Jun 17, 2019

Fresno’s final four

Photos by Matt Weir / The Collegian
Photo Illustration by Bryan Cole / The Collegian
Fights all around as Bulldog football takes the field for spring practice

Maybe it’s considered tough love, but Fresno State football is looking to install toughness for next season, which may explain the number of fights that broke out during the first spring practice on Monday afternoon.

During 11-on-11 drills, emotions ran high as the dog piles became present and the hands began to shove with the defense and offense getting into scuffles. At least four different fights broke out in the final hour of practice.

Coach Pat Hill, however, felt that the altercations didn’t put a damper on practice and was content about being back on the football field.

“It’s great. I liked the way we practiced today,” Hill said. “There were a lot of eager guys today, guys wanting to get this thing rolling. They’re going to be scrappers, but we got to get that personality back.

“I told my team that I liked their aggressiveness and I like their ‘want to’ attitude, but we got a lot of teaching to do. “

Young team fight for position of top dog

Some of the learning has to come from a young offensive line that is replacing both tackles.

“We had a lot of guys taking their first snap ever,” Hill said. “So a lot of times you have to judge it by who’s in or who’s out. Whenever we put quarterbacks in with all freshman lines we got to make things happen. We got to get our freshman linemen up to speed.”

Hill admits that his team is young, especially at the quarterback position.

“We got to find out who the quarterback is going to be,” Hill said. “We still have a young football team, but I think we got some experience. We got some athletes, we just need to get the chemistry right and we’ll be ready to roll.”

Matt Weir / The Collegian

While there were fights going on during team drills, there was another battle taking place in the first day of practice. That one involved the quarterbacks.

Ebahn Feathers, Ryan Colburn, Matt Faulkner and Derek Carr are all competing for the starting position by showing their accuracy, arm strength and knowledge of the Bulldog offense.

Right now, Feathers likes to think that the position is still up for grabs as spring practice continues until April 27.

“Honestly there’s a lot room for improvement,” Feathers said. “But I think we all came out here with a positive attitude. We all came out here with lots of fire. We’ve just got to pick everything up.”

Friendly fire

Even though there is a four-way battle for the quarterback position, Feathers insists that there is no bitterness towards each other.

“We all really do get along,” Feathers said with a laugh. “Obviously, everybody wants the whole drama about ‘we’re not getting along’. But me and Derek are really good friends, Ryan’s is like an extra coach, and Matt’s very close. We want to succeed, but we want to all see each other do well at the same time.”

One player wanting to succeed right away is true freshman quarterback Derek Carr, who experienced his first spring practice today.

Much like his competition, Carr is also in a fight to establish himself right away.

“If I do terrible now, they’re not going to just trust me to go in there and automatically think I’m going to succeed,” Carr said. “It means a lot right now.”

Carr has already gotten closely acquainted with the other quarterbacks, especially in the locker room.

“All of our lockers are next to each other,” Carr said. “We all hang out and have fun together.”

Feathers even tried to have fun with Carr by saying a joke in his ear after practice.

“Ebahn Feathers says I’m overrated,” Carr said with a smile. “And I don’t think Ebahn runs a 4.38. I don’t run a 4.38, but he doesn’t either. But you can tell right there that we all get along.”

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