Frank Scelfo isn’t worried about how Southeastern Louisiana plays in the program’s annual spring game Saturday.
Less than three months since he was named head coach, Scelfo doesn’t care about how the quarterbacks look or how much of the new playbook the defense knows.
At this point in the transition, the only “showing” that really matters is from the fans.
With a new coach, an almost entirely new staff and only a handful of returning starters on either side of the ball, Saturday is more of a re-introduction to the Lions fan base than anything that takes place on the field.
Scelfo wants SLU to get to know his team, not as players in jerseys but as people they can relate to and say hello to around Hammond. It’s why practices have been open to the public this spring and why for the first time in the game’s history, Scelfo will open up the field after the spring game for fans to meet players and coaches.
No matter how the Lions play, if Scelfo can bring the fans closer, Saturday will be a success.
“I want them to meet our guys,” Scelfo said. “They’re going to know them as players, but I want them to get to know them as people and to get to know them as I know them. They’re going to find out who they are as people.”
Scelfo is so focused on the fan aspect of Saturday that quarterback Lorenzo Nunez isn’t sure what the scrimmage will mean in terms of the tight competition at quarterback.
As it stands, Nunez, the returning starter, and Fresno State transfer Chason Virgil are the frontrunners for the spot, with a few others not far behind.
Scelfo said the quarterbacks will split drives relatively evenly Saturday, with the success of those drives determining snap counts.
That’ll likely be the case for most other positions as well.
“You just have fun, try to compete and do the best you can do,” Nunez said. “You don’t know what’s going on in (the coaches’) heads. All you can do is play to the best of your ability and hopefully come out on top.”
As far as what the fans can expect to see on Saturday, it won't be much in terms of strategy.
Scelfo doesn’t plan on showing more than a fraction of the new schemes he’ll run when the Lions take the field in the fall against UL-Monroe in the season opener, adding that most of the installation is finished at this point.
Saturday mostly will be split between an early period of drills to test players' ability in certain situations, followed by a brief full-team scrimmage. It will be the first time this spring the Lions participate in a full-team scrimmage, opting instead to spend the past month on situational drills.
The Lions defense had the most work to do this spring, installing a completely new scheme under first-year coordinator Louie Cioffi.
“Everything is jelling right,” said defensive back Shamar Busby. “People are in the right spot now. DBs are in the right spot. Linebackers know what to do. Everything is getting into shape right now as we head out of spring ball into the spring game.”