Camp begins for the 2022 Eagle Football season


AJ Henderson/Georgia Southern


110 players take the field at Paulson Stadium

STATESBORO – While the team trained on campus for most of the summer, the official start of the 2022 Georgia Southern football season was announced Wednesday morning when the team took the field at Allen E. Paulson Stadium for the start of preseason camp.

The team completed a spirited two-hour training session in helmets and jerseys, after starting the day with an early breakfast at Bishop Fieldhouse, position briefings and a quick tour. The rest of the day consisted of lunch, team meeting at 4pm, practice meeting, dinner, installation meetings and finally a snack before heading into the evening. The team will repeat this schedule for the next three days before taking Sunday off.

head coach Tone Helton was pleased with the quick workout and commended the team for dealing with the heat on a warm summer morning in Statesboro.

“It was a good opening day and I’m very grateful that we have 25 practice sessions,” said Helton. “I thought the kids came into the summer with good energy, good focus and really a lot of work to do. You talk about eight weeks of meetings, preparation, strength and conditioning. That was obvious in the first practice what condition they are in right now”

A few notes from the day:
• The official list for the start of the camp was published on Monday and includes 134 players. The NCAA only allows 110 to report to camp and practice, and the rest can begin their acclimatization period once classes begin. Because the Eagles have open practices, those players not practicing on the 110-man roster are allowed to be present and watch practice to keep them informed and ready when they can hit the field next week. Georgia Southern begins its fall semester in a week, Wednesday, August 10th.

• Recipients were better off spending a little more time brushing up on their math, as coaches asked them to solve simple addition problems while chasing tennis balls in the air. Helton said today was easy and they will start multiplying and dividing as preseason progresses. If you have a head coach who has studied math, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some numbers appear in practice. Helton told the media after practice that the purpose of this drill is to make it more difficult in practice so that in a game, catching the ball while other distractions are taking place becomes second nature.

• Many new faces appeared on the pitch for the first time. A total of 34 new players have joined the team since the end of spring training, including 10 transfers. When you add up all the newcomers and transfers, there are 54 new players on the roster since the Eagles last game in November.

• Speaking of transfers, the Eagles have 19 players on the fall list who transferred from NCAA Division-I schools. Eight of them have only one year left of eligibility.

• Ten Georgia Southern players in the 2022 roster are in their sixth year of eligibility. The Eagles even have a player (Todd Bradley-Glenn) in its seventh year of eligibility. Bradley-Glenn is the oldest on the roster at 25, followed by quarterback Kyle Vantrease who will be 24 years old on August 20th.

• After a spring without music during practice, the Eagles were sung to music while stretching, but also at the end of practice during a team exercise. Helton said this was meant to simulate what it would be like – and how to communicate – in noisy street stadiums and for defense when Paulson Stadium rocks.

• Cornerback Derrick Canteen was back on the field after tearing a pectoral muscle at the start of the FAU game last year. He was restricted in the spring as a precaution, but told the media after training that he was back at 100 percent for the first time since that FAU game in September 2021.

• Elderly punter Antony Beck II didn’t have much to do on Day 1 as Helton said he had the kickers and punters on a pitch count much like the quarterbacks. Today was a day for the kickers to have a stint mid-practice, and Beck II took over his snapper keeper duties Mark Langston. By the way, the kickers were perfect that day. However, expect Beck II’s right leg to spring into action soon. Meanwhile, he and some of the specialists were seen handing out cold towels to teammates as they came off the field. Helton said he expects them to be great teammates in training, even if it’s an easy day for them. After the practice, Beck II was asked by the media what was being worked on to speed up the kicking process. Beck II said it was pointed out at a meeting last night that the Eagles blocked the most kicks in the country last year and vowed it won’t happen again this year.

• Here is a breakdown of the classifications:
seniors in their seventh year (1); seniors in their sixth year (10); Seniors in Year Five (4); Redshirt Seniors (10); seniors (4); Redshirt Juniors (29); juniors (7); Redshirt sophomore (13); sophomores (5); Redshirt Rookies (17); freshmen (34)

• Here is a breakdown of the positions:
quarterbacks (9); Running backs (9); wide receivers (21); narrow ends (7); offensive line (20); lines of defense (19); linebackers (11); Defensive defenders (27); punters (2); table football (5); Long snappers (4)

• Here is a breakdown of home states:
Georgia (89); Florida (14); South Carolina (9); North Carolina (5); Alabama (4); Louisiana (3); California (3); Hawaii (1); Mississippi (1); New Jersey (1); Ohio (1); Pennsylvania (1); Tennessee (1); Texas (1)

Gallery: (08/03/2022) 22. Football: Autumn football training No. 1

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