Golden Lions open with ‘teach­ing day’

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL/NFL - BROOKS KUBENA

Univer­sity of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Coach Monte Coleman had his play­ers start with the ba­sics when the Golden Lions opened fall prac­tice Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Coleman said it was “just a teach­ing day,” which fo­cused on fun­da­men­tals like po­si­tion align­ment. It’s a re­turn to the ba­sics for a team that has fin­ished last in the South­west­ern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence in each of the past three sea­sons and was voted in the con­fer­ence’s pre­sea­son poll to fin­ish last again this sea­son.

“We were 1-10 last sea­son,” Coleman said. “We have to have ma­jor pro­gres­sion across the board. We have to be smart, phys­i­cal and tech­ni­cally sound, and that’s across the board.”

While other Arkansas col­lege teams be­gan prac­tice last Satur­day, UAPB starts classes five days later, which set back the 28 days of prac­tices the NCAA per­mits its col­lege teams to have be­fore classes start.

Other than the fun­da­men­tal work, Coleman said UAPB also went through 7-on-7 drills. Ju­nior quar­ter­back Bran­don Dun­can, who passed for 2,229 yard, 10 touch­downs and six in­ter­cep­tions in 2016, en­tered fall prac­tice as the starter.

“Bran­don threw the ball well,” Coleman said. “He’s read­ing his keys. Be­ing over there with the de­fense, I didn’t hear [of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Ted] White yelling at him. So he must have been do­ing all right.”

Coleman, a for­mer UAPB de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor who is en­ter­ing his 10th sea­son as head coach, an­nounced he re­lin­quished his role as de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor over the off­sea­son to San­tos Car­rillo, who was the team’s de­fen­sive line coach last sea­son, his first with the Golden Lions.

Be­fore UAPB, Car­rillo spent three sea­sons at Mur­ray State, where he coached the de­fen­sive line, lineback­ers and served as the as­sis­tant head coach in 2015.

UAPB will prac­tice in full pads Tues­day, and its first game will be against NCAA Divi­sion II op­po­nent More­house Col­lege on Sept. 2.

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