March begins today, and the Air Force football team already has held six “spring” practices.
To date, sophomore quarterback Tim Jefferson has been unable to participate in spring drills because he is recovering from surgery on his right knee. So the Falcons won’t settle on a starter until August.
Gazette columnist David Ramsey, however, writes in his blog (http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com) that Jefferson, who started 10 of 13 games last season and was the 2008 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, deserves a vote of confidence from Air Force coach Troy Calhoun.
With Jeffersoun out, sophomore Connor Dietz, who started three games last season, is taking snaps with the Falcons’ starters. Dietz has made huge strides since last year’s spring drills, when he was a new face on the Falcons’ varsity.
“No doubt,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. “There’s clearly a difference compared to what he was 11 or 12 months ago. Plus, I think you practice differently after you’ve had some game experience, just because you realize how much more relevant every drill and everything you do fundamentally and skill-wise is. And that’s where experience is huge for guys. You’re asking about the quarterbacks right now, but I think even a guy like (freshman running back) Cody Getz, catching one swing pass in the bowl game. All of a sudden he realizes all those swing passes you catch in practice, the catch and pitches, you realize it’s necessary.”
Already a strong runner, Dietz is working hard on his passing this spring, specifically his dropbacks and reads.
“It’s better,” Calhoun said of Dietz’s passing. “Just on a very regular basis, seeing a little more velocity with the ball coming off of his hand.”
Switching to hoops, Air Force will travel to Wyoming today where tomorrow it will face the Cowboys – the only MWC team it has beaten. Ramsey recently blogged about his top 20 basketball players of all-time and asked Falcons coach Jeff Reynolds for his No. 2 (MJ is No. 1 of course). Reynolds gave his response via e-mail, and Ramsey has it in his blog, just scroll beneath the Jefferson post.