened spring practice two weeks ago with three sessions prior to last week's spring break, but Monday's session was the first in full gear. The Panther will practice for the next three weeks in preparation for their annual Spring Game, set for Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. at Georgia State Stadium.
"A lot of energy out here. It's almost like we didn't miss a beat," head coach Shawn Elliott said after the workout.
"We have to make the most of the 15 days we have. It allows us to see the individuals we need to see and it allows them to elevate their play over the course of these 15 days."
The word "fundamentals" has been a constant theme for the Panthers this spring.
"The spring is for fundamental improvement in every area. You've got to be fundamentally sound," Elliott said.
"If you look at our weaknesses a year ago, we've got to tackle better on defense, make more plays and create more turnovers.
"Offensively we want continue to build off the momentum we started last year, and we want to improve on our special teams."
Offensively, the Panthers return eight starters, including senior receiver Devin Gentry.
"It felt good getting back into the swing of things after spring break," Gentry said. "Today we put the pads on for the first time, so you get to up the intensity and play real football."
Gentry was GSU's third-leading receiver a year ago with 22 catches for 286 yards and three touchdowns for an offensive unit that showed marked improvement in running the football, averaging a school-record 171.4 yards per game.
"We know that having a great run game is going to help us as receivers," Gentry said. "When people have to respect the run and put more people in the box, it opens up things for us. Then we have to help the running backs out by making defenses respect us going deep."
Georgia State opens the 2019 season Aug. 31 at Tennessee, while the home opener at Georgia State Stadium is Sept. 7 vs. Furman. Season tickets for Panthers' the six-game home slate begin as low as $60, with discounts available for GSU faculty and staff. 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.).
REMAINING SPRING PRACTICE DATES (Subject to Change)
Tuesday, March 26
Thursday, March 28
Friday, March 29
Monday, April 1
Tuesday, April 2
Thursday, April 4
Friday, April 5
Monday, April 8
Wednesday, April 10
Friday, April 12
Saturday, April 13 - SPRING GAME, 1 p.m.
Practices (closed to the public) are held at 9 a.m. at the GSU Practice Complex (188 Martin Luther King Jr., Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315)