Rebowe says solid spring will lead into important summer

Nobody loves the Gators more than ‘OD’
May 15, 2019
Colonels fall in Southland Finals
May 15, 2019
Nobody loves the Gators more than ‘OD’
May 15, 2019
Colonels fall in Southland Finals
May 15, 2019

School is out for summer — a welcome sight for most students at Nicholls State University.

But while rest and relaxation are on the menu for most Colonels, the football team will be hard at work in the coming weeks — laying a foundation the team believes it’ll need to try and reach the playoffs for the third-straight season.

Spring practices are long over at Nicholls, but coach Tim Rebowe said the hard work is just getting started, as the team will workout throughout the summer leading into the start of fall camp before the 2019 season.

Rebowe said spring was successful and the Colonels got better. The coach said the team plans to carry that momentum forward into the coming weeks as they begin the summer.

“Our spring was good. We got a lot done and we learned a lot about our guys and they responded to the challenges we gave them,” Rebowe said. “But now, we have to keep working hard going into our summer. Our guys have to get ready and get themselves in shape for the grind that’s ahead.”

Conditioning, of course, is a huge factor in any football season. But it’ll be even bigger for the Colonels in 2019 than in most years.

For one, Nicholls is playing 12 games next fall, as opposed to 11 — a move that Rebowe said he and the team are excited about, but which will come with challenges.

Of course, the obvious is an extra game means extra plays from scrimmage and extra contact for the team throughout the season — a struggle in and of itself.

But for Nicholls, the challenge is also exacerbated by its schedule.

The Colonels open at Kansas State on Aug. 31, then take a Week 2 bye.

Out of the bye, Nicholls will play 11-straight weeks before leading into what Rebowe and staff believe will be another playoff run.

Rebowe said be wishes the team’s bye week was in the middle of the season — like last year — when the Colonels started 4-3, hit their bye, then finished 4-0 in the final month of the season.

But the coach said he and his staff also have experience with “awkward byes”, dating back to in 2016 when the team had a Week 1 bye.

“We’d probably prefer it more toward the middle of the season,” Rebowe said. “But we’ve done it both ways. For us, it’s about our mindset. We’re going to approach things one day at a time, one week at a time and try and work our way through the season game-by-game and week-by-week.”

The Colonels have the star power, surely.

Nicholls returns three-year starting quarterback Chase Fourcade and a whole slew of running backs offensively — a stable led by Dontrell Taylor, Kendall Bussey and Julien Gums.

Defensively, the Colonels also have horses back, namely bruising defensive lineman Sully Laiche and linebacker Evan Veron — two of the most powerful players in the conference last fall.

“We have guys back who have been there before and who know what it’s going to take to get to where we want to go,” Rebowe said. “That’s a plus.”

But the Colonels’ question marks are at the line of scrimmage.

Nicholls lost four of their five starting offensive linemen off last year’s team — a significant blow to a team that ran the football 62.8 percent of the time last season.

Nicholls also lost several players in the front seven off last year’s defense.

Rebowe said the Colonels will be younger at the line of scrimmage next season, but still very gifted.

He said the Colonels will also work throughout the summer to continue their recruiting efforts to try and add depth to the team before it begins fall practices.

“We look back at our successes and I think it’s pretty easy to say that some of the biggest reasons why we’ve been able to do the things we’ve done is because of how we’ve played at the line of scrimmage,” Rebowe said. “We know the challenges we face losing four of our five offensive starters on the line and some guys along the defense. But we have some guys coming back who we’re excited about and, look, we think we have a loaded group of kids coming in this recruiting class who will help us, as well. We’re excited, but know that how we play up front will have a huge hand in how we play as a whole this season.”

Chase Fourcade

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