Howard Football Team Set for Spring Game
Howard University will conclude its 2012 Spring Practice with an intra-squad game on Saturday, April 14 at 1 pm in Greene Stadium. There will be a Powder Puff Flag football game at 11 am, featuring the Howard women's team against some local players.
The team has been practicing and going over drills and fundamentals during the past two weeks as it prepares for the upcoming season.
Coach Gary Harrell is entering his second season at the helm and offers his assessment.
"We set out to cover the basics and reinforce the fundamentals," said Harrell, who led the Bison to a 5-6 mark last season. "Since we were such a young team, we wanted to make sure the players understand our system and our schemes."
Harrell adds, however, that he was forced to modify his game plan.
"We had some key injuries to (quarterback) Greg McGhee, (starting offensive tackle) Davin Morris, (safety) Cameron Alston and (safety) James Williams and that has forced us to slow it down a bit," explained Harrell, who was finalist for Coach of the Year consideration by several organizations."
McGhee absence is a cause for great concern. The MEAC Rookie of the Year suffered an injury at the end of the season that required surgery and rehab. Because of McGhee's limited time on the practice field this spring, junior Randy Liggins has taken the snaps and has shown great promise, says Harrell.
"Randy has been a pleasant surprise," he said. "He is finally beginning to understand the offense and has down a very good job in that area. There are some things that he can do and some he cannot but the important thing is that he now understands that."
Harrell noted that the other area that has stood out is the defensive line.
"I would say that the defensive line has been the most impressive unit thus far in spring practice," said Harrell. "Markee White, Ibrahima Kebe and Rodney Hill have stood out. They have picked up Coach (Bobby) Jones system well." Jones is the Bison defensive line coach.
Harrell added that the defense is ahead of the offense overall and he cited All America linebacker Keith Pough and a transfer, linebacker Tebrian Raesby as individual standouts.
Due to the number of injuries, Harrell says that there will be a point system in place to determine scoring. The offense will be awarded points for touchdowns and field goals while the defense will be rewarded for forced turnovers, three and outs, sacks and tackles for losses.
The team will report on August 1 for pre-season preparation and the first game is September 1 when the Bison take on Morehouse College in the AT&T Nation's Football Classic in RFK Stadium at 3:30 pm.