Not surprisingly, Eastern New Mexico University football coach Josh Lynn is feeling a bit more comfortable during spring drills in his first full season than he did last year.
Lynn was hired in December 2011 to replace Mark Ribaudo, and spent the first offseason trying to get his program established.
The Greyhounds are in the third week of spring drills, with about 100 players participating. They have six workouts left, including a 6 p.m. scrimmage on Friday at Greyhound Stadium and the annual Green & Silver Game, set for 10 a.m. on April 6.
"We're gradually getting better," said Lynn, a former ENMU player and assistant coach whose team went 3-7 (2-6 Lone Star Confrence) in 2012. "What's great about this spring is that the kids are doing the things we did last season.
"It helps when you kind of have your system in already and you can just get detailed with it."
Among the priorities this spring, he said, is making the team's ground attack stronger.
"We've brought in 11 transfers at (semester), and those guys have really helped us," he said. "Our focus this spring has been improving our running game."
Lynn noted the Hounds lost only one starting lineman on offense from last season, and said transfer running backs Jordan Wells (Southeastern Louisiana) and Elon Spight (Grossmont, Calif. JC) have shown well in spring drills.
"Those two guys have been impact players," Lynn said. "They're big and fast."
Also making an impression has been 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive lineman Tanner Melson, a transfer from Bakersfield (Calif.) JC.
"He'll be an immediate help on the defensive line," Lynn said. "Against offensive lines in our conference, we've got to get bigger and stronger to control the line of scrimmage."
After three years with Muleshoe's Wes Wood under center, the quarterback position is up for grabs between returning sophomores Ryan Green of Roswell Goddard and Jeremy Burma of Las Cruces High, and redshirt sophomore Jacob Jameson of Lovington, a transfer from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.
Lynn said it's been a competitive situation.
"It's kind of fun to watch them in practice," he said.
With the departture to the Division I Southland Conference of Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word, the LSC will be a seven-team league this year. ENMU, which reports for fall practice on Aug. 13, has four non-conference games on tap, including a trip to UIW on Sept. 28, but Lynn said he'd like to add an 11th game for the current open date on Sept. 21.
ENMU opens with a 7 p.m. home game against New Mexico Highlands on Sept. 7, then faces Sul Ross State in the LSC's "Football Festival" the following weekend at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
7 — New Mexico Highlands, 7 p.m.; 13-14 — vs. Sul Ross State in LSC "Football Festival" at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas; 21 — open date; 28 — at Incarnate Word, 6 p.m.
5 — Tarleton State, 2 p.m. (Homecoming)-x; 12 — at Angelo State-x; 19 — at Northeastern State, 1 p.m.; 26 — Texas A&M-Kingsville, 1 p.m-x.
2 — at West Texas A&M-x; 9 — Midwestern State, 6 p.m.-x; 16 — at Texas A&M-Commerce-x.
Times Mountain, where available. x-Denotes Lon