Hotshots Camp Day 3: Humidity in January; happiness for rival team coach

Hotshots Camp Day 3: Humidity in January; happiness for rival team coach

By Jose M. Romero, Arizona Hotshots Team Reporter

SAN ANTONIO — Temperatures reached the mid-70s with humidity on Monday, Day 3 of training camp practices for the Arizona Hotshots.

Players were more focused on staying hydrated than the previous two days, but there were moments where practice wasn’t as crisp. Coach Rick Neuheisel said the warmer weather came at a good time with players off on Tuesday.

“It always tests your concentration because you’re trying to keep going and you’re pushing yourself. And as you’re pushing yourself you’re not always as mentally sharp as you need to be,” Neuheisel said. “But that’s a great lesson. This is a blessing for us because the first two days, well, pleasant as heck, it didn’t tax us.”

Practice also took place before an audience of college coaches in town for the annual American Football Coaches Association convention. Coaches from UCLA, Rutgers, Arizona, Vanderbilt and Texas-El Paso were among those watching from the sidelines.

Neuheisel urged his players to go see the sights in San Antonio on their day off. As for he and the coaching staff, it’s another day of work.

“We might get a little walk down the Riverwalk, a little exercise,” Neuheisel said. “Film room, personnel, depth chart stuff and then get ahead of the (offense) installs and get ahead of the scripting.”

Saluting Erickson

Three Hotshots players were recruited by and played for current Salt Lake Stallions head coach Dennis Erickson when he was at Arizona State, and were pleased to hear Erickson was named to the 2019 inductee class for the College Football Hall of Fame.

“He’s just a real cool dude. Real smooth man. That’s great for him,” defensive lineman Will Sutton said. “Unfortunately at ASU we couldn’t do it as good as we wanted to there for him but it’s all love for him. I’m glad we get to play him in Game 1.”

The Hotshots host the Stallions on Feb. 10 at Sun Devil Stadium.

“Coach is always going to be in my memories. He’s the one that recruited me and gave me an opportunity at a D-I (program). So I’m happy for him,” wide receiver Rashad Ross said.

“Always a players’ coach. Always looks out for his players and wants them to be the best they can be,” linebacker Carl Bradford said. “I know he’s pushing 200 but he’s still got that coaching itch in him and it’s going to be fun to go against him this season.”

Neuheisel also has a long history of facing Erickson’s old Pac-10/Pac-12 teams.

“Well deserved. Dennis is a legend in the game. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been. He’s been a fantastic coach,” Neuheisel said. “I consider him a friend. Obviously we’re like bull elk on bull elk when we played against each other but I admire the job that he’s done. I’m so glad that he’s part of this league.”