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Alcorn State football players conditioning for 2010 season

LORMAN — Because of NCAA rules, Alcorn State head football coach Earnest Collins is only allowed to have limited contact with his players until Aug. 4.

Because of this, Collins defers to the Braves’ strength and conditioning coach, Lavell Williams, in keeping his team busy during July.

And Williams is taking his experience as a former coach with Kansas, Texas Tech and the Dallas Cowboys, and using it to get the Braves in peak physical condition for the upcoming season.

“At this point in the summer, conditioning is the main thing. We’re doing strength and conditioning together, but focusing on conditioning,” Williams said.

“The reason for that is that these guys have to be out in the heat. We want to make sure they can go at 100 percent without their muscles being bogged down.”

That way, by the time the fall rolls around, muscle endurance won’t be an issue, Williams added.

“That’s the main reason why we’re concentrating on conditioning, after we concentrated more on strength (closer to) the beginning of the summer,” he said.

And even though the workouts are voluntary, Williams said the players have taken their responsibilities to show up to fall camp in shape very seriously.

“Turnout has been great. You don’t have to come, but all your buddies are out here, and everyone’s trying to win,” Williams said.

After a team meeting Aug. 4, fall camp gets under way, and Williams said the players and coaches have high expectations for this coming season.

“You’re only as good as the last game you play, and we won our last game against Jackson State,” Williams said.

“The players’ attitudes have been great, and we had a great recruiting class. We really built off the momentum we left off with (after the Jackson State game).”

Knowing the Braves will have five home games this year instead of three also helps, Williams said.

“We want to have that fan support, so having those home games will help us out a lot,” he said.

“The SWAC has us picked to finish third in our division, behind Jackson State and Alabama A&M — two teams we beat last year. We’re out to make a name for ourselves and get more respect.”

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