Aggies Practice On New Turf For First Time Friday
Aug. 13, 2004
LOGAN, Utah -
After two days on its regular grass practice field, the Utah State football team held its first practice in Romney Stadium on its new artificial turf field. The field was installed by Sprinturf this summer.
The company has installed practice fields for the Tennessee Titans, Philadephia Eagles, Ohio State Buckeyes and Auburn Tigers among others, while Montana and St. John's are among those that use the surface in their stadiums.
Sprinturf promotes their artificial turf as the safest turf on earth and that it feels and plays like natural grass with no rug burns or foot-lock and that it provides a consistent performance rain or shine.
After the first practice on the surface a number of Aggies agree.
"It is comfortable and nice and soft and is easy on your body," said USU defensive back Andre Bala. "The grass we had before was not the best surface in the world and now we are moving up and it feels way better than what we had. This is softer and gives more than natural grass."
Linebacker Nate Fredrick said he struggled with his footing a little bit early on in practice, but then became more comfortable as practice wore on.
"It feels good," he said. "You have to get used to it, but I think it will help us a lot. You feel like you can run faster. It feels weird on your feet at first, but it feels good."
Quarterback Travis Cox likes the fact that it makes you faster.
"It is great," he said. "I like it being fast. You can count on the footing all the time so you don't have to worry about people slipping. You need to get used to the speed of it, but the timing feels good."
Utah State will hold its next three practices in the stadium before returning to its natural grass practice field Monday afternoon. The Aggies will also meet with the media at its annual media day on Saturday before returning to the field for the Jr. Aggies/Season Ticket Holders Autograph Party from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Season ticket holders will be able to pick up their tickets and season tickets will also be available for purchase at this time.
Three current Aggies earned their degrees this off season in cornerback Jerome Dennis, offensive lineman Victor Eti and linebacker Jared Johnstun. All three are listed as starters for this season.
At least three USU football games will be televised this season on KJZZ-TV. Among those are the Sept. 18 home game against Utah, the Oct. 2 game at Troy and the Thursday, Nov. 11 game at Arkansas State.
USU played four games on artifical turf last season with games at Utah, at Nebraska, at North Texas and at Idaho. This season the Aggies will play on the fake stuff eight times, including four times at home as well as at Alabama, at UNLV, at Troy, and at Middle Tennessee. The only times the Aggies will play on natural grass this season are at Clemson, at Louisiana-Monroe and at Arkansas State.
Utah State will face two teams in ESPN/USA Today's preseason top 25 in number 16 Clemson and number 21 Utah. The Aggies will also face Alabama, which is the equivalent of number 46. In his first four years, Mick Dennehy's Aggies have played seven ranked teams.