TOWSON, Md. - For the first time during the pre-season, Coach Rob Ambrose and his staff conducted two practice sessions for their first two-a-day of the year.
With the season opener at Connecticut a little more than three weeks away, the Tigers practiced in the morning and came back in the afternoon for another session.
While there is intense competition all over the team, the offensive line is one area where the Tigers seem set.
Coach John Donatelli, the Tigers’ long-time offensive line coach, has five seniors returning on the line, including three All-Colonial Athletic Association selections.
Left tackle Eric Pike and right tackle Randall Harris, a pair of All-CAA first team selections last year, anchor the line while center Doug Shaw returns after earning second team All-CAA notice in 2011. Seniors Anthony Davisand Charles Johnson are veterans returning at the guard positions.
While Coach Donatelli is proud of his seniors, he stresses that everyone needs to focus.
“It is a challenge for the older guys to understand the need to work smarter,” he says. “They must continue to pay attention to details and strive for perfection. With the success we’ve had the last few years, they are comfortable with the big picture.
“Most importantly, they need to realize that they are role models for the younger players,” he added. “They are always being watched by the younger guys and they have to understand they are leading by example.”
While Donatelli feels very fortunate to have so many veterans returning, he is also excited by the future. He says, “Our freshmen are extremely smart and very talented. They have outstanding natural tools and they have been learning very well.”
Donatelli adds, “We are developing a mentality that goes beyond football. Our goal is to have all of our guys learn how to live life at an elite level. They need to be selfless and realize the most important thing is each other.”
The Tigers return to practice on Thursday afternoon with one practice session.