The Dixie State University football team is filling in the gaps and doing some spring cleaning on the team in preparation for next fall.
Dixie has brought in two new junior college recruits just in time for spring ball.
Although Dixie is receiving a lot of freshmen next fall, the mid-year signing class is one of the smallest DSU has had so far. Dixie is hopeful for an even better outcome than last year with only two new mid-year recruits: junior wide receiver Aubrey Reed from College of the Redwoods and junior wide receiver Nate Stephens from Shasta College.
“We didn’t have a big mid-year signing group, [but we brought in] two receivers,” head coach Scott Brumfield said. “That was the area we thought we could bring in some depth and experience with JC kids.”
Although the numbers for this year’s recruits are small, Brumfield doesn’t see it as a bad thing.
“We are starting to show a lot of depth, so we don’t have to go out and bring in nine or 10 guys,” Brumfield said. “[There is] nothing wrong with that; it is just nice to just have to bring in a few individuals instead of mass numbers.”
The Storm lost the majority of their receivers — Mitch Frei, Randon Willard and Joe Don Duncan — last year. So Brumfield said the big focus was getting the mid-year players to get some experience during spring ball.
Defensive lineman Chris Campbell, a freshman criminal justice major from Las Vegas, said the new recruits are adjusting well to the program.
“They both have great hands and the quickness,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the two receivers both have the ability to get open to make a play when Dixie needs it.
Brumfield said the team is focusing on the fundamentals now that Dixie has filled some of the holes the seniors left behind.
“Our plan is to get out and build off some of the good things we did last year,” Brumfield said. “Basically our motto is to get back to fundamentals and go back to doing the little things.”
Those little things, such as clarifying linemen’s assignments, tackling better, and running better pursuits after the ball carriers, will broaden possibilities for Dixie next fall. Brumfield said it isn’t his plan to install a lot of new things into the program but to correct those fundamentals and techniques.
Campbell said in order to correct the small things, they have been focusing on tackling circuits, such as pursuit drills, learning how to fight off blocks, and paying more attention on how to wrap up the ball carrier.
With the start of spring ball, the coaches have been able to look at a lot of red-shirt freshmen who were on the team last year, Brumfield said. He said he is excited to see how they play.
“This is their time to shine and show us what they can do,” Brumfield said.
Dixie’s preparation will lead up to a scrimmage Saturday.