Chattanooga Mocs focus on spring newcomers

Chattanooga Mocs focus on spring newcomers

March 21st, 2013 by John Frierson in Sports - College

UTC coach Russ Huesman watches from the sidelines.

UTC coach Russ Huesman watches from the sidelines.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

UTC quarterback Terrell Robinson

UTC quarterback Terrell Robinson

Photo by Allison Love /Times Free Press.

When the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team begins spring practice Friday at Scrappy Moore field, Mocs coach Russ Huesman will be keeping his eyes on the young guys.

"Spring's a young guy event," he said Monday. "It's finding depth, it's competing, it's bringing young guys along."

Huesman may also be checking out his new coordinators in Jeff Durden (offense) and Adam Braithwaite (defense). Durden, the former longtime James Madison offensive coordinator, said he wants to see the offense handle the basics well before things get too complicated.

"You've got to crawl before you can walk," he said Tuesday. "I want to see knowledge of the system and we've got to find our best 11."

Huesman and Durden said Terrell Robinson is definitely one of the Mocs' best 11 and the dual-threat player will split time between quarterback and wide receiver during the 15 spring practices.

"I want Terrell to compete at quarterback, obviously," said Huesman, whose son Jacob took over the starting job as a redshirt freshman last season. "[Robinson] can lead this team as a quarterback and be very, very good, but it goes back to getting your 11 best on the field. And however that's going to occur, that's how we're going to do it."

The offense will eventually look a bit different from last season's, Durden said, Because of the new looks, Huesman has closed UTC's first two scrimmages at Finley Stadium. Mocs Club members will be allowed to attend, but the scrimmages won't be open to the public.

"We've got new coaches, we've got some new stuff going on," Huesman said, "and I just don't want our first few opponents to have any kind of idea of the direction we're going."

Huesman said the Mocs will be without several players for all or part of spring practice due to offseason surgeries, including safeties D.J. Key and Zach McCarter and offensive linemen Synjen Herron and Brandon Morgan.

The Blue and Gold game is April 20 at Finley Stadium.