The Citadel’s Hasan Black spent spring teaching, learning, fasting

The Citadel linebacker Hasan Black had a full plate this past spring, but it wasn’t overflowing with food.

Black, the Bulldogs’ top returning tackler, had little free time on his hands.

The second team All-Southern Conference linebacker was serving as a student teacher at Burke High School, finishing up his degree in education and looking forward to graduation.

When he wasn’t concentrating on his schoolwork, Black was learning a new defensive scheme and a new position as the Bulldogs’  defense transitioned from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-2 alignment.

The only plate that wasn’t full was Black’s dinner plate.

As an observant Muslim, Black was fasting from dawn until sunset as part of Ramadan last spring. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community.

In the past, The Citadel traditionally held its spring practices in February and March, so if Black had to fast because of Ramadan, he was doing it only for a few days or a week.

When new Bulldogs head coach Maurice Drayton was hired in December, he pushed spring practice back almost a month.

“I was fasting from the first day of spring practice to the spring game,” Black said. “It was the whole month. I tried to stay hydrated, drank a lot of water and just tried to get through it. Thankfully, I didn’t lose a lot of weight. The coaches did a good job of looking out for me on certain days and during certain drills.”

Defensive coordinator Raleigh Jackson couldn’t help but be impressed with Black’s dedication to his craft during spring practice.

“I’m not sure I could go a month during spring practice fasting every day,” Jackson said. “I thought under the circumstances Hasan had a solid spring. He picked up on the defense really quickly and was able to grasp the fundamentals of what we’re trying to on defense.”

Now, with a full belly every day, Black, who led the Bulldogs in tackles (81), tackles-for-loss (10½) and sacks (4.0) last season, is having one of the best preseason camps of his career.

“He’s been lights out during fall camp,” Jackson said. “He’s a leader of our linebacker group, a leader of our defense and a leader for our football team. We’re expecting a big season from Hasan. He’s got the potential to be a high-quantity tackler for us. He’s just really good at finding the football.”

Going from three down linemen to four on defense hasn’t had that much of an impact on Black’s responsibilities.

“I think the scheme fits me,” Black said. “It allows me to make plays, run sideline-to-sideline and get downhill quickly.”

The 6-3, 235-pound Black began his career as an outside rush end and moved to inside linebacker last season.

His quick first step and relentless effort make him ideal to get pressure in passing situations.

“He has that kind of skillset,” Jackson said. “He can get to the quarterback, so we’re going to be aggressive with him in certain situations. Typically, you want your best players on defense to up the middle and that’s where Hasan is now.”

Black comes from a football family. His brothers Larry (Indiana) and Jibreel (Michigan) both played at Power 5 schools and made it to the NFL.

“They are great role models to have,” he said. “They showed me the path and the work that it takes to get to the NFL.”

Black said there’s a renewed enthusiasm surrounding the program since Drayton took over.

“Everyone has bought in,” Black said. “There’s a vibe around the locker room. No one is butting heads, no one is going against the green, everyone has a common goal and goes about their business each day.

“I believe team chemistry is important and it translates onto the field. It’s been great so far, probably the best since I’ve been here.”

Underwood shines in scrimmage

The Citadel coach Maurice Drayton wasn’t ready to name a starting quarterback after the Bulldogs’ two-hour scrimmage on Aug. 19.

But the job has become a two-man race between Graeson Underwood and Dustin Fletcher – both of whom took the majority of the snaps in the situational scrimmage on Saturday.

Underwood, who threw for 244 yards and 4 TDs a season ago, looked sharp throughout the workout, leading the Bulldogs on a long TD drive during the final minutes of the scrimmage.

“We still don’t have an answer on who the starter will be,” Drayton said. “Graeson played very well today. He was the better of the quarterbacks today.”

The Bulldogs offense turned the ball over four times, including a two bad snaps out of the shotgun with one leading to a fumble recovery for a TD.

“Defense played very well, we work on ball extraction all the time,” Drayton said. “Some of the turnovers were self-inflicted. We had some low snaps, partly because we are working in a couple of young centers, and you’re going to get that. There were some growing pains. Ball security is the most important thing. I’m disappointed that we turned the ball over that many times, we have to take care of the ball, but pleased the defense was opportunistic.”

This content was originally published here.

Can't Get enough Freebie, Subscribe

We will send you the latest digital Marketing technology and methods that should help you grow your business.

Subscribe to Our list

Custom Keto Diet

 

Exipure

 

All day slimming tea

 

ikaria Juice

 

Apple Cider Vinegar Ebook Membership

More Articles