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May 13, 2014

HUNTSVILLE SPRING FOOTBALL — With the first spring scrimmage complete, the Hornets are still improving

HUNTSVILLE — In the Hornets first scrimmage of spring football practice, Huntsville coaches wanted to see how players respond in certain situations, evaluate their depth chart and see which guys might have to play on both sides of the ball on critical drives.

The Hornets ran 117 plays over a two-hour span Monday afternoon.

Huntsville head coach Rodney Southern said he was particularly impressed with the way running backs Johnny Crew, Harold Johnson and Morie Evans carried the ball at the scrimmage.

Evans, a 5-11 running back going into his senior season, is one who the Hornets expect to make big plays on both sides of the ball.

“He’s a guy who can go in the game on the defensive side and potentially be the fastest guy on the field,” Southern said. “Some of those other guys, we’re going to always work on depth on the offensive and defensive line because we aren’t as strong there depth-wise as we need to be. And then at receiver, we’re going to run a lot of receivers and backs and secondary guys. So the more they understand one side of the ball, the better it should help them on the other. Hopefully when we finish spring, we’ll know who our best 44 football players are and get them on the field in some form or fashion.”

Ricko Bennett is expected to play his first season at quarterback for the varsity squad. Bennett, who will be a junior this season, said the offense mostly tried to get its reads down and identify defensive coverages.

“I think we did pretty well,” Bennett said. “The hardest part for me on varsity is adjusting to everybody’s size and speed. You can’t get away with some of the same things as junior varsity. It’s pretty good right now but that’s against my own team. When we go against another team, we’ve got to man up and do it.”

In the three weeks defensive coordinator Thedrick Harris has been on the job, the Hornets’ effort and willingness to be coached has impressed him. On the defensive side, players still have to develop their knowledge base. That’s what Harris and other coaches worked on during the scrimmage.

“Effort is great but they have to know their assignments,” Harris said. “So right now, that’s the process we’re in through these 18 practices, learning more every day.”

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