DECATUR, Ga. — Georgia State on Saturday concluded its spring practice schedule with a final scrimmage during the school’s All Blue All In Day.
The Panthers are looking to rebound in 2014 after a disappointing 0-12 season last year, their first in the Sun Belt Conference.
“No major injuries, what a wonderful day,” Head Coach Trent Miles said after the scrimmage.
“It was a great day; we had a great crowd,” Miles added. “We had no major injuries. Our kids came out and competed today. We were able to really work on some things we needed to work.”
Heading into their spring practices, the Panthers welcomed five junior college transfers: offensive linemen Taylor Evans, Michael Ivory and Steve Wolgamott; cornerback Marcus Caffey; and quarterback Nick Arbuckle. Arbuckle is competing against three others — juniors Ronnie Bell and Ben McLane and sophomore Clay Chastain — for the starting job in the fall.
Last season, Bell completed 188 of 375 passes, throwing 11 interceptions and 15 touchdowns while McLane completed 28 of 51 passes with one interception and two touchdowns.
“I think we’re in condition; we’re bigger, stronger, faster,” Miles said. “We’re not changing our schemes at all, but we’re just trying to change our tempo and the way we do things and again just continue to get bigger, stronger, faster.
“I think they’ve done a pretty good job so far,” Miles added. “We’re not where we want to be, but we’re closer to being there.”
Georgia State kicks off its 2014 season on Aug. 27 against Abilene Christian at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The highlight of the Panthers’ 2014 schedule looks to be an Oct. 25 showdown with Georgia Southern, the first-ever contest between the two Georgia programs.
“Every day is big, it just takes us into our next phase and that’s finishing up the semester academically and then going into summer and getting ready for summer workouts,” Miles said. “The more guys we keep out of that training room and we can keep on the field; you can’t make the team if you ain’t healthy. That’s the way it is in the NFL, so that’s kind of how we approach it.”
In addition to the football scrimmage, the day of events featured a pair of soccer exhibitions, a softball game and a baseball match.
“The opportunity to coach young men and the privilege of being on the football field, that’s the most exciting thing,” Miles said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s the season or practice … it doesn’t matter. We just love the opportunity to be around it.”