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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Hoosiers kick off spring practice

Football team makes changes in 1st of 15 practices

The IU football team kicked off its spring football season Wednesday with its first official spring practice. The practice, the team's first of 15 this spring, was far from flawless, with dropped passes and fumbles.\nBut, senior Antwaan Randle El said, practice wasn't all that bad, either.\n"The first day went OK," Randle El said. "I'm not just looking at offense and defense, I'm looking at the whole team. I think we got out, and we did some good things. We did some bad things, and of course, we've got to improve, but that will come in the next 14 (practices). I think one of the biggest things we did today was we came out and worked on basically technique -- new guys learning different things, changing positions and that kind of thing."\nRandle El, IU's star quarterback for the past three seasons, was one of those players changing positions. He began this spring practicing with the wide receivers, not the quarterbacks.\nRandle El said the change wasn't a big one for him, because he practiced as a receiver last summer. Perhaps the biggest change was for those battling to replace Randle El as quarterback.\nJuniors Gibran Hamdan and Tommy Jones will battle for the vacated starting spot, and they began Wednesday. They'll also learn from a new quarterbacks coach, Gerald Carr, this spring. \nCarr spent his first practice working with the quarterbacks on different drops -- three-, five- and seven-step. He also said he's concerned with getting the quarterbacks to know the offense as a whole before they work on single parts of it.\nAs for being a new coach working with new quarterbacks, Carr said he welcomes the challenge.\n"I kind of like it myself, because we all get a chance to grow together," said Carr, who coached in the Arena Football League last season. "There's an unbound trust that you must have between a quarterback coach and a quarterback."\nWhile Hamdan, who juggles spring practice with his duties as a first baseman on IU's baseball team, and Jones will battle for the starting spot, Randle El might also play quarterback at times.\nRandle El said a few position changes and new coaches aren't the only differences this spring. The atmosphere, he said, is also different.\n"I think atmosphere-wise, the first practice last year really couldn't compare to this year," he said. "I feel like we're grounded more; I feel like we have more of a team togetherness kind of thing. \n"Don't get me wrong, we're not where we want to be yet. But it's just leadership by the seniors is what I'm seeing, which is good. And we didn't have that last year."\nAnother senior, cornerback Sharrod Wallace, considered the first day a "learning day" and said he thought the players felt good after their first practice. He also said they're eager to play.\n"I think the guys are a lot more eager for the season to approach," Wallace said. "That's it. Guys are just ready to play"

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