January 8, The University of Michigan’s 34-13 championship victory over the University of Washington concluded the 2023-2024 college football season. For the next 228 days, college fans wait, with varying degrees of hope and uncertainty for their team’s 2024-2025 season.
Many fans spend these months distracting themselves with other sports, working extra hours, and spending more quality time with their families. The individuals within the team, however, don’t have that same luxury.
The second the clock hit zero in Norfolk, VA, coaches, players, and administration went into full-swing preparation for GSU’s 2024-25 season, simultaneously preparing for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. As the plane landed, transferring players gameplanned their departure, some entering the portal the day it opened (Dec. 4) to ensure a quick move-in process to their new school for the coming Spring/Fall semesters. The remaining players had just a few days of relaxation and recovery before joint preparation for their bowl game.
The bowl game gave fans their first look into future starters and schemes for the Panthers, RB Freddie Brock the most notable with a record-breaking 242 rushing yards in the blowout win in Boise. Heading into January, no significant coaching changes have been made public; however, it is assumed that all three phases of the game will be altered with the departures of more than 12 regular starters from last season.
Last season, the Panthers made significant changes in the offseason, including the hiring of Coach Mike Sirignano from the University of Louisville, as their new strength and conditioning coach. The Panthers and Coach Sirignano held the players to a new standard of high quality daily workouts, as proven by the team’s improved record of 7-6 in 2023-24.
“Training has been more intense and I have a better understanding of the necessary things I need to do to get my body in the best shape and maximize my potential,” LS Jack Bernstein noticed a great improvement in the team’s weight room from his first season, now going into his third season as a Panther.
Outside the weight room, players and staff are doing even more work this off-season, many for upwards of 25 hours a week: watching film, studying new concepts, and building chemistry with both new and returning members of the team.
As of Jan. 22, the Panthers have landed at least 11 transfer commits and 9 incoming freshman commits, opening up the doors for a great deal of new talent and competition at every position.
This week, new and returning players strap in as Spring classes and workouts are now in full swing, with the regular season still over six months away.
In the coming months , GSU will host their own Spring Game, allowing new and returning players to compete in a full-stadium game scenario for the first time in the coming 2024-25 season.
After Spring Camp, the players will return to individual workouts as scheduled, including Summer PLP’s (player-led-practices) in which coaches can not be present, per NCAA rule.
Come Aug. 31, the Panthers will have their hands full, traveling less than 5 miles down the road for their first matchup at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium, where they hope to display their months of tireless preparation with a cross-town victory.