Home / Sports / The Kerwin Bell era has begun; The Blazers prepare for a 2016 title run as spring practice kicks off

The Kerwin Bell era has begun; The Blazers prepare for a 2016 title run as spring practice kicks off

Photo by Gabe Burns/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Aldean Starr, Staff Writer

It may be April, but it’s always football season in Valdosta.

The VSU Blazers are months away from the Sep. 3 opener against the Albany State Rams, but they started preparing last week.

For the first time in nine seasons, the Blazers started spring practice with a new head coach in Kerwin Bell. Bell, a former Florida Gator and NFL quarterback, arrives fresh off a successful tenure at Jacksonville University.

“These guys have been trained,” said Bell. “They’re in a good program and you have to give Coach Dean and all the coaches a lot of credit. They understand the process: That you have to work hard for anything you get in life.”

Bell will be tasked with replacing a record-setting back in Cedric O’Neal and a starting quarterback in E.J. Hilliard. Roland Rivers, who received significant playing time in 2015, is expected to be the starting signal caller. Rivers possesses a cannon arm and an aggressive mentality that perfectly suits Bell’s pro-style offense.

The Blazers kick off the spring returning four of their all-American honorees and 39 new signees this year. VSU started its spring practice in full equipment on March 28 and will continue until the spring game on April 23 at 4 p.m.

“I am really pleased with just the way the guys are focused,” said Bell. “They are competing their butt off. I will say it has been some very competitive practices and guys are trying to get better. They are trying to compete and win spots and it has been a real joy to coach them so far.”

Throughout spring practice the Blazers will host two scrimmages and a spring game. The first scrimmage is this Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

“If you want to come out, come watch these practices for the next three weeks, it will be entertaining,” said Bell.


Check Also

Blazers and Lady Blazers Burn the Hawks

Both the Blazers and Lady Blazers picked up their first conference wins of the season ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *