MONTGOMERY – The Alabama State University football team opened fall practice in the late Friday afternoon heat at Old Hornet Stadium.

With temperatures in the low-mid 90s, the Hornets began to ready themselves for the season opener at home against Jacksonville State August 31 at 5 p.m.

“Day one was pretty good; we just have to keep working,” seventh-year head coach Reggie Barlow said. “You can have all the expectations in the world coming into the opening of camp, but conditioning, running, and practicing is a totally different mindset. It’s going to take some time, we have a long way to go, but we just have to keep working.”

With the Hornets being  four weeks away from the season opener versus the Gamecocks,  tickets available at bamastatesports.com/tickets),  Barlow will use each day and week carefully in the evaluation of his team in preparation not only for the Gamecocks, but the 12-game regular season as well.

“I want to see the mindset; what type of shape our guys are in,” Barlow said of what he’s looking for during the opening week of fall camp. “I want to see how much the returners remember from the spring, as well as see the freshmen and how well they adapt to what we’re doing.”

The Hornets practiced in jerseys and shorts today, per a standing NCAA mandate of an acclimation period during the first five days of fall practice for football teams nationwide. Barlow full supports that plan which helps players make the transition back into football physically as well as mentally.

“I think it’s a good idea to have the acclimation period,” Barlow said. “It’s a challenge for the players. We’re throwing a lot at them, mentally as much as physically. To open practice this way is the right way to do it. They get acclimated physically without the physical pounding, and continue to grasp more information mentally daily.”

The Hornets will practice once daily Saturday through Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Old Hornet Stadium.