FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State football team held its first practice of fall camp on Friday morning in helmets, as the coaching staff begins to assemble the 2012 Bulldogs.
Head coach Tim DeRuyter came away from the first day encouraged with how well his team had progressed in the new offensive and defensive systems. He said it was night and day different from where they were at by the end of spring football.
"We had a pretty good carry-over from the spring time with our first units," DeRuyter said. "Both sides of the ball were moving around pretty fast [Friday]. We got a lot of new guys here, so those guys are swimming a little bit now. That is understandable, we just got to get them up to speed so that we can really have some quality depth in there."
However, DeRuyter cautioned that it was only practice No. 1 and that there is a lot of work to be done. Most of that work will come from getting the newcomers up to speed on the systems and getting them in shape. But after seeing the conditioning level of the rest of the team that was here working out all summer, DeRuyter seemed very pleased.
"The guys who spent their time here this summer are close to where we need them to be," he said referring to the shape they are in. "That was encouraging to see. We still have 28 more practices, so we have a little more conditioning to do. Some of the newcomers have a long way to go."
Friday's practice ended with two different team sessions, and on offense the coaches were stressing tempo. The pace at which offensive coordinator Dave Schramm wants to see from his unit is going to be very fast.
"Our offense was running plays at a fast tempo," junior quarterback Derek Carr said after Friday's practice. "I was very proud of our guys and how hard they worked this summer - they did a great job of conditioning and getting ready. I thought on offense, we did pretty well today." Wide receiver Victor Dean, a 6-6 sophomore that is among one of the many talented receivers Carr has to throw to this year, is looking forward to the possibilities of the new spread offense.
"I think day one was pretty good, but most importantly we just need to keep picking up the pace and getting our fundamentals down," Dean said. "We are all just trying to come together and make this offense work."
The Bulldogs are back on the field Saturday morning, again in just helmets as the team goes through the NCAA-mandated acclimatization period. Fresno State will go in shells (shoulder pads and helmets) on Sunday and Monday before finally getting into full pads on Tuesday for practice No. 5.
"This is the most fun time of the year," Carr said. "Fall camp, out here with the guys, it's hot and this is the best place to train. We're getting ready for this season and it's going to be exciting."
Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics
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