-- It was only the second day of the University of North Alabama's 2011 pre-season football practice but head coach Terry Bowden said he was already seeing positive signs from his team.
After a two and a half hour session on Friday, Bowden said the Lions' defensive secondary caught his eye in particular.
"At first impression, the athleticism of our corners and safeties is very evident," Bowden said. "Our defense can definitely build around that."
Bowden said the addition of University of Georgia transfer Marcus Dowtin (6-2, 226) to the linebacker corp is also significant. "Marcus is a nice addition at linebacker. He has good size and runs very, very well."
Offensively, Bowden said that returning All-Gulf South Conference offensive lineman Daron Rose also looks impressive.
"Daron played at 346 pounds last year and had back problems that required surgery. This year he is at 298 and looks twice as good as he did last year. He really stands out."
Overall Bowden said the second day or workouts was a little more clean and crisp than opening day.
"As you would expect, practice was twice as good today as yesterday because it makes twice as much sense to the players," Bowden said. "We still have another day tomorrow of installing our offense and defense and I expect it to be better than today as the player's continue to get reps and it all starts to sink in."
The Lions will put on shoulder pads for the first time Saturday when the Lions go out for another 8:30 session.
"It will basically be the same practice as the last two days as we finish installing everything, but just a little more pop," Bowden said.
UNA will practice at 5 p.m. on Sunday