Football Camp Notebook for Tuesday
Stockstill gives high marks to Dunbar, Franklin, and ThompsonAugust 15, 2006 · MT Media Relations
DAILY STOCK REPORT:
Today's practice: "For the most part it was a pretty good practice. We did some better things today but it's the little things that keep frustrating me. When you overlook that it was probably a good practice. The most frustrating aspect is that after 14 practices we are still making some of the same mistakes that we did early in camp. On top of that we keep losing players to an injury every practice which has been disrupting our continuity. I told all of them to not expect to roll in here next week and think you will get your position back and show up for the game because we are going to play the guys who are practicing. It's just frustrating that we can't keep all our guys out on the field each day."
On the injured players: "We probably have six or seven starters on defense that are not practicing because they are hurt and maybe four on offense. It has become a major concern because we did not have a lot of depth to begin with. Now you start losing guys that are starters for an extended period of time and it becomes very frustrating."
Who is standing out along the offensive line?: "The two guys who have stood out the most every day and been the most consistent are Germayle Franklin and Franklin Dunbar. Those two come to work every day, have a smile on their face, have fun, and practice hard and compete hard. Mark Thompson is another one that enjoys playing, has fun, and really competes. He is having a solid camp so far.
Depth along the offensive line: "Marcus Gates is still out and Brandon Nix has missed some practices, plus we did not have a whole lot of bodies along the offensive line to begin with so we were hoping the four freshmen could be leg savors for us this year. Jamal Lewis is getting in the mix and I believe he will be able to help us with our depth as the season goes along."
INCREASED ROLE: Playing the role of back-up has never been more enjoyable for Patrick Jackson, a junior quarterback who was a two-time All-State and three-time All-Region selection when he signed with the Blue Raiders in 2003.
Though he has no game experience entering the 2006 season, Jackson is relishing in the role of the back-up after a solid spring and has the realization that his responsibility to the team is greater than ever.
"Last spring and this camp have been the best football time that I have had in the three years I have been here," Jackson said. "I really haven't meant much to the team out there on the field and now that people are starting to depend on me I am excited and looking forward to the chance."
In senior quarterback Clint Marks, Middle Tennessee has a durable signal-caller who has been there to answer the call for 21 consecutive starts. Behind Marks is Jackson, who is literally one snap away from being on the field in a game for the first time in his college career.
Sophomore quarterback Joe Craddock is making tremendous strides after off-season knee surgery; however, he has no game experience either, leaving the Blue Raiders in a situation where they have a strong veteran leading the offensive charge but absolutely no game experience behind him.
Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill has been pleased with the progress and production of Jackson and Craddock. He says it is the responsibility of the staff to help prepare them for game situations so they are prepared when the time comes because he believes each signal-caller has the tools.
"It's a combination of us and them," Stockstill said. "We have to put them in as many game-like situations as we can and get them under the fire and coach them hard every snap. I always tell the quarterback, 'You don't have to win the game, just don't lose it for us.' We just have to keep working and help (Jackson) and (Craddock) so that when they do get under the lights they are able to perform the best they can."
ON THE RISE: Freshman tight end Alvin Ingle continues to impress during training camp. The 6-foot-2 newcomer from Pope John Paul II High School in Madison, Tenn., exited Monday's practice atop the depth chart at tight end - ahead of juniors Stephen Chicola and Clint Corder.
"Alvin is going to be a good one. He's not performing like a freshman," Stockstill said. "He's doing really well. He's the starter right now. That could change but he's playing better than the other guys right now."
Ingle caught 25 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns as a senior, and he was voted first-team All-State in 2004 and 2005 by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association. He was also a finalist for Tennessee's Mr. Football.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "We have a real good group (of receivers) but right now we will have a few missed assignments, a few dropped balls. That's to be expected in camp. Coach 'Stock' is a receiver specialist so he is trying to get us to speed up the process of perfection and it's not going as fast as he thinks it should." -- WR Taron Henry on inconsistencies at the receiver positions.
NEXT PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders will hold their 15th and 16th practices of fall camp on Wednesday from 8:45 AM to 10:55 AM and 4:35 PM to 6:30 PM.
BLUE RAIDER BLAST: The final "Blue Raider Blast" will be held in Downtown Murfreesboro on the square, Thursday, August 24, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This event is geared toward Blue Raider fans, alumni, and supporters in Rutherford County and surrounding areas and all interested parties are encouraged to attend and meet Middle Tennessee players, coaches, athletic administrators and University administrators as the athletic department gears up for the start of the 2006-07 school year. Admission to the "Blue Raider Blast" is free; however, food provided by Whitt's Barbecue will be available for $5 per plate. The blast will include music, inflatables, face painting and a special guest appearance by Middle Tennessee mascot, "Lightning," to entertain the youngsters.
FAN/MEDIA DAY: Middle Tennessee's annual Fan/Media Day is scheduled for August 19 at Noon in Murphy Center. There will be free hot dogs and cokes given away while supplies last, games for the kids, and various drawings. Also, tickets will be on sale as well as this year's football media guide. As always, fans can get player autographs and photos so make plans now to check out this year's team as they prepare for the season-opener on Aug. 31.
FENTON PAYNE AND FRED 5K: On Saturday morning, Aug. 19, the third annual Fenton Payne and Fred 5K Run/Walk to take place on the campus of Middle Tennessee with Head Football Coach Rick Stockstill firing the starting gun. The event will get underway at 7:30 AM with registration at Peck Hall. The cost is $25 with cash prizes going to the winning male and female and the overall masters (40 years and over). There will also be awards to the top three finishers in all divisions, male and female, 9 and under, then 5 year age groups through 80 and over. For more information, contact Mark Hardison at 615-848-9063.
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