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April 2012 Archives

Spring Practice #15, April 4, 2012

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Coach Justin Fuente took his squad through their final practice of the spring today, but he continues to stress to the team that this is certainly not the end of working towards being ready to play this fall. He stressed that this time will be for maintaining their studies in the classroom and finishing out the semester strong as well as working out in the weight room and running.

The team went through 10 periods of practice in shorts and helmets and then Fuente spent a period of time instructing the players on how to go through Thursday and Friday practices in the fall. He finished by calling the team up as he does at the end of each practice and went through his expectations for this team to be successful.

"It has just begun for us," said Fuente after practice. "We have several months in front of us for preparing and getting better and that is just what I finished telling them (the team). The next several months will be very important for this team and how they do and how committed they are to getting bigger, faster and stronger and getting in the kind of shape it is going to take for this squad to play."

Check out the interview with Coach Fuente below as he talks more about his expectations for his Tigers.

Spring Practice #15, April 4, 2012

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The spring practice blog comes to an end today as the Tigers have their final of 15 spring practices under Coach Justin Fuente. There could not have been better weather for the team to work through drills and scrimmages this spring, and the crowd at the Liberty Bowl last weekend for the Blue-Gray Game was the largest in many years. It is a new era of Tiger football under Coach Fuente and this is just the first step in bringing this program up. The players will now transition to the off-season workout program with the strength and conditioning staff in order to be ready for fall camp in August.

We met with several players before meetings today and they talked about the end of spring and what needs to get accomplished in the 150 days leading up to the season opener against UT Martin. And while the players have worked through many grueling practices this spring, quite a few have said they are not happy that today is the last day of practice. Check out the video interviews below with safety Cannon Smith, linebacker Khiry Battle, offensive lineman Jordan Devey and receiver Jamere Valentine.

Spring Practice #14, April 2, 2012

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Coach Fuente took his squad through 19 periods of practice today and said that he was pleased with the way the team responded to having practice after already having played the spring game over the weekend.

See the video below for Fuente's comments after practice.

Receiver Keiwone Malone was back out at practice after having been suspended internally by Fuente. Fuente addressed the questions regarding Malone's return by saying that "It is up to him (Keiwone). He has to do right every time. He is back but he needs to prove to everybody that this is important to him."

Fuente will work his squad through their final practice on Wednesday and indicated that they will go over more of what they should expect out of Thursday and Friday practices in the fall. The Tigers will be in just helmets for their final workout.

Spring Practice #14, April 2, 2012

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A great crowd turned out for the 2012 Blue-Gray scrimmage at the Liberty Bowl on Saturday. The Tigers have just two more practices of the NCAA-allowed 15 workouts for the spring session. They practice this afternoon and Wednesday afternoon before shifting the focus to the off-season conditioning that runs throughout the rest of spring and into summer.

Today we sat down with corner Bobby McCain and linebacker Reggis Ball before meetings to get their take on spring practice.

McCain played in 11 games and made nine starts at corner in 2011 as a true freshman. He logged 29 tackles, four pass breakups and a forced fumble in addition to a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown against Tulane. Ball, the brother of former Tiger safety Marcus Ball, redshirted last season partly because of an early injury he suffered in fall camp. Ball has been commended by several teammates this spring for his ability to grasp the system and for flying around on defense and making plays.

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