Blazers Continue Workouts

| August 16, 2015

blazer practice

VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State football team continued their first week of practice this week at the practice fields just outside of the Athletic Fieldhouse this morning, and according to junior wide receiver Donovan Bolden, Friday was a day the team had been looking forward to.

“Oh man, this feels great, man,” said Bolden, who served as one of the Blazers top wide receivers in 2014 with 44 receptions, 564 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. “We’ve been hungry ever since our last game against West Georgia last year, and we’re just glad to get back out here today. We’re really start to get the hang of it again. There’s alot of new guys out here that are getting used to the offense and everything, but we’re getting the hang of it.”

The Blazer defense remains in great hands with the return of Kenny Murphy, Larry Murphy, and Sharmaine Washington, who each return as Preseason All-American selections. However, a question mark remains on who will serve as Jake Medlock’s replacement at the quarterback position for the upcoming 2015 campaign. Dean was the first to point out the multiple options he’ll have to consider in the weeks ahead as opening day rapidly approaches.

“Through the first five days, EJ Hilliard has really looked very good,” said Dean about the Florida International University senior transfer. “He had four really good practices, and then there was one where he didn’t quite perform as well as he did the other days. But, I really like the way he his progressing. I think Kaleb Nobles has had some flashes and done some very good things this week as well. He’s a great leader for our football team, so he’s always going to be in the mix. Then you have to throw in Roland Rivers in there. Roland is doing very well and although he had one very poor day, the other days have been good. He’s improving, and he’s just a red shirt freshman, so he’s going to go through some growing pains while learning and making adjustments. I love the way he is attacking the game, and he’s a student of the game which has really carried well onto the field.”

Not in question, is the team’s setup in the backfield. Austin Scott and Cedric O’Neal bring a one, two punch to Dean’s arsenal that would make any coach envious.

“Well, we’re blessed to have two guys like that who complement each other well and understand their role on the team,” stated Dean resolutely. “We’re going to put alot on those guys. They’re going to do alot for us this year, and we’re going to try and get the ball in their hands as many times as we can so that we can let them make plays for us. Not only are they great players, but they’re seniors. Those two have been in those wars and they understand what it takes, and we’re going to rely on them heavily.”

O’Neal enters the season on track to set a host of rushing records, and he credits his teammate as someone who has helped in his success as a three-time All-GSC honoree.

“A-Scott has played a big part in my success,” said O’Neal. “Competing with him on Saturday nights and even in practice, I try to mix-up my game to make myself more similar to his elusive style. He keeps me humble and he challenges me as the season progresses.”

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