Jan 29, 2018
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman football will kick off spring practice on Friday, Feb. 2, head coach Clay Hendrix has announced.
The Paladins have 15 practices scheduled over the month of February with the program's annual Purple-White Scrimmage tentatively set for Saturday, Feb. 24, in Paladin Stadium at a time to be determined.
All practice dates and practice times are subject to change.
Furman's current roster includes 76 players, including three recently added transfers who will take part in the drills.
The Paladins project to return 52 lettermen and 17 starters off last year's squad, including all 11 regulars on defense.
Among the top returnees on offense are running back Kealand Dirks (152 rushes, 720 yds., 9 TDs), tailback Darius Morehead (95 rushes, 588 yds., 5 TDs), wide receivers Thomas Gordon (39 rec., 717 yds., 1 TD) and Cam Burnette (9 rec., 210 yds., 2 TDs), and offensive linemen Andy Godwin and Reed Kroeber.
The contingent of returning defensive starters is paced by All-SoCon nose guard Jaylan Reid (45 tackles, 8.5 TFL), 2017 SoCon All-Freshman inside linebacker Reynard Ellis (92 tackles, 2 sacks), outside linebacker Joe Farrar (75 tackles, 4.5 TFL), and safeties Aaquil Annoor (64 tackles, 2 INTs), an All-SoCon pick, and Bryan Okeh (83 tackles).
The Paladins will also welcome the return of Grayson Atkins, a 2017 SoCon All-Freshman Team performer who paced the league in kick scoring (82 points).
Furman topped the league with 34 sacks in 2017.
Among the key offensive positions that will contested in the spring are quarterback, tight end, and offensive guard, where All-SoCon performers P.J. Blazejowski, Andy Schumpert, and Terrell Bush, respectively, completed their careers last fall. One of Furman's biggest losses came at center with the graduation of All-America performer Matthew Schmidt, the recipient of the 2017 SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award.
Furman posted an 8-5 overall record and 6-2 SoCon mark this past season en route to its league leading 18th FCS playoff appearance. The Paladins finished the campaign ranked 20th in the STATS FCS Final Poll under Hendrix, the consensus SoCon Coach of the Year.
2018 Furman Spring Practice Schedule
Feb. 24 (Purple-White Scrimmage/Paladin Stadium)
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information