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Utah State football: Exciting, crisp first practice of spring Tuesday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, March 27 2012 4:26 p.m. MDT

Just as the sun was rising over the Wasatch Mountains Tuesday morning, Utah State's football team was finishing up its first practice of the spring not far from the base of the mountains in the Laub Indoor Facility as the Aggies had the first of their 15 practices of spring drills.

USU head coach Gary Andersen was very pleased with the squad’s first practice as the Aggies went through a nearly two-hour practice with roughly 90 players in action, attired in helmets, practice jerseys and shorts.

“The kids handled this morning very well. We’ve got nine more of these, so we’ll see how it goes. All the kids were ready to go. It was an exciting, crisp practice. I was happy with the pace of practice. This football team has a lot of youth but has a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. We have some experience at key spots, but we need to make sure to develop the younger guys,” Andersen said. “We had a very positive day one of practice.”

Andersen singled out senior WR Chuck Jacobs and senior CB Jumanne Robertson for their performances Tuesday morning, as well as highlighting the new possible holders for field goals and PATs in PK Jaron Bentrude, S. Brian Suite and WR Shaan Johnson, as the Aggies will have to replace departed senior WR Eric Moats, who was the holder the past three years.

“The quarterbacks Chuckie Keeton and Adam Kennedy had great, crisp command of the offense,” Andersen said. “I was impressed with the younger guys on defense that continue to show a great deal of improvement.”

Tuesday was the Aggies’ first of 15 practices of spring drills, which will culminate with the annual Blue-White Spring Game, presented by Orbit Irrigation Products, on Saturday, April 28, at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium at 2 p.m.

Like Tuesday’s practice, the Aggies will be in helmets, practice jerseys and shorts for Thursday morning’s practice before donning pads for the first time for Friday afternoon’s practice. USU is tentatively scheduled to practice inside the Laub Indoor Facility on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6-8 a.m., and then Friday afternoons from 2:30-4:30 p.m. outside on the turf of Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. All practice days, times and locations are subject to change.

Practices are currently scheduled to be open to the public, but are subject to change. When the Aggies are on Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium, fans must remain in the stands at all times. When the Aggies practice in the Laub Indoor Facility, fans must remain in the opening by the doorway.

Admission for the Blue-White Spring Game on April 28 will again be free to the public and further details along with events surrounding the game will be released at a later date.

Utah State football season ticket renewals and new sales for the 2012 season are available at 2011’s prices until May 1. Renewals are available online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop-down menu. Fans interested in new sales should contact the USU ticket office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

2012 spring practice dates/times:

*** subject to change ***

Thursday, March 29 — 6-8 a.m.

Friday, March 30 — 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 3 — 6-8 a.m.

Thursday, April 5 — 6-8 a.m.

Friday, April 6 — 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 10 — 6-8 a.m.

Thursday, April 12 — 6-8 a.m.

Friday, April 13 — 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 17 — 6:15-8 a.m.

Thursday, April 19 — 6:15-8 a.m.

Friday, April 20 — 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24 — 6:15-8 a.m.

Thursday, April 26 — 6:15-8 a.m.

Saturday, April 28 — 2 p.m., Spring Game

All Tuesday-Thursday practices are tentatively scheduled for the Laub Indoor Facility with Friday practices tentatively scheduled for Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium, but are subject to change.

All practices are tentatively open to the public, but they must remain off the field. When the Aggies are on Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium, fans must remain in the stands at all times. When the team is in the Laub Indoor Facility, fans must remain in the opening by doorway.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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