Head coach Jay Hill and the Weber State University football team wrapped up their second scrimmage of their spring practice session this past week.
While the Wildcats have been using spring ball as a chance for everyone to improve, their practice has been showing the team’s emphasis on developing younger players.
“I’ve been impressed by the way a lot of the younger players have been able to step up and earn their stripes,” senior wide receiver Darryl Denby said. “We have a good amount of veteran players that are coming back from injury, and the young players are really taking advantage of the reps.”
Although the defense showed how dominant they can be by winning the scrimmage 37–4, running back Kevin Smith, who played safety in the fall, showed that he can be a difference-maker for the Wildcats in the next season.
“It feels great to be back in the backfield again,” Smith said. “I really feel like this was the right decision for me.”
Smith had 11 carries for 82 yards but knows that he and the offense have more work to do before taking the field Sept. 2 against Montana Western. He’s not the only member of the offense looking to make another leap forward next season.
The offense is led by a pair of senior pass catchers and the junior running back who started for the team last season. Treshawn Garrett is the only returning running back who had more than 13 carries last season.
As for the pass catchers, the team’s new quarterback will be relying on Denby and tight end Andrew Vollert. Vollert is coming off a season in which he was named to first-team All-Big Sky conference and was a third-team FCS All-American, according to the Associated Press.
“We are still progressing as an offense right now. We just have to focus on becoming better each day,” Smith said.
Although the defense controlled the scrimmage, defensive back coach Preston Hadley doesn’t want his players to lose focus for the overall mission of spring ball.
“Defensively, we are probably further along than we have ever been,” Hadley said. “We have a lot of returning players and a lot of veteran guys, so it’s encouraging, but we are still working developing our younger guys.”
The team will be relying on veterans like cornerback Taron Johnson, defensive lineman Rayshawn Henderson, linebackers Emmett Tela and Landon Stice. In addition to these four upperclassmen, the Wildcats are looking to receive production from the top down to the bottom of their roster.
The spring game will not be the only football played on April 15, as different Weber State alumni will team up for a flag football game at 1 p.m.
The annual spring game will be played at 2 p.m. at the Stewart Stadium, directly after the flag football game. Admission to the game is free for all, and before the game, there will be inflatables and bounce houses for the children.