New Hounds coach anxious for first spring practice

First-year Eastern New Mexico University football coach Josh Lynn and his staff are about to get their first up-close-and-personal look at the Greyhounds.

ENMU begins spring drills on Monday with the first of 15 allotted workouts, which also includes three scrimmages at Greyhound Stadium. The last, the Green & Silver Game, is slated for 2 p.m. on April 28.

Lynn, a former ENMU tight end (1997-2000) and assistant coach hired to replace Mark Ribaudo, said he anticipates 85-90 players participating in spring drills.

The spring schedule is getting off to a later-than-usual start.

"The reason we did that is we felt we had to get our staff going," Lynn said. "When we planned this in February, we were still hitting recruiting hard."

While the Hounds in recent seasons have been pass-heavy, Lynn said he wants to set everything up with the run.

Defensively, he said they'll play a 3-4.

"We're going to try to give teams mulfiple looks," he said. "They played a lot of man(-to-man) coverage last year; we're going to be more of a zone team."

The Hounds have a good base from last year's 2-9 squad, with six starters returning on offense and seven on defense.

"A lot of those guys are skill guys," Lynn said. "In recruiting, our focus has been up front — in the (offensive) line and (defensive) line."

Only a handful of experienced linemen return, Lynn said — notably, Jaime Villafuerte and Justin Ward on offense and Brady McCoy on defense.

Senior Wes Wood is heading into his third full season as the starting quarterback.

"He's a kid who can run and can throw," Lynn said. "He's a natural leader with a great attitude. He comes ready to play every day."

Although he's seen the players on tape from last season, Lynn is anxious to view the squad in action.

"More than anything else, we want to play physically and be able to control the line of scrimmage," he said. "The next big thing (in spring ball) is to be able to evaluate. You've got to have some live reps to see who's ready to go and who's not."

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