Louisiana Tech opens fall camp with first practice

RUSTON, La. (Aug. 5, 2013) – Louisiana Tech held a two-and-a-half hour session in 97 degree heat and a heat index of close to 110 degrees as the Bulldogs opened up fall camp Monday under the direction of new head coach Skip Holtz.
 
The team practiced on the Tech Practice Fields in the NCAA-mandated helmets and shorts only and even ran through the first portion of practice without helmets due to the heat.
 
The high temperatures and pace of practice provided a great test of the conditioning level of the players entering fall camp.
 
“Overall, for the most part, for it to be 110 degrees (head index) out here and for them to come out here and do what they did for as long as they did, I like the way they are working,” Holtz said. “I think they are in shape, a lot of guys have changed their bodies and I like the way that they look. Like I said, we will learn a lot more as we get through this week.”
 
Like most other teams, the coaching staff was positive following the first practice of the fall.
 
“Day one is always the most positive, most upbeat [practice],” explained Holtz. “Everybody has been waiting for it for four months and a long summer. We will find out what the attitude and what everything is like when we get in the middle of two-a-days.”
 
One player that was noticeably fit for camp and running at 100 percent was Tevin King. The running back injured his knee during Tech’s 52-24 win at Illinois last year and his long-awaited return finally came Monday with positive results.
 
“Right now he is healthy, he is 100 percent and he said he feels great running around. It was good to see him out there, to see [Matt] Shepperd out there, to see [Vince] Cano out there and some of these guys that missed the spring. It was positive. We need every one of those pieces to put this whole thing together. It was nice to see Tevin because I think he is electric. Just like I said about everything else, when you have to tackle him is when he is going to really show up.”
 
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QUOTES
Head Coach Skip Holtz
“Day one is in the books. It was in shorts and it is never as pretty as you want day one to be. We have a lot of carryover and a lot of good things from the guys who went through spring but you are also adding a lot of – in our case – freshmen and junior college players into this group. I like the way they came out here, there was almost a 110 degree heat index and we were out here for two-and-a-half hours practicing.”
 
“I like the way they are working right now but we still have a long way to go and you are not really going to be able to evaluate where we are and a lot of the underclassmen until you can put pads on. Then we can find out what it is like when we aren’t playing in our underwear and we are actually playing in football pads. These are valuable days, they are important days to teach and start to put things together but the evaluation days will really start to come when we put on the pads.”
 
On the conditioning level of the team:
“There are couple of people that did not pass the conditioning test that still have some work to do and when a couple of them started to cramp up today it is not a surprise, when you look at it from that standpoint. Overall, for the most part, for it to be 110 degrees (head index) out here and for them to come out here and do what they did for as long as they did, I like the way they are working. I think they are in shape, a lot of guys have changed their bodies and I like the way that they look. Like I said, we will learn a lot more as we get through this week.
 
“Day one is always the most positive, most upbeat [practice]. Everybody has been waiting for it for four months and a long summer. We will find out what the attitude and what everything is like when we get in the middle of two-a-days.”
 
On needing to keep the energy up at practice:

“That is the challenge we have [as coaches]. We have to win today. Every single day, we have to win. We are going to have to win tomorrow. We have a lot of meetings tonight – we will meet until about 9:30 or 10 o’clock tonight – and then we will come back and go through the same routine again. That is the challenge – there is not a team in the country that didn’t go out with a positive attitude today. Not one team – it was first day for everybody and everybody that went out in the first day, first three days, first week everything is positive and upbeat. You learn what kind of football team you are going to have when you get in the middle of two-a-days and everybody is tired, hurting, sore, worn out and finding out how they push through then.”
 
On competition at many positions helping keep the energy level up:
“[Competition at so many positions] helps keep the energy up because everyone has to come out and compete every day. When you know the guy behind you is good enough to step up and take your position, you cannot take a day off. That definitely helps – it helps morale, it helps guys in the meeting room, it helps guys pay more attention to learn their assignments because they are competing for jobs.”
 
On Tevin King:
“Right now he is healthy, he is 100 percent and he said he feels great running around. It was good to see him out there, to see Shepperd out there, to see Cano out there and some of these guys that missed the spring. It was positive. We need every one of those pieces to put this whole thing together. It was nice to see Tevin because I think he is electric. Just like I said about everything else, when you have to tackle him is when he is going to really show up.”