The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Mustangs begin spring practice, focus on fundamentals

The Mustangs came together on the Pettus practice fields for the start of spring practice Monday and will focus on fundamentals throughout the spring.

The team will hold 16 practices and then a public game on April 28. The six-week offseason program included grueling conditioning sessions as well as a weight lifting program.

SMU has the latest spring practice start date of any team in Conference USA due to the additional practice for bowl games.

“We had 44 extra days before the bowl game and that is why we are starting late because the kids haven’t really had any off time so we gave them some off time and then we had a good offseason,” Coach June Jones said after practice Monday.

The coaching staff is impressed with how well the players did in the offseason program even with the extended bowl season.

It was an important time for players to recover and get stronger for the spring practices.

However, some notable players will sit out during the spring due to injuries.

Star running back Zach Line is sitting out his third consecutive spring after recent toe surgery. Line is expected to be ready for fall camp.

Linemen Beau Barnes, Kevin Grenier, and Joey Fontana are sitting out with injuries as well.

On Monday seniors Taylor Reed and Darius Johnson were told by Coach Jones that they need to take care of some business before returning to the field.

They are eligible and not injured, but Jones made the decision last week that they will sit out until he decides they have done enough to return.

“They’re returning,” Jones said. “It’s just a matter of when they return. They’re our two best players.”

Two new coaches, offensive line coach Bob Palcic and co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jason Phillips, were added to the staff.

Palcic worked with Jones in Atlanta and has coached three Outland trophy winners during his 40 plus years of experience.

Phillips comes from conference rival Houston where he helped direct one of the most successful offenses in NCAA history with quarterback Case Keenum.

Phillips will work with other coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison on game plans and tweaking the playbook with Jones. Palcic replaces Adrian Klemm who left for UCLA.

“I’m still going to call the plays and everything. Every year, Jason and Dan have a little bit more input and eventually they’re going to have to call it and I’m going to go play golf,” Jones joked.

There has been turnover on offense where all five starting offensive linemen and quarterback J.J. McDermott graduated. Palcic will be charged with developing the new linemen’s fundamentals and helping them grasp SMU’s complicated blocking schemes.

Wednesday is SMU’s pro day for graduating seniors so the team will not practice. Practices without pads continue until April 9.

Coach Jones wants to make sure that there are no spring injuries while younger players are developing as the team gears up for fall camp. 

More to Discover