USD football taking advantage of fall practices without season

Sports

VERMILLION, S.D. (KCAU) – When the Missouri Valley Football Conference announced their football season would be moving to the spring due to the effects of COVID-19, a lot of questions were left unanswered.

One of the biggest concerning student-athletes, was what would they do with no games to prepare for? Many agree that the safest place for many of these players is at their institutions, which have the structure for testing, maintaining their health, and keeping them safe. For some schools, the choice became to send student-athletes home if they’re not preparing for a season, and can take classes online. For others, like at South Dakota, student-athletes have stayed to continue to hone their craft, even with the season being potentially six months or more away.

The Coyotes football team is a good example, as they continue to hold practices so that head coach Bob Nielson can get a good look at what he’ll be working with this spring. With a new quarterback coming in after senior Austin Simmons graduated last spring, coach Nielson knows the value of extra reps at that position, that not only help the quarterback, but help the rest of the team get used to playing with him.

“These guys want to play football,” said Nielson. “They’ve worked hard. Some of them have worked hard for four years to get into a position where they have an opportunity to keep developing, and that’s what practicing is all about. A chance to keep developing. Whether that’s developing now for the spring, which is kind of the situation that we’re in, or if it’s practice for what would have been our first game here on September 5.”

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