State of A-State: Football

Black beats Red in spring game
Black beats Red in spring game
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - We’ll continue our State of A-State series. It’s summer updates on several Arkansas State teams. Football is kicking off one of their busiest months of the year. I caught up with head coach Butch Jones.

On starting 2022 camps this weekend (more info here)

“We kick it off with Friday Night Lights camp. That begins at 5 o’clock. And it’s open from grades 9 to 12 and we’re excited about that. The response has been incredible. We’ve actually had to close the registration for our 7-on-7 portion of our camps. We have 24 teams. We’ll have over 800 individuals on our campus on Saturday. Again with the 7-on-7 camp going on coupled with the offensive and defensive line camp.”

On summer workouts so far

“We have more leaders now. We have more individuals who basically own the program. That they understand it’s an honor and a privilege to play for Arkansas State University. So I think just the overall vibe, the team chemistry. You know when you walk in, you now feel the culture. There’s a lot of energy, lot of excitement. Individuals also understand the expectations. They understand the work capacity that it takes day in and day out.”

On utilizing the transfer portal this offseason

“The monumental change in terms of roster management from a rules standpoint, where now you no longer have initial scholarships. You’re just managing your 85. So that’s kinda changed the dynamics of recruiting in of itself. And we’ll look to add maybe anywhere from 3 to 4 new individuals on this current football team. And if not, we’ll just be able to apply those to next year’s recruiting class. In the transfer portal, we had to make sure that we could find the right fit for us, that fit our culture. That again had the same principles and values that we stand for. And we feel we were able to do that.”

On generating momentum on 2023 recruiting trail

“And I think we’re also building upon having the #1 class in the Sun Belt, #1 in the Group of 5. So I think that momentum too has really kind of helped us. And now our mentality as a football program is we’re looking to out recruit last year’s class. So we’re competing against how can we better ourselves even for next year. And there’s a lot of work involved.”

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