SVSU football season kicked off on Feb. 3 with a virtual press conference for National Signing Day.
Coach Ryan Brady participated in the conference to welcome the football players coming to SVSU in the fall.
Brady said he believes he has a good class coming in.
“We have 39 players who have signed a letter of intent to play for SVSU,” Brady said. “This is a large class; there are usually only 25 players that come in each year, but we got the guys that we wanted and are excited going forward.”
SVSU not having a football season could have been a blessing in disguise for the coaching staff, Brady explained.
“We were able to start recruiting last March when the pandemic started and everything was shut down,” he said. “This allowed us to focus on the players for a period of 11 months, and COVID guidelines allowed us better one on one campus visits with students and their families.”
Building the football program and its philosophy from the bottom up has been a priority for Brady.
“This year was a great chance for us as a staff and team to focus on relationships,” he said.
Brady said he realizes the challenges brought on by the pandemic are not something that will go away quickly.
“This took our current senior class from 22 players down to 12,” he said. “There will be a continual impact as four classes of players are all getting an extra year of eligibility, along with finding room for who we bring in.”
This has also created a struggle for teams to plan for when they will be losing players and what positions they will need to recruit.
“You are in a situation where players now have a fifth year of eligibility,” Brady said. “It becomes an issue when players finish their degree in four years and have to make a choice between work or staying longer to play a game that they love.”
SVSU is planning to have at least three spring games this year to get back in shape for the new season.
Dates for games and the new season have not yet been set but will be made available in the near future.