Redhawks football team ready to wrap up spring work

Friday, April 23, 2010
Southeast's D.J. Foster makes a catch in the end zone during Saturday's scrimmage at Houck Stadium. (KRISTIN EBERTS)

The annual spring game is Saturday at Houck Stadium

Southeast Missouri State football coach Tony Samuel likes what he has seen in spring practice.

Samuel expects the Redhawks to finish up spring drills strong Saturday when they hold a noon intrasquad game at Houck Stadium.

For the fourth straight year, Southeast's spring game will pit the offense vs. the defense under a scoring system that allows both units to score points in a variety of ways. The contest will consist of four 10-minute quarters. There is no admission charge.

The defense will be shooting for its third straight victory after taking last year's matchup 42-28. That followed a 50-11 romp in 2008, after the offense won 22-18 in 2007.

"These things are usually pretty competitive and I think we'll have a good game," Samuel said.

The first quarter will run with a regular game clock. There will be a running clock for the final three quarters, with the clock stopping for change of possession and for the last two minutes of each half.

In addition to Saturday's game, the Redhawks have had live scrimmages the past two Saturdays. Samuel largely has been pleased with spring workouts. The NCAA allows 15 practice sessions, including scrimmages.

"It's so short, with only 15 practices, but we're doing good with it," Samuel said. "We've got a very good group."

Samuel enters his fifth season at Southeast with a 13-32 record, including last year's marks of 2-9 overall and 1-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference. But the Redhawks lost numerous close games in 2009 and, bolstered by 16 returning starters, are hopeful of a turnaround.

"We've got talent. The big thing is putting it all together," Samuel said. "Hopefully we'll do some good things Saturday and then get ready for the offseason."

Calvin, Spada on radar

While they are long shots to be drafted, cornerback Eddie Calvin and punter Doug Spada -- who completed their eligibility at Southeast in 2009 -- are expected at least to be offered free-agent contracts once the NFL draft concludes this weekend.

Calvin was a three-year starter who also saw considerable playing time as a true freshman in 2006. He is rated the 57th-best available cornerback by NFLdraftscout.com, although he has been rated 39th by another scouting service.

Spada was among the nation's top punters the past three years, earning multiple All-American honors. He is rated the 16th-best available punter by NFLdraftscout.com.

"It's hard to gauge the NFL people, but they both should get in a camp," Samuel said. "They're very high on Eddie. There's some people saying he might even be drafted."

The draft began Thursday with the first round. Rounds two and three will be today, then the draft concludes with rounds four through seven Saturday.

The OVC should have a player drafted fairly early as Murray State's Austen Lane is ranked among the top 10 defensive ends and could be selected in the first three rounds.

Noteworthy

* The Southeast football coaching staff will hold its annual spring party Saturday at Kimbeland Country Club in Jackson. The event, which begins at 6 p.m., is open to the public.

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