April 12, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Spring weather has finally arrived in Western North Carolina - and just in time for the bulk of the Catamount football team's spring practices. After conducting each of the first five practices under late-fall, early-winter like conditions, warmer temperatures have greeted the Catamounts in each of the last three sessions.
WCU held its first major scrimmage session of the spring last Saturday (April 6) with the second slated for Friday, April 12. The team is scheduled to be on the turf just after 3:00 pm on Friday for a two-hour session - the 11th of the NCAA-regulated 15 out of season.
Second-year head coach Mark Speir stated that he was pleased with the effort across the board in Saturday's scrimmage session. He also felt like the defensive unit, under first-year defensive coordinator Shawn Quinn, has made great strides in improving.
Two quarterbacks continue to get the bulk of the rotation with four combining to take snaps. Eddie Sullivan, according to Speir, has performed well this spring, just ahead of Troy Mitchell. The two split the 11 starts a season ago with the older Sullivan starting six and the true freshman Mitchell starting five but appearing in all 11 games. Jawan Simmons, who is returning from injury that sidelined him all of 2012, and walk-on Jonah Duggan also get snaps during the team's practice sessions.
With practice continuing for an additional week or so, Speir hopes to see continued fundamental improvement with areas to build upon the remainder of the off-season leading into fall camp in August.
Several Catamounts continue to be limited or held out of spring practice. Wide receiver Tyler Klipa (knee), tight end Dylan Davis (shoulder) and defensive back Terrance Green (knee) are being held back some after off-season surgeries and rehabilitation. Linebacker Marcus Stokes (knee) is out after suffering an injury earlier this spring with wide receiver Garrett Brown (hamstring) sat for precautionary measures after suffering an injury midway through spring drills.
Following Friday's practice, the team has four more dates remaining this spring coming next Monday, Wednesday and Friday ahead of the Spring Game event on Saturday, April 20. WCU