Red Wolves open preseason camp

JONESBORO — One day after reporting for its 2013 fall camp, the Arkansas State football team hit the practice fields in shorts and helmets Friday morning for the first of 29 practices leading up to its season opener Aug. 31 at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

The Red Wolves participated in their annual Media Day activities, held various team meetings and conducted orientation sessions Thursday, but turned their attention to on-field preparations with their first practice since concluding spring camp April 16.

“This practice was better than our last one in the spring, and that was the whole goal with what our players were trying to accomplish throughout the summer,” said first-year A-State head coach Bryan Harsin. “I thought we executed well on both sides of the ball, so the time and work they put in over the summer showed today.”

A-State held numerous drills working on all three phases of the game, but also held several team periods.

While A-State’s returning players went through 15 workouts during the spring, they were joined by the 2013 signing class for the first time in a practice conducted with the coaching staff. The Red Wolves return 53 lettermen, including seven preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selections, and 22 players are part of the latest recruiting class.

“I thought our newcomers did a nice job, and I like where they are at,” Harsin said. “They’re newcomers, but they’ve been here for most of the summer. They’ve been out there working — they just haven’t been doing it with the coaches. They know how to call a play, lineup in the right spot and run it. So, there aren’t a lot of new faces out here doing stuff for the first time because these guys spent the summer preparing.

A-State will conduct four more practices through Tuesday before holding its first “two-a-day” session Wednesday and a scrimmage on Thursday.