From Albany State University athletics:
ALBANY, Ga. – The Albany State University football wrapped up spring drills with the annual Blue & Gold game on March 19th in front of a socially distanced crowd of 500 Albany State University students and band members.
The team has been practicing since February 15th with roughly 90 players participating. The spring practice included two full padded inter-squad scrimmages as well as two scrimmages versus the 2019 National Collegiate Athletic Association DII Champions West Florida and the 2019 HBCU National Champions Florida A&M University. It is safe to say that in both contests the Golden Rams emerged very optimistic about the potential of their football team. “This spring specifically the scrimmages were like therapy for a team starved of competition due to canceling of the 2020 football season” said head football coach Gabe Giardina.
Key returners for the Golden Rams on defense are Antonio Leroy Jr. who has fully recovered from surgery. Stephan Pierre continues his outstanding play at will linebacker. Arinze Okwu won most improved linebacker for the spring.
On the defensive Line sophomore Malik Barnes continues to be impressive, as well as returning starter Brindon Manual who is in good shape. The defensive line most improved player from the spring is redshirt freshman Jalen Pugh.
In the secondary Brandarious Rawlings, Coemba Jones and James Hawkins anchor the group returning at the safety positions. At corner Malachi Brown looks very impressive and Zo Williams won the spring’s award for most improved.
On offense at quarterback, Oliver Syvirsky was very impressive in his second spring under center for the Golden Rams and has given the Golden Rams passing game new life. Redshirt Sophomore Dionte Bonneau was the most improved QB of the spring.
At the skill positions, Golden Rams will see some new faces contributing in 2021. Ralph Lovett, Oliver Davis, and Kristian Grant all had a solid spring. New comers Joe Shorter and Isaiah McCray were also both very impressive. Rashad Jordan won the award for most improved wide receiver in spring ball.
Up front all conference center Miquail Harvey had a great spring expanding his role and learning new positons. Tackle Katray Pringle is much and improved and really did a wonderful job this spring. Juluan Gordon won the most improved award up front.
The Golden Rams will spend the rest of the spring in the weight room getting stronger for what Coach G feels should be a great fall.