“Our focus is discipline, in every sense of the word, at every turn,” said Peveto Thursday. “How we chew gum. How we greet people. How we go to class. How we pick up our dry cleaning. It all filters back to how we conduct ourselves on the football field. If we’re disciplined in life, we’ll minimize mistakes in every aspect, on the field and off.
“We’ll pay attention to each and every detail. The little things get you beat. The little things keep you from getting that top grade. The little things keep you from success, and we are all about being successful,” he said. “We have made personal discipline the fundamental focus of our off-season program and that carries over into spring ball, and it will never stop. We can always do better.”
The Demons return 16 starters and 52 lettermen from last year, when they recorded their second straight 5-6 season.
NSU will begin with practices all weekend at Turpin Stadium, beginning Friday at 3, with the Saturday session at 9 a.m. and Sunday’s workout starting at 3.
“We’ve got an open door policy for our practices. We enjoy having fans come watch,” said Peveto. “It’s their team.”
There are fundamental football goals for NSU in spring practice.
“We’ll preach running the football effectively. We’ll preach winning the turnover margin. Those are obvious keys to success, to winning games,” said Peveto. “Do you use the right technique? Do you make the right cut? Do you hustle downfield and throw the extra block that turns a good play into a great play? It comes back to being disciplined, knowing what to do, carrying out that assignment.”
Senior Brad Henderson returns as the starting quarterback after completing 62 percent of his passes and posting the fifth-best single-season pass yardage total (1,865 yards) in school history. Sophomores Don Canyon and Keenon Gibson, and redshirt freshman Grant Chiasson, will compete to back him up.
The graduation of All-America tight end Justin Aldredge leaves a gap, but veterans Tucker Nims, Chris Dever and Jake Bryan, along with injured Trevor Eickman, could lessen the impact.
Sidney Riley and Sterling Endsley, both who started at running back last year, join Eickman and center Josh Cunningham as veterans sidelined this spring due to injury.
D.J. Palmer and Rumeall Morris are experienced running backs who will help fill in for Riley and Endsley, along with redshirt freshman Fisher Romar and sophomore Josh Armstreet.
Two-time All-America linebacker Derrick Rose and fellow senior Jamaal White at safety top 23 defensive letterwinners back.
Weekday workouts will begin at 3 p.m. while the Demons will take the field for Saturday scrimmages at 9 a.m. on March 17, 24 and 31. The Delaney Bowl will kick off at 6 on April 5.
After this weekend, the Demons will practice on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (March 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, and 29) until the final week, when a full workout on Tuesday, April 3 will be followed a day later by a shorter session and the Delaney Bowl on the Thursday night