With temperatures in the high 80's during practice, it felt a lot warmer than that on the San Jose State University football practice field as the Spartans grinded through practice day #6 in preparation for the 2017 season.
"Today was another day to come out and compete. It was a hot day, but that doesn't stop our mentality to go hard and give each other great looks for the season. We have guys like J(ustin) Holmes, Tre Hartley and Jeremy Kelly giving the DBs a great look. We're just trying to make each other better and getting prepared," said Jermaine Kelly, who started the last five games of the 2016 season at a cornerback position.
The Spartans took to the practice after being graded on the team's first scrimmage wearing pads and blocking and tackling.
"For the coaches, I think they evaluated us the most on tempo, getting on the ball, get set and go. Other than that, they wanted to see how we would react to being tired all the time," said center Keoni Taylor who is listed on the 2017 Rimington Trophy watch list.
"Every day, we're getting better conditioned. At first, we didn't know the tempo; we didn't know what they wanted. We didn't get it. But, we're starting to pick it up as days go on."
"They responded like it was really, really hot out there today, which is good, because they have to get accustomed to it and find a way to play through it in terms of getting rehydrated. But, I thought practice went well, as well as could be. The heat was a little uncomfortable. It's just a distraction," said defensive line coach Joe Seumalo who is back for his second tenure with the Spartans. He was a San Jose State assistant coach in 2005 during Dick Tomey's first season as head coach.
Echoing what defensive coordinator Derrick Odum said at the start of preseason practice, Seumalo is looking for a very deep group of linemen who can dictate play regardless of the number of snaps they play in a game.
"It's imperative that everybody gets involved, competes, stays healthy and do it again," Seumalo said.
Now with their complete sets of new practice jerseys, the Spartans get to do again as early as August 3, at 9:00 a.m. Practice is open to the public. San Jose State will conclude the week with an August 5 scrimmage starting at 11:00 a.m.