Football gears up during off-season

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Truman State football team doesn’t slow down during the off-season. Even in spring, the team is busy preparing for next year, prepping with practices leading up to the spring football game.

This year, their spring training gives the team a chance to get familiar with new faces. Newly hired offensive coordinator Jason Killday joined the ‘Dogs coaching staff several weeks ago from GLVC rival Quincy University, where he was an assistant quarterback and wide receiver coach. Under his tutelage, Quincy senior quarterback Nick Lonegran and former wide receiver Justin Dickens set school records in their positions and earned All-GLVC first-team honors.

Killday hopes to jumpstart the Bulldogs’ passing offense, which was below average compared to their 2015 opponents. But for right now, he’s trying to adjust to his new team and the campus at large.

“I’m still learning names, I’m still yelling the guys’ numbers out,” Killday says. “I’m still trying to figure out where to park my car … but everybody’s been great.”

He says while the offense isn’t executing his system as well as he’d hoped so far, he is seeing a lot of energy and effort from his players on the field.

Head Coach Greg Nesbitt says Killday’s offense is akin to “speaking Spanish when we’re speaking English,” but he says he is impressed with Killday’s work with the athletes so far.

Nesbitt says he is staying away from coaching the offense for the time being to let Killday install his new offense system. Instead, he is focusing on getting players back in shape physically and mentally for the spring game.

On the defensive side, Nesbitt says only three starters are leaving the team, while all-conference defensive backs senior Austin Zoda and junior Jordan Brown are returning. While the ‘Dogs have a deep defensive roster, he says starting spots could be up for grabs.

“We have 15 guys that have played like starters in sub-packages, so the biggest thing we have to guard against is complacency and entitlement,” he says. “And so far, the first two days, I’ve been very impressed with that unit as well.”

The football spring game is scheduled for tomorrow, April 9 at 1 p.m. at Stokes Stadium.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row]