In the spring, it’s all about #practice
Prior to embarking on his last two spring football coverage assignments at Oregon State and Oregon for Pac-12 Networks live coverage this weekend, former USC assistant football coach and University of Pittsburgh wide receiver Yogi Roth gives a first-hand perspective of what a quality spring football season can do for all aspects of a football program.
If you have been around sports for a while, it is as though a clock inside you goes off at certain times throughout the year. October brings the adrenaline associated with each pitch during your baseball team's pennant race. March is a frenzy, otherwise known as sheer madness in college hoops, and in August, we smell that freshly cut grass and know it’s time for football training camp.
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The same happens each spring in college football in the Pac-12 Conference, as 12 programs have the same goal – recapture their competitive edge – during March and April, otherwise known as ‘"spring ball."
For 15 days, spanning four weeks, coaching staffs get to do what can become monotonous in the fall — #practice.
Once the season ends, the life of a coach is on the road recruiting, hoping to convince that one game-changing, touchdown-making phenom that they should don the (insert any Pac-12 school color combination) on their campus. After a vacation that goes by faster than De’Anthony Thomas down the sideline, it’s time to go through the gut-wrenching process of self-scouting. Here, each offensive and defensive staff will break down every single snap of the previous season while adding or deleting schemes. Finally, after an assortment of winter workouts at 6 a.m., coaches get to find out what their players have done since the last snap of the 2012 season. Yes, they get to go to #practice.
For the student-athletes, these 15 days on the practice field allow them to prove that no matter how many stars an incoming recruit has, his skills are game-rep worthy. No matter how deep they were buried on the depth chart last season, he can prove that he can be trusted to perform on game day. As 12 head coaches have most likely been saying all spring, the truth is in the tape.
Been in the doghouse? Prove you belong during one-on-ones.
Been injured for the majority of your career? Prove you can remain healthy for 15 straight workouts.
Been dubbed a "bust?" Prove that you have matured.
As coaches and players get through spring ball and reach the culmination of their respective spring games, they have gained valuable information about their team's ability to handle success (Oregon State), their new leadership (Oregon) and their competitive temperament in year two of building a program (UCLA), as the entire focus remains on game-planning for an opponent.
And for teams like the Beavers, Ducks and Bruins, they too can sense the spring nearing its end and the fall right around the corner. Thankfully this weekend, we have time for one more #practice.
Pac-12 Networks wraps up its final weekend of spring football coverage with telecasts of three games starting with Oregon State Friday at 7 p.m. PT, followed by Oregon Saturday at 11 a.m. and UCLA Saturday at 5 p.m.
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