Today's Football Camp Notebook

August 6, 2003 · MT Media Relations


(Practice No. 5)


TODAY'S PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders donned full pads for the first time this year as the team practiced in Floyd Stadium due to the storm that passed through earlier today. The spirited practice was filled with hard hitting and a number of big collisions. The biggest collision happened when tailback Eugene Gross met linebacker Joey Montalbano in the hole and kept going. "That was a big collision," head coach Andy McCollum said. "That typified today's practice."


MCCOLLUM ON TODAY'S PRACTICE: "It was a very productive day with a lot of hard hitting. We have a lot of work to do, but I saw some nice things out there today."


TWO TIMES: Today's practice signified the end of the acclimation period, which means Thursday is the first day the team can have two practices. The Blue Raiders will don full pads in the morning from 7:55 AM - 9:55 AM, then come back in the afternoon from 5:20 PM to 7:20 PM. The team will practice twice in one day on August 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15.


LIFTER OF THE YEAR: For the first time in the Andy McCollum era, two players shared honors as the Lifter of the Year which is voted on by members of the squad. This year's winners were LB Joey Montalbano and DE Dominic Jones. Montalbano, a senior and former walk-on, has won the award three times in five years, while Jones earned the award after also being tabbed the most improved. Other players in the top five were QB Josh Harris, DE Demetrios Walker, and DL Thomas Johnson. In all, the defensive line had three of the top five.


SENIOR LEADER TOPICS: The coaching staff asked the seniors to discuss various topics for fall camp and the upcoming 2003 season. Following is a list of the players who spoke and the topic they spoke about. Randy Arnold (Understanding Coach Mac), Brandon Lynch (Road Trips), Don Calloway (Being Unselfish), Andrico Hines (Handling Adversity), Thomas Johnson (Maturing as a Man), Chris Johnson (Juggling Your Roles), Michael Woods (Being Special), and Joey Montalbano (Work Ethic).


OTHER TIDBITS: "Pedro Holiday had a great practice today and made some big plays. He is fast developing into a good receiver," said McCollum ... Eugene Gross had a big pass play today that he broke for over 30 yards ... City Councilman Ron Washington spoke to the team tonight as part of the programs character meetings.


FAN DAY: Middle Tennessee's annual fan day is set for August 16 at Noon in Floyd Stadium. Fans will be able to gain autographs from all the players and coaches, while also having the opportunity to take a picture with their favorite Blue Raider. There will be free cokes and hot dogs, a rock climbing wall, a football toss game, and 102.9 The Buzz will be doing a live remote from the event. Fan day is free and open to the public.

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