"If I were a professor and had to give a grade I think it would have to be a solid 'B' " Dimel explained after the completion of Friday's practice. "It's been my experience that the players are usually pretty rusty the first couple of practices after a long layoff from spring drills, but I'd say we're actually ahead of schedule right now.
"I think it's because of our conditioning and our mental focus from the offseason," Dimel added. "A lot of players couldn't wait to get the season started and it shows by their effort. That's important because we have so many tough games early on, and the quicker we can prepare the better-off we'll be. I'm very pleased."
Dimel singled out the running backs, receivers, offensive line and secondary as the groups who have caught his eye the most this week. Dimel also stressed the importance in the fact that a number of first-year players and senior quarterback Jason McKinley have looked good so far.
"It looks right now that seven freshmen could play for us and I expect a few JC guys to do the same," Dimel said. "I don't mind that as long as we stay healthy. Jason is one of our experienced players and he looked very good today. His preparation from the offseason is really showing. He's excited about the chance to showcase his skills and it's kind of contagious with the young players.
Dimel and the coaching staff will get a closer look at the team next
Wednesday, August 16, with the squad first scrimmage since the start of
two-a-days. The Cougars officially open-up the 2000 season on September 2,
with a game against crosstown rival Rice in the annual battle for the Bayou