Head Coach Mike Turk on the first afternoon practice of preseason camp: "We knew it was going to be hot today and we didn't handle it very well. But it wasn't all bad. There were some good things that we can teach from, but the effort level and intensity level wasn't where we wanted it. Maybe that is to be expected of the first hot afternoon practice, but it was disappointing.
"We challenged them after practice that we're not going to get to where we want to be if we don't improve our mental toughness across the board. You still have to play with intensity and you still have to give your best effort even when you're tired and hot. We have to respond to that better."
Position Spotlight – Offensive Line
Projected Starters: LT – Reed Crosby (Sr.), LG – Kodee Kuncho (Sr.), C – Zach Burt (Jr.), RG – Colin Langford (So.), RT – Darrell Hixon (So.)
A Closer Look: The offensive line's projected starting unit returns five players with game experience. Among the group are three returning starters and two players who saw action last season.
Senior left tackle Reed Crosby and senior left guard Kodee Kuncho are entering their third season as starters. Crosby graded out at 88-percent last season and recorded 27 knockdown blocks and Kuncho graded out at 86-percent with 18 knockdown blocks.
Along with Crosby and Kuncho, sophomore right tackle Darrell Hixon is entering his second season as a starter. After seeing the field in a backup role last season, junior center Zach Burt and sophomore right guard Colin Langford are entering their first season as starters.
Behind the starting five, the Hawks have a healthy preseason competition for the backup positions.
Turk on the starting unit: "There is a lot of experience in that group. Crosby, Kuncho and Hixon started last year and Langford and Burt both played a significant amount. We feel good about that group as a whole. We still have some things we need to get worked out, but I like where we are when that group is out there."
Turk on the senior leadership of Crosby and Kuncho: "Crosby and Kuncho are both entering their third season as starters and are two of the most experienced players on the team. Both of them are guys who don't say a lot, but they're both solid players and good leaders. They have been around here and they understand what is expected. It's nice to have two guys like that, who have played as many snaps as they have and are both great leaders."
Turk on building depth on the offensive line: "There is good competition at just about every backup position and that is good. We're probably not where we need to be yet as far as depth, but I think we have some guys who are going to be pushing to develop."
Next Practice: The Hawks return to the field at 9 a.m. on Monday. Practices are open to the public.