Gary Goff pleased with McNeese’s spring ball practices

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:34 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - We are still six months away from the start of the 2023 season for McNeese football, but the Cowboys are hard at work getting ready for the second season under coach Goff, and so far, coach Goff has liked what he’s seen out of his team in their spring practices.

“It’s going good, a lot of energy, a lot of excitement still, guys have been focused and working hard, the weather has been amazing, so of course, that picks everyone’s spirit up,” said Goff. “I like where we’re at right now, mentally as a program, the guys have had great attitudes and they’ve been working extremely hard, they’re holding each other accountable, way more than they ever did last year, so we really got some good leadership developing right now.”

The Cowboys began spring practice last week, and this upcoming Saturday the Pokes will have their first of two spring scrimmages ahead of April 1st’s Spring Game, and in scrimmage number one, Goff is just hoping to see his team shake off the rust.

“Just eliminate some mistakes, I’d like to see us make some explosive plays, we’ve made some explosive plays the last several days, I’d like to see some good open field tackling, and just minimize mistakes. We’ve had a good offseason, and we really have started off spring ball pretty sharp, to be honest, in the first week of practice there have been very few mistakes, so this week we’re ramping it up, we’re throwing a lot more at the guys, and a lot more in each scheme on both sides.”

On Wednesday Goff also discussed the 2023 recruiting class, which is one of the largest signing classes in program history as McNeese brought in a total of 33 players, seven wide receivers, six defensive backs, five defensive linemen, four quarterbacks, linebackers, and offensive linemen, two running backs, and one tight end.

“I’m extremely excited about our secondary, Jaden Matthews at corner, Levi Wyatt at corner, both new safeties, Jamori Evans is doing really good, Boogsie Silvera is doing really good, so those guys are doing really good, they have experience, they come from some winning programs over in the Mississippi JuCo system. We were so depleted in that area at the end of the season, so it’s nice to have some depth right there. However, the flip side of that is we’re real thin at receiver, we’ve signed seven receivers, but they’re not on campus yet, we only got one mid-year receiver, so we’ve got six high school guys, and we’re probably looking for two more transfers in that area.”

Two of the transfers McNeese got this offseason are quarterback Nate Glantz, who transferred from Iowa State and has three years of eligibility remaining, and Charles “Tre” Simmons who transferred from Tusculum University and has two years of eligibility remaining. After a year in which McNeese struggled in a major way at the quarterback position, the Cowboys are expecting either Glantz, or Simmons to step up and win the starting job, and on Wednesday coach Goff talked about his quarterback battle.

“I’m really excited about both of them, they’re both the new guy as they’re transferring in, they’ve had really good tempo as far as stepping into that position, they haven’t come in and said look at me I’m the new sheriff in town, they’ve both kind of earned the team’s respect, they work hard, they’re both football junkies, they’re up in the office extra every single day. They both have a little bit of a gun-slinger mentality, we’ve got to corral that and use it in the right area, but I like what I see so far.”

Goff said starting with Wednesday’s practice they are flipping off with either Glantz or Simmons being the starter and getting 80% of the reps, and then the next day it will flip. Goff, who was known for his air raid offense before coming to Lake Charles, mentioned how last year it wasn’t exactly an option for the Cowboys, but this season he hopes to get back to his air raid offense with the Cowboys.