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Drinkwitz talks spring game moving indoors, player progressions and what group is lacking


Eli Drinkwitz addressed the decision made Wednesday morning to move the Saturday's spring game to an indoor practice by saying that was the best decision for the team to improve.

Drinkwitz said when looking at what went into the decision, playing outside in below freezing temperatures was not a good option. He said if the game was pushed back one week, it would interfere with spring break, plus he wanted to keep the date with families already having plans in place to come into town.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing is for our team to get better for Saturday's practice and being selfish, I have to make a decision that's best for our team and our players and I hope everybody can understand that," Drinkwitz said.

With a lot of returners on the defensive side of the ball in year two under DC Blake Baker, the question marks in spring ball are on the opposing side. The offense is now being run by first year OC Kirby Moore and Drinkwitz said a big challenge has been putting together a new offense against an already experienced defense.

"It's one thing to understand the play, but when you're playing against really good players you have to understand the nuances of play," Drinkwitz said. "Part of the reason we go early in the spring is so that we can utilize April walkthroughs and summer access to really sharpen what we feel like we're going to be good at so in theory we should be able to reinstall this offense three times in spring football, summer access and in fall camp."

Drinkwitz pointed out Wednesday some offensive returners that have stuck out to him including Rock Bridge alum Nate Peat and wide receiver Mookie Cooper, as well as Oklahoma transfer WR Theo Wease.

Drinkwitz said in Peat's mind going into last season, he was going to be one and done and continue onto the NFL, but in reality he decided it was best for him to take one more year to improve.

"There are no guarantees in our organization about what your status will be, you're going to have to earn in and prove it everyday to be the best player to give us a chance to win. That's always hard to hear when you're a fifth-year senior and you have plans, but he's bought into that and competes and is trying to be the best version of himself everyday," Drinkwitz said.

While spring camp has shown who is stepping up, it's also pointed out what groups are lacking. Drinkwitz said the centers of Connor Tollsion, Bence Polgar and Drake Heismeyer have not been consistent enough.

"That's a position that we've got to even be open to moving other guys around to see who else can snap," Drinkwitz said. "We got to get our weight up, we have to play more physical and we have to match the intensity of what it's going to take to play in the SEC and we don't have that right now."

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Chanel Porter

Chanel joined ABC 17 News in January 2021 after graduating from Penn State University. She enjoys traveling and a daily iced coffee.


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