Just two weeks separate The Albany State football team from its season opener
And the Golden Rams say this year, settling for second place is not an option.
"I want another ring. I already got one," said senior running back Jarvis Small. "I want another one."
Small is one of the few remaining rams from the 2013 SIAC championship team.
The 2-time reigning conference offensive player of the year feels no extra pressure in his senior campaign—even though defenses will have all eyes on number 2.
"I prepare myself during the week, and if you prepare yourself, you're going to be alright."
The squad picked to finish first in the East gathered Saturday morning for media day, and in Dan Land's second year at the helm, he's keeping his Rams on their toes.
"We're making sure we're making the right strides now at practice to get these guys where they need to be so that when we get the opportunity to win the big game, we'll be able to win that game," said Land.
After going undefeated in the conference last year, the Rams fell in the SIAC championship game. Land said complacency was the issue.
"Those guys got to get more focused," said Land. "I think we we're a little relaxed when we went into the game versus Miles last year because we had beaten them before."
His message has been well-received. The Golden Rams raked in nine all-conference selections, including a preseason second-team reward for quarterback Caleb Edmonds.
But he, nor the team, is excited about anything unless it's shiny and fits around their fingers.
"As a team we didn't reach our ultimate goal of winning a conference championship," said Edmonds. "So to me, all of that means nothing."
Albany State kicks off the season September 3rd at Valdosta State.
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