UAlbany Spring Football Gets Underway
ALBANY, N.Y. – With the sun yet to rise and the temperature well below freezing at Bob Ford Field, the University at Albany football team opened the 2014 spring season Monday. The 6:30 a.m. practice marked the first of 15, including the annual Spring Game that will take place April 19th at 12:00 p.m.
In his first season at the helm, head coach Greg Gattuso has the task of bringing his team together and encouraging healthy competition during the program’s transition period. Gattuso took the reins from Bob Ford, who retired at the end of the 2013 season after starting the program in 1970.
With a new staff on the sideline, the UAlbany players have the task of impressing their new coaches, vying for coveted roles on the gridiron.
“Competition is the one true motivational element in developing a team,” said Gattuso. “We need to have battles at every position to improve enough to win games in this conference.”
During the four-week long spring season, UAlbany will also look to develop as many bodies as possible and improve the team’s overall depth.
“Any time a program steps up in competition, overall depth is the main concern,” added Gattuso. “We must develop a group of players who can compete at the CAA level, and quickly.”
In 2013, the CAA had the highest RPI of all FCS conferences, as three CAA squads advanced to the FCS Playoffs, including national runner-up Towson. Entering their second season in the CAA, UAlbany’s 2014 schedule will include four non-conference contests, eight conference clashes, and seven home games.
While going 1-11 overall and 0-8 in conference play last season, the Great Danes have a number of key players returning, including first-team All-CAA running back Omar Osbourne and third-team All-CAA linebacker Christian Dorsey. In addition, UAlbany will continue to narrow the competitive gap, as they move closer to the CAA’s 63-scholarship cap in the upcoming seasons. The Danes played with 35 scholarships in 2012 and 54 in 2013.
All UAlbany spring football practices are open to the public. Full gear scrimmages are slated to take place on April 4th and April 12th in addition to the Spring Game. Fans are reminded that dates and times are subject to change due to weather.