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Jonesboro first Clayton County team to open spring drills

Jonesboro coach Tim Floyd takes the team’s linebackers through drills as the Cardinals opened spring practice Friday afternoon. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Jonesboro coach Tim Floyd takes the team’s linebackers through drills as the Cardinals opened spring practice Friday afternoon. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

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Jonesboro cornerback/wide receiver Jordan Griffin committed to the University of Kentucky on Saturday night in Lexington. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

JONESBORO — Under a breezy overcast sky, Jonesboro football players went through a variety of drills as the coaches continually barked out instructions.

The temperatures were in the low 70s as the sun barely peaked out among the clouds on Friday afternoon.

Cardinals coach Tim Floyd is anticipating a different scenario on Monday. For starters, the team will be in full equipment, and the temperature are expected to hit in the mid-80s when Jonesboro start its second day of the Georgia High School Association’s allotted 10-day practice session.

“Yeah, it’s going to heat up some on Monday,” Floyd said. “It’s going to be a lot warmer, and we will pick the pace up. We are going to see what we are really made of come next week.”

After going through some stretches, and conditioning, the fun will be begin for the Cardinals on Monday.

“We are going straight into our contact drills,” Floyd said. “We will see what these guys’ conditioning is like right off the bat.”

Floyd was pretty pleased at what he saw on Friday during the workouts.

“For the first day, I was pretty pleased,” he said. “I know we will be able to do things a little better in the coming days, but it was a good first day of practice. They are kind of where I thought we would be on the first day. I’ve been keeping my eye on some kids that we are anticipating that will be able to help us this season.”

In addition to some new talent, Floyd has several additions to his coaching staff. It is a welcomed change from the past when he and two other assistants where running the practices.

Floyd would coach several position in addition to serving as the team’s defensive coordinator. Now, he has a full staff to assist.

“That is going to be really nice,” Floyd said. “I think that has been the biggest addition to the offseason. The good thing about all of this is that all the coaches have a lot of experience. I haven’t worked with any of them before, I’ve known them through the coaching circle.”

They will spend the spring learning each other, and the expectations Floyd will be looking for out of them.

“As the days go by, they will know how I like to run things,” Floyd said. “It is a process that I’m looking forward to making work for this team.”

Expectations for the upcoming season are high for the team with the return of seven offensive starters and eight defensive starters. Jonesboro lost to Locust Grove in the Region 4-AAAA play-in game to end its season.

The further development of starting quarterback Zerrick Cooper will be a big key for the Cardinals. Last season, the sophomore split time with Mario Atkinson at the position.

With Atkinson graduating, Cooper will be in charge of the offense. The 6-foot-3 Cooper entered spring with four college scholarship offers.

“He is looking good so far,” Jonesboro offensive coordinator Nate Wardlaw said. “We will see more about his leadership when we put the pads on Monday.”