Stetson opens spring practice Saturday

While most college football coaches are busy with recruiting, Stetson University's new football program will open spring practice on Saturday.

Although Stetson coaches have spent the last three months on the road recruiting, their program is a member of the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League and won't participate in National Letter of Intent Day on Wednesday.

The Hatters will hold 15 practice sessions over the next four weeks, culminating with an intrasquad game on March 2.

"We really want to reinforce all of the things we worked on during the fall," head coach Roger Hughes said. "We want to hit the ground running and have the kind of good practices we saw in the fall and continue to build on the culture of hard work that we established."

Stetson is returning to football for the first time since 1956 with an 11-game schedule in 2013. The Hatters' first game will be at home at Spec Martin Stadium against another first-year program - NAIA member Warner - on Aug. 31.

"We don't have any seniors on this team, so these young men are still developing physically," Hughes said. "I am anxious to see how much bigger and stronger the players have gotten after working in our strength program for the last few months."