ORLANDO, Fla – It’s still just spring ball, but there is a definite change in attitude around the Knights this season as the team gears up for round two of the Scott Frost Era. Last year’s emerging stars are coming into the season with renewed swagger, catalyzed by the promise of a six-win improvement in 2016 and backed with the knowledge gained from a year in the system.

“We’ve taken a huge step forward, we’re night and day from where we were last year across the board, at every position,” said Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters. “Guys understand what we’re asking of them tempo-wise, scheme-wise, effort-wise. This spring the focus is really fundamentals and technique, not necessarily scheme.”

Walters went on to say that the team has improved across the board, at every position – but that receiver Tre’Quan Smith has continued his big-play trajectory from last season into an explosive offseason.

“Tre’Quan Smith has taken his game to another level,” Coach Walters cooed. “He’s practicing at All-American standards.”

Jawon Hamilton – looking huge after putting on 13 pounds since the start of last season – echoed Walters’ observations when asked about who he believed was setting the example this April.

“Tre right now, he basically has the type of attitude that if you throw it to me, I’m going to catch it. Doesn’t matter if it’s too low, too high, who’s sticking me. I’m going to catch it. That’s Tre’s attitude and it’s been showing, he’s just a playmaker and a guy who wants the all in his hands.”

A few other quick hits –

  • Coach Walters harped on the fact that with an off-season to work on them, Milton’s mechanics have vastly improved
  • Freshman RB Otis Anderson has stood out as a playmaker, mentioned just behind Smith in multiple instances
  • Jawon said that even just lining up behind them, the offensive line has clearly added some size
  • Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander had a “mixed-bag” of results so far from his defense, but expects things to settle in once the definitive pecking order on the depth chart has been established