FLORENCE, Ala. — University of North Alabama Head Football Coach Chris Willis said he was pleased with what he saw on Tuesday from his more than 100 student-athletes that took part in the team’s running test prior to the start of fall practice.

“Overall I was pretty pleased and thought we looked good,” Willis said. “You always expect that some guys are going to fade later in the drill but even the guys who were fading kept competing to get it done.”

Willis said the running test is not a punishment or a test to see who makes the team, but instead it gives the coaches a chance to assess where the players are at physically, prior to the start of practice.

“Now we know what to expect tomorrow when we start practice,” Willis said. “The guys who aren’t as fit or need more conditioning can get that done after practice to get them where they need to be.”

Willis credited UNA strength and conditioning coach Steve Herring for his off-season work with the players.

“Steve did a great job with the people that were around this summer and you could tell that they were ready to go,” Willis said. “Overall, we look like we are in pretty good shape and ready to get to work tomorrow.”

The Lions open practice at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday as they prepare for an August 31 season opener at home against Texas A&M-Commerce.

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