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Govs open first spring practice under Hudspeth

Robert Smith/APSU Athletics Communications

By Stefan Nolet

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Spring practices for Austin Peay begin Thursday at Fortera Stadium.

Practices will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 10 a.m. The Red and White Spring Game will be held Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. More Spring Game details will be announced at a later date.

The Governors are coming off of a 5-6 campaign in 2018 and have combined for 13 victories during the previous two seasons, which is the most in a two-season span since 1983-84.

The Govs enter spring practices with a new head coach at the helm, as Mark Hudspeth was announced as the 20th head coach in Austin Peay football history in December. Hudspeth brings 14 years of prior head coaching experience in the NCAA, most recently spending seven seasons as the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette. He led the Ragin’ Cajuns to five appearances in the New Orleans Bowl, including four straight victories.

Hudspeth also spent seven seasons as the head coach at then-Division II North Alabama. He guided the Lions to five postseason appearances and reached the national semifinals on three occasions.

The Govs return three All-Ohio Valley Conference selections from 2018, including first-team honoree and Associated Press third-team FCS All-American Kentel Williams at running back. Williams led the FCS with a 7.99 yards per carry average and finished third nationally in all-purpose yards per game.

Defensive end Jaison Williams earned first-team All-OVC honors for the second consecutive season. He led the team with 14.0 tackles for loss – 3.5 more than he had as an FCS All-American the season before. Second-team All-OVC honoree Juantarius Bryant returns at safety after earning a scholarship prior to the start of the 2018 season and finishing third on the team with 65 tackles.

Offensively, the Govs will have to replace four starting offensive linemen, but 2017 second-team All-OVC selection Kyle Anderton returns after using the new redshirt rule last season, playing four games but returning for his redshirt senior year. Seth Johnson started the other seven games at left tackle as a redshirt freshman last season, bringing some starting experience to group.

Most of the skill talent returns on an offense that set numerous program records last season, including yards per game (419.0), points (340), points per game (30.9) touchdowns scored (47), yards per play (6.19) and yards per rush (5.39).

Junior quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall set the program record with 26 touchdowns responsible for last season. Oatsvall will be joined in the backfield by Kentel Williams, along with Ahmaad TannerTre Nation and Prince Momodu, who represent the Govs five leading rushers from 2018.

The defensive line will also see new faces, with Jaison Williams the only returning starter. At linebacker, Pat Walker returns and will be relied upon to replace the production and leadership of Gunnar Scholato.

The defensive backfield should be a position of strength for the Govs, as four of the five starters return from last season, including Bryant. Cornerbacks Keawvis CummingsTrent TaylorRashon Davis and Erskine Francis all recorded multiple starts and at least one interception in 2018. Cummings also led the OVC in passes defended (14) during the regular season.

For media wishing to conduct interviews or cover spring practices, please contact assistant director of athletics communications Stefan Nolet at nolets@apsu.edu. Interviews can be conducted prior to the start of weekday practices.  High school coaches and Austin Peay supporters wishing to attend practices can contact on-campus recruiting coordinator Camie Cole at colec@apsu.edu.

2019 Spring Football Practice Schedule

Date Time Note
Thu., March 14 5:30 p.m.
Sat., March 16 10 a.m. Junior Day
Tue., March 19 5:30 p.m.
Thu., March 21 5:30 p.m.
Sat., March 23 10 a.m. Junior Day
Tue., March 26 5:30 p.m.
Thu., March 28 5:30 p.m.
Sat., March 30 10 a.m.
Tue., April 2 5:30 p.m.
Thu., April 4 5:30 p.m.
Fri., April 5 5:30 p.m.
Sat., April 6 11 a.m. Red & White Spring Game
Tue., April 9 5:30 p.m.
Wed., April 10 5:30 p.m.
Thu., April 11 5:30 p.m.

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