Now, Jon Abbate’s hamstring is almost completely healed and the 5’11, 245-pound linebacker is back on the field. “It’s coming along good,” Abbate said of his injury. “My trainers are doing a good job of bringing me back – really, Don Steelman, my head trainer,” he laughed as Steelman walked by. “It’s a little sore, but I think I’ll be full speed in the next couple of days.”
Abbate, who is looked at as a leader on this year’s defense, believes that the team is doing well and progressing towards where they need to be when the Vanderbilt Commodores come to town at the beginning of September. “We’re looking real good offensively and defensively,” he noted. “The young guys are coming around mentally and everybody is playing physically so it’s going good.”
The dog days of summer have taken a toll on the entire team. As one practice session began earlier this week, team members joked around with several fans watching practice telling them not to play football -- play a sport that is indoors and doesn't require two-a-days.
The team, Abbate included, is ready to get out of practice mode and get the season underway. “We’re ready to start playing some ballgames,” Abbate mentioned. “We’ve got ten straight games but we’ve got to start with the first one. Vanderbilt is coming to town, an SEC school, so you’ve got to get excited about that.”