Only the hungry advance up the depth chart.
Spring football isn't perfect for everyone. Often times, for the very best players on the team who have already established their place in it, spring football is almost more of a refresher course, a way of staying sharp and teaching some of the younger players how to work.
But spring football is the perfect time for players who are looking to prove themselves and catch the eyeballs of the assistant coaches. Say there's a guy who spent the last year rehabbing from an injury. Here's his chance to show he's healthy. Or a guy who needed a year to mature into the college life. Here's his chance to show he can handle the daily grind. Maybe there's a walk-on who arrived at school undersized and unprepared for the size and speed of the college game. After a year or two in the weight room, spring football is his chance to show he's grown into his frame and can handle the rigors of big-boy football.
College football teams are allotted 15 practices in spring. Usually, that 15th practice is a kind of official “scrimmage” or spring game. Some schools like a smaller setting for a spring game. Other schools like Alabama, Ohio State and Nebraska make it a major event for recruits to enjoy.
No matter how coaches decide spring football should work – Michigan's taking its show on the road for a week down in Florida this year – they generally want to see good competition. They want to see to positions depleted by lost starters be replenished. They want to see progress and belief. And they want to see some guys who have something to prove...actually prove something.