2023 Football

Virginia State University football rebuild continues

The Virginia State coaching staff is happy to have a spring football period under its belt heading into the 2023 season.

When Henry Frazier Sr. got the Virginia State University head football job in 2022, spring ball was already in the books.

Flash forward a year, Frazier and his staff are shaping the program and making their expectations known. That’s not only in terms of execution on the field, but also effort and focus. 

“I had a kid who pledged a fraternity. Pledged Q-Dawg, you know, just like me,” Frazier said on Friday. “Missed a practice. He didn’t play in the spring game. He was holding chains. I’m not going to compromise. What we say we’re going to do is what we’re going to do. If somebody decide they don’t want to do it, they can’t play for me. They can go play for someone else and I’ll help them. But if you don’t do it the way we say we’re going to do things, I’m going to move on from that man. I really am. And they know it.”

Friday night, under the twilight of Rogers Stadium, Virginia State completed its spring game. The defense was slightly ahead of the offense, but Frazier isn’t concerned.

Virginia State University,
Virginia State defense had an impressive Friday evening. (Steven J. Gaither photo)

“We had a nontraditional spring game. We didn’t have enough offensive linemen to do a complete spring game because we have five offensive linemen sitting out because of the full-time semester rule,” Frazier clarified. “So they’ll be back and ready to roll in August. So what we did was, we set up some competition within offense versus defense and we did a point system and I thought the guys competed extremely hard. So now it’s time to finish up in the classroom and get ready to roll in the summer workouts.”

Virginia State University went 6-4 last season despite the late start it got due to the regime change from Reggie Barlow to Frazier. Barlow left to take over as head coach of the XFL’s DC Defenders, and Frazier took over the job in May.

Defensive coordinator Carlos Fields —  a former all-American at Winston-Salem State and NFL player — talked about the value of having an entire spring to tune-up. 

“Last year, coming in June 25th, didn’t have any spring ball was pretty much given the cards that we were dealt, finished the season pretty decent last year, 6-4. But, this year, we had a real off-season being able to bring in some guys in January and it’s going to be a really good season in addition with the guys that’ll be coming in August.”

Frazier says the team has 8 to 10 slots left for transfers, but that he’s not big on the transfer portal. He said he prefers the traditional route.

“The transfers that we’ve gotten are from relationships, meaning the coach says ‘I got a kid to this school coach. I want to send him to play for you,” Frazier said. “I had ten guys, coaches call me and I got ‘em here already in the spring and already been contacted by another seven or eight kids that want to come to Virginia State, so I’m never going to have a problem getting kids so I don’t go all out in the transfer portal. We had one kid go in the portal from our school. They want to be here. They want to play for us and do the things that we do that we’re trying to do.”

Virginia State University football rebuild continues
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