VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State football team opens spring practice Friday, exactly two months following its national championship victory over Winston-Salem State.
The Blazers will finish spring drills before the university breaks for spring break in March.
This season, though, Valdosta State will not hold a spring game, due to the lack of depth at certain positions.
With spring practice just a few days away, here are a few storylines to watch:
Offensive line development
The Blazers graduated all five offensive linemen from the 2012 championship team, and enter spring practice with limited depth and even less experience.
During a visit at Crossroads Baptist School last week, offensive line coach Andy Richman admitted he will likely have to take an easier, less intense, approach with his linemen during spring practice, because of the lack of depth.
Some top linemen on the roster for spring include: Mike Moore, Colin Glasco, Jesse Yancey, Jack Bradley, Alexander Brock and Austin Thompson.
The Blazers only signed one offensive lineman last week during National Signing Day, and will look to add more through junior college transfers before the start of the season.
Pope out with injury
After playing the majority of the 2012 season with a minor knee injury, linebacker Chris Pope underwent surgery earlier this year and will miss spring practice. Pope missed spring practice last year with a knee injury.
He returned and led the Blazers with a team-high 127 tackles, putting him less than 100 tackles away from breaking Larry Dean’s all-time tackles record, set in 2010.
Gerald Ford out
With only 1 semester of eligibility remaining, reigning Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year Gerald Ford will not participate in spring practice. Ford is not able to workout with the team until the spring semester is complete. Ford will re-join the Blazers in the summer.