March 6, 2006
Albany -- It may seem like the football season ended just yesterday, but the Albany State Rams are already back on the field.
The Rams getting out of the weight room and on to the practice field for the first day of spring practice.
ASU lost 18 starters before last season, and still captured their third straight SIAC title.
Albany State will return conference player of the year Alton Pettway for the 2006 season, and the rising senior defensive end says the team has bigger expectations than just another conference championship.
"That's not our goal this year. We're going for the national championship this year. It starts today with spring practice. I'll be the player of the year this year. I'm going to get it again."
Head coach Mike White says, "Each year you're expected to win, and for us it all starts in spring practice so they know what they have to do. It's just time to get to work. There's really not a whole lot you can say other than let's just get out there and start sweating."
White says football games are played in the fall, but won in the spring, and the Rams will have some big holes to fill this year.
While Albany State brings back Pettway, they must replace Antwan Andrews, the "Thunder" in the Rams running attack.
"Lightning" running back Antonio Atkins returns, but ASU will need someone to step in for Hosea Harris at quarterback.
Harris was a first year starter for Albany State last season, and head coach Mike White says this year the competition between the quarterbacks is wide open.
"That's a race that's yet to be decided. We're got Terrance Ransom, and Chris Paine, and Chris Bryant. They'll battle, and hopefully we'll get some recruits in here to even push those guys. So we're hoping again we have a good race."
The former Monroe high school stand-out Ransom says, "It's an open job. I got to work hard. Fight for the spot. There's nothing given to you here. But hopefully I'll come out on top. We've got a lot of young guys here, everybody's fighting for the job. It's going to be a good competition."