Camp Notebook #2

August 6, 2002 · MT Media Relations
(following today's practice on Aug. 6)

VARSITY ARRIVES:The varsity players all reported today for the start of camp. After checking into their dorm rooms, the varsity will eat dinner then go through mandatory physicals. The seniors will meet with Coach Mac following physicals to discuss the upcoming season.

ANDY MCCOLLUM ON SAM WILLIAMS: "We signed Sam as an athlete and right now receiver is where he can help this program out the most. He has great hands, good feet, and is real competitive. I expect him to push for playing time once he gets the fundamentals down and learns our programs sense of urgency. The Blue Raider fans will enjoy watching him play because he will bring some excitement to the table."

BURKE IMPRESSES: The first high school recruit to commit to the Blue Raiders in 2002 was linebacker Dennis Burke from Marietta, GA, which ironically is the same hometown as head coach Andy McCollum. Burke, who impressed coaches this morning during pass coverage drills, played at Sprayberry High School where he recorded 110 tackles and four interceptions a year ago. The 6-1, 220-pounder has received added attention due to the fact he's the only inside linebacker on the field. "It's been great getting all the reps in practice, but it will all change on Thursday when the varsity arrives," Burke said. McCollum has liked what he has seen from the hometown product. --"Dennis is very explosive, works hard, and came into camp in excellent shape," McCollum added. "He will work himself into playing time whether it's on special teams or certain defensive situations. I expect him to be a leader for us one day down the road."

BERGERON FINDING NICHE:Wide receiver Troy Bergeron comes to camp as a highly regarded pass catcher, but he has also opened some eyes as a punt returner. "Troy really grabbed my attention today," McCollum said. "He has great hands and a good feel for the football. I expect him to compete for the punt returning job when camp resumes on Thursday."

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE:Wednesday will be an off-day as far as practice goes for both the newcomers and the varsity. The team will go through orientation where they will visit with the president, athletic director, compliance coordinator, academic advisor, campus security, etc... The day will conclude with team and individual meetings in the evening.

FAN DAY:Fan Day is set for August 17 from Noon ... 2 PM at Floyd Stadium. Blue Raider fans will have the opportunity to grab autographs from all the coaches and players, while also being able to snap a photo with members of the Blue Raider family. An autograph poster will be provided. The Bunny Bread Mountain slide will be available to all the kids, while the University will give away FREE Hormel hot dogs and cokes.

TIDBITS: WR Pierre Ingram had arguably the best catch of the day when he ran a fade route, jumped high in the air over a defender and reeled in the pass ... OL Jeremy Meade has the largest shoe size of the newcomers at 16 ... Former offensive lineman Gil Matias dropped by the morning practice as did Dwone Hicks ... If you would like to purchase a 2002 football media guide the cost is $12, plus $3 for handling and shipping --- To order, please call 615-898-2968 or email your request to mrowens@mtsu.edu ... The media members in attendance this morning included the Daily News Journal (Tony Stinnett) and WKRN TV 2.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.