BISMARCK, N.D. - It used to be said college football was a year-round sport in the deep south. While that's still the case, college football in the north is being followed more heavily than ever and right now spring practices are going on.
Every University has a theme in the spring, for the Marauders it's rebuilding and there is a much more calm culture surrounding the program now that Craig Bagnell and his staff are in their second season.
U-Mary Offensive Lineman Tyson Lytle said: "I'm loving it man! I'm loving it. We are thankful to get a lot of transfer players to get in her early and we've been able to put them in the system right away and everybody seems like they're working really well together. I have to give a lot of thanks to Coach Silbernagel, our strength coach, he's been here with us the whole time through all of the coaching changes the year before that and he's really been our rock in the system and we feel like everybody is just coming back and getting better throughout all of our off season training."
U-Mary's coaching chance came with a major system change as well. It takes time to transition and recruit but the difference is already being felt by the players.
"I would say the biggest difference is the knowledge that we've gained as upperclassman and we're no longer just learning we have a year in the system so we get to help the younger guys out rather than us studying at night. It's like what can we fix in the smallest details rather than the larger ones so just the relationship with the coaching staff obviously we're comfortable with them now. They're been around for a year so the trust is there," said U-Mary linebacker Noah Krebs.
The NCAA allows teams to hold 15 football practices in the spring. Most schools invite fans out to the last one and call it the spring game.
For U-Mary, it's on April 13 at the MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck.