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Alabama State attends 2021 SWAC Media Days

The Hornets are ready to get back on the gridiron after a 3-3 spring season.
Alabama State linebacker Colton Adams (left) and running back Ezra Gray (right) attend the 2021...
Alabama State linebacker Colton Adams (left) and running back Ezra Gray (right) attend the 2021 SWAC Media Days in Birmingham.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:41 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WSFA) - It seems like the college football season just wrapped up, but already we’re knocking on the door of the 2021 season. Alabama State made the trip up Interstate 65 to Birmingham for the 2021 SWAC Media Days and is ready to kick things off this fall.

“This offseason, or this short summer, what we’ve been trying to do is mentally recover along with physical,” said head coach Donald Hill-Eley. “So we’ve taken the two and a half months that we’ve had and tried to recover and rebound to be ready for this upcoming fall.”

The Hornets are gearing up to take the field just four months after the shortened spring season in which they finished 3-3, falling to rival Alabama A&M in the final game of the season.

Several key players return to the lineup, including veteran running back Ezra Gray and Wetumpka’s own Colton Adams, who are both eager to get back to football.

“With us getting a new strength and conditioning coach, Coach Aninye, I think he’s doing a really great job of getting all the guys prepared,” said Adams. “And I think we’re going to be super solid and in great shape and think we’re going to look good coming out this upcoming fall.”

“The work has been nonstop. It’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes work and things like that going on, so whatever’s thrown at us, I’m pretty sure we’ll be ready for, but it’ll definitely be different once it all kicks off, but I’m just excited, man, I’m excited,” added Gray.

COVID-19 continues to be at the forefront, and there are many protocols still in place ahead of the new season. SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland did emphasize the importance of players getting vaccinated. While it is not required, it is highly recommended, because if a team has to miss a game, it will count as a forfeit and will not be made up.

Eley says he’ll continue to make team safety his top priority.

“Last spring, again, it was very different and something that I hadn’t seen since I’ve been coaching, but we have to put things in place to encourage the young men to get vaccinated,” he said. “But, I’m excited just to be able to get back. We still have the masks in place and we’re still dealing with COVID, but to be able to get everyone back and get everyone in a room and hear your voice echo over the room and see the actually expressions of a command, I’m looking forward to that.”

The Hornets will welcome in Miles College to ASU Stadium on Sept. 4 to kick off the season.

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