BUENA VISTA, Va.—New Southern Virginia University head football coach Jason Walker answers questions following the recent completion of spring camp. Here's what he had to say:
Evaluating what you saw from the team over the past few weeks, what makes you most excited for next season?
We have a great group of guys returning next year. We have a large senior class lined up and they've put in a lot of work not only the past few weeks but also the past few years. A bunch of them have seen the field and done really well. You can see the leadership that they have, what they demand out of everyone else and the respect they receive from others.
They're hungry to prove something. They want to show they can compete at a higher level. They're excited about the challenge that lies before them.
What progress has the offense made the past few weeks?
The offense has made a lot of progress. They've put in a new offense and it's been installed slowly with the limited number of guys we had. We kept it simple and focused on the basics. Conceptually, they were able to grab a hold of the basic schemes right away. They became familiar with the expectations placed before them and gradually picked up new things every day. With a new staff it's expected that adjustments will come slowly but they took it in stride.
How is the new defensive system coming along?
It's a lot different than what they've done in the past. There's a lot of new things we'll be doing like moving around and being a more base zone defense than what they've done in the past. It's not a regular Cover-2 shell but a few different looks out of the two high safety look. There's a few more roles we're asking them to fill. Their heads are spinning a little bit but they're seeing how the schemes match the coverages we're putting in. They're starting to pick it up piece by piece.
What they have to focus on this summer is becoming masters of what was installed in the spring. If they put in the time and study like they should, we won't have to start back at square one come August. We didn't give them playbooks, but they'll have film they can watch during the summer and become more familiar with what we're doing.
What does the team need to do before it returns in August?
We've asked them to take care of what they need to during the summer but to please make time for studying film and pick up everything they can. The summer is a great time to improve and fine-tune their skills. They need to stay in shape and take care of themselves. There's a buzz that quite a few are sticking around to form their own 7-on-7 teams to coach one another and pick up what they need to before fall camp. We want them to work and do what they need to in terms of employment, but to take care of their bodies and study the schemes through film so we don't have to start over in August.