Head Coach Rick Stockstill welcomed 105 veterans and newcomers Sunday as the team officially reported for the start of fall drills. The first official practice is set for Monday at 4:20 PM and is open to the public.
"We had a good offseason and being able to watch our guys workout and run has given me a better sense of our conditioning as we begin practice," said Stockstill. "We made improvements in our strength and weight gain and now we just need to maintain that during the season.
"I really like this team but know we have some holes to fill and leadership to develop. It's an exciting time and everyone in the program is anxious to get started Monday."
The freshmen and transfers spent most of the day in academic orientation meetings Sunday before taking photos and physicals early in the afternoon. Following a 5:30 PM dinner, Stockstill will hold a senior meeting at 6:45 PM, followed by a team meeting, before calling it a day.
The NCAA's mandatory acclimatization period will begin with Monday's practice and will conclude with Friday's drills.
A total of 49 lettermen and 13 starters highlighted the list of players reporting to camp Sunday. Offensively, the Blue Raiders have 20 lettermen and five starters returning which includes linemen Isaiah Anderson and Darius Johnson, running back Jordan Parker and receivers Christian Collis and Marcus Henry.
Defensively, 25 letter winners and eight starters will be back for Coach Tyrone Nix. The returning starters are linebackers T.T. Barber and Christian Henry, linemen Alexandro Antoine, Jiajuan Fennell and Pat McNeil, cornerback Jared Singletary and safeties Kevin Byard and Xavier Walker.
The Blue Raiders had three veterans and a newcomer who will not be part of the 105 as they continue to rehab injuries. Collis, tight end William Wilson, running back Reggie Whatley, and tight end Tyler Barron are all still working to come back from off-season surgeries.
The Blue Raiders will open the 2014 season at home against Savannah State, August 30. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 PM CST.
Camp Schedule (bold is open to the public)
August 3: Team Reports
August 4: Practice at 4:20 PM - 6:30 PM
August 5: Practice at 4:20 PM - 6:35 PM
August 6: Practice at 4:20 PM - 6:30 PM
August 7: Practice at 4:20 PM - 6:30 PM
August 8: Practice at 4:05 PM - 6:10 PM
August 9: Practice at 4:20 PM - 6:30 PM
August 10: Fan Day
August 11: Practice at 9:20 AM - 11:10 AM; 7:35 PM - 9:15 PM
August 12: Practice at 10:50 AM - 12:30 PM
August 13: Practice at 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM; 7:50 PM - 9:15 PM
August 14: Practice at 4:00 PM - 6:05 PM
August 15: Practice at 10:00 AM - 11:40 AM
August 16: Practice at 5:35 PM - 7:30 PM
August 17: Practice at 4:20 PM - 6:00 PM
August 18: Practice at 2:15 PM - 5:00 PM (Beanie Bowl)
August 19: Practice at 7:45 PM - 9:00 PM
August 20: Practice at 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
August 21: Practice at 3:45 PM - 5:30 PM
August 22: Practice at 3:50 PM - 5:30 PM
August 23: Practice at 11:10 AM - 1:00 PM
August 24: Practice at 4:05 PM - 5:50 PM
August 25: Off Day, Classes Begin (GAME WEEK)