Camp Notebook #6

August 12, 2002 · MT Media Relations
(following today's practice on Aug. 12)

MCCOLLUM ON TODAY'S PRACTICE:"I thought this was a good, physical practice. We went live with our middle drill for about 20 minutes and I saw some very encouraging play out there. Our linebackers (Sheldon Durham, Randy Arnold, and Louis Kemp) played very well and flew to the football, while our offensive line did a great job of competing today. Overall, I was very pleased with the scrimmage."

MCCOLLUM ON PLAYING PHYSICAL:"We have to practice physically every single day. We are concerned with injuries, but with whom we have to play we need to be physical all the time. We have to play below our pads because if we play up top only bad things will happen."

LB SHELDON DURHAM ON FIRST DAY OF PADS: "It is good to be relaxed in shorts and helmets in the first practices, but the games are coming up and it is time for some contact. Overall, today was a good practice, but we have to pick it up on defense a little more."

LB LOUIS KEMP ABOUT COMFORT LEVEL OF DEFENSE: "Last year at this time, we just started playing this defense. This year we understand it more, and we are more comfortable with it."

RB RESHARD LEE ON MT'S QUALITY DEPTH AT TAILBACK: "We are not going to have any drop offs in the backfield this year, no matter who goes down, whether it be Dwone [Hicks], Don [Calloway] or myself. If someone goes down, the others will be there to pick up the slack."

FRESHMAN TROY BERGERON ON FIRST DAY OF PADS AND HIS CONTRIBUTION: "It is always better to practice in pads because you have to concentrate more. As for my play, I'm just trying to come in and contribute wherever I can, whether it be on special teams or at wide receiver. I am just going to do whatever it takes to get on the field and help the team."

FRESHMAN KELVIN GERMAN ON PLAYING IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE'S LOADED BACKFIELD:"I am getting a lot of reps right now due to some injuries and it is a great opportunity for me. I thought coming in that I would sit back, observe, and learn, but with a couple of injuries I have been thrown in there and it is helping me become more comfortable with the system. Right now I need to improve my blocking and continue learning the offensive system."

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS: During today's inside drill, linebacker Sheldon Durham and defensive end Samuel Smith shined. Durham made four tackles for no gain, while Smith assisted Durham on two of those hits - Offensively during inside drill, Brandon Westbrook was responsible for opening some big holes for the Blue Raider tailbacks - LB Kenny Edwards made the best hit of the drill when he smacked running back Kelvin German and forced a fumble - During the team's pass skeleton drill, Andrico Hines completed 4 of 6 passes, while freshman Troy Bergeron, Quan Domineck and Ryan Edmiston had two catches each.

HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE: For the first time in school history, Middle Tennessee received a vote in the Associated Press Top 25 poll that was released over the weekend. The Blue Raiders received one vote to tie for 50th in the nation. For a program that moved to I-A only three years ago, it is a definite sign of respect. "It is great for this program and for these players," Head Coach Andy McCollum said. "When everybody around the country can see you hovering just outside the Top 25, it's a sign of a program moving in the right direction."

SOUTHERN SPORTS TONIGHT:The nightly radio show called "Southern Sports Tonight" will broadcast live from campus on Friday, August 16 from 5-8 PM. The show, formerly known as "Conference Call", is on over 130 stations throughout the south. Scott McKinney and Max Howell are hosts on the show. Locally, the show can be heard on Sports56 (560 AM). 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: Tyrone Calico enjoyed a solid practice this morning by hauling in several long receptions from Andrico Hines - Freshman Josh Harris connected with freshman Michael Watkins on a 35-yard play during 11-on-11 - During the team's pass skeleton drill, Brandon Lynch and newcomer Kabote Sikyala both registered pass breakups - Season tickets are available by calling 1-888-Yes-MTSU.

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