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Eagles coping with injuries

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Eagles coping with injuries

Georgia Southern linebacker Josh Rowe, right, and defensive tackle Brent Russell do sit-ups on the sidelines while teammates participate in drills during the first week of spring practice.

Josh Rowe is blunt about sitting out spring camp with an injury and watching his teammates out on the field hitting and tackling — he hates it.

"Football is fun. Standing on the sideline isn’t fun," said the middle linebacker. "Hitting is fun."

Both Rowe and linebacker Darius Eubanks, both rising juniors, have sat out of contact throughout spring camp with injuries. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re sitting out of camp entirely.

"The biggest thing is getting mental reps," said Rowe, who watches every snap during practice. "You don’t want to fall behind. A lot of us are injured right now, but we do a good job of coaching the younger guys and trying to see what they can do. Right now, they’re doing a great job."

Coaching the younger guys, including the current first string of Carlos Cave, Michael Spaulding and Kyle Oehlbeck, isn’t just an added bonus. It’s expected.

"One thing I believe is that guys have to have ownership in what they’re doing," said defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Shawn Quinn. "If they’re not in there, they’re supposed to watch their position and coach up the guys. When guys come off they go stand with Eubanks and Rowe, and they’ve done a great job. Really, they become better players because they’ve learned the system. They come in and watch film on their own and they’re students of the game. Any time you’ve got a talented guy who works at it, good things happen."

And, having Rowe and Eubanks as de facto coaches gives the rest of the guys a chance at some more reps.

"It gives us a chance to develop some depth and find some guys we don’t know about that may not get the reps in the spring," Quinn said. "Oehlbeck, Cave, Mike Spaulding and John Stevenson, they’re all guys who did a good job for us at times last year."

The Eagles will have the final practice session of spring camp Thursday at 3:45 p.m. at Beautiful Eagle Creek. The spring season concludes Friday at Paulson Stadium at 7 p.m. in the annual Blue and White game.


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.


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