Northwestern State’s first spring practices under new head football coach Brad Laird begin Friday, March 16 and conclude Saturday, April 21 with the 29th Annual Joe Delaney Bowl spring game.
“These 15 days are very important,” said Laird. “We have new schemes to install in all three phases. We’re looking forward to implementing that starting March 16.”
Spring practice for NSU will involve seven practices before the university’s spring break begins March 30, and eight workouts in April, beginning April 10. The first full scrimmage is set for Thursday afternoon, March 29 to wrap up the first segment of spring drills. Another full scrimmage is slated Saturday morning, April 14, on the weekend of the Natchitoches Jazz Festival.
The Demons were 4-7 last year, 4-5 in the Southland, and expect over 40 letterwinners back for 2018, including five starters on each side of the ball. Laird stressed competition is constant at each position, including while the players are going through offseason strength and conditioning workouts since the spring semester classes began last month.
The depth chart is wide open, he said.
“With new schemes, new terminology, everybody’s on the same page, learning the system. No matter who was where at the end of last year, it’s a fresh slate,” said Laird. “We look forward to the opportunity, as coaches, to evaluate daily. We’re doing that now, keeping eyes and ears open in our offseason program, and it will take another dimension beginning March 16.”
The Delaney Bowl spring game will include related activities for supporters, former players and others to be announced soon.
“Really look forward to that for a lot of different reasons, and first to put our young men in a competitive game situation,” said Laird. “Also with it being on a Saturday, to have alumni and letterwinners and their families come back, to enjoy a lot of activities we have planned, it will be exciting.”
Along with offseason workouts, NSU players are involved with community service outreach, highlighted by the upcoming annual Chris Waddell Day series of activities on Thursday.
Before spring break, the Demons will practice on March 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27 and scrimmage on March 29.
After returning, NSU’s workouts are April 10, 12, 13, 14 (scrimmage), 17, 19, 20 and the Delaney Bowl on April 21.
All practices in Turpin Stadium are open to the public.