SPARTANBURG – Wofford College football coach Mike Ayers seemed pleased during the Terriers first spring practice this week.
And why not. The weather was mild and dry. Most important, though, he had a healthy team running drills in front of him.
“I think we’re a very fit football team right now,” said Ayers. “If you’re trying to find out what your team’s all about, they’ve got to be able to get out there and be active. They’ve got to show us that they have the ability to make plays.”
All of those players have a total of 15 practices this month to show Ayers and the rest of the coaching staff what they can do. The spring sessions include scrimmages March 14 and March 28. Both are at 10 a.m. in Gibbs Stadium and are open to the public.
The Terriers are starting the process that eventually will have them prepared to open the 2015 season Sept. 5 in Death Valley against Clemson University.
Wofford doesn’t have a lot of holes to fill. The 2014 team featured just a handful of seniors. Among the key losses were defensive end Tarek Odom and inside linebacker Kevin Thomas.
“We had a lot of young kids that played,” Ayers said. “So we’re hoping that those guys are going to get better and better as we go through it.”
•Among the players participating in their first Wofford football practice Monday was former St. Joseph’s Catholic School star Andre Stoddard.
“It feels good to be back on the field,” said Stoddard.
He is working at fullback in the Terriers’ triple-option offense. That puts him in a group that includes Lorenzo Long, who led Wofford with 930 yards and 15 touchdowns rushing a year ago, and Chase Nelson, who showed his ability in limited duty as a freshman.
Stoddard said he’s already learning a lot from those players.
“I definitely lean on those guys a little bit because they’ve been here, and I can learn from them,” Stoddard said.
This spring, he said one of area of focus for him will be “making that transition from a spread to a triple option — just learning the playbook and getting comfortable with the offense.”