Football Camp Notebook (#8)

August 8, 2001 · MT Media Relations
(following evening practice on Aug. 8)

WEATHER INTERRUPTS PRACTICE:The Blue Raiders were 43 minutes into the evening practice when an electrical storm began moving toward campus. Head coach Andy McCollum ordered the team off the field where they waited in the concourse area of Floyd Stadium for 34 minutes before making a decision. "There's one thing we don't mess with around here and that's lightning," McCollum said. "We are one big family here and I will take care of them just like I would my very own. We'll just go for an early dinner, then come back later tonight and practice in the stadium."

MOVING ON UP:In 1999, the first year of I-A football for the Blue Raiders, Middle Tennessee was ranked 114 out of 114 I-A program. What a difference 22 games make. In The Sporting News preseason poll, the Blue Raiders are listed No. 61 which is a 54-spot improvement over the last two years. Today, Sports Illustrated came out with their poll and the Blue Raiders were No. 77. SI had Middle Tennessee ahead of Vanderbilt (78) and Memphis (80).

ANDY MCCOLLUM ON JERRY VANDERPOOL:"I am excited about Jerry Vanderpool. He has worked hard, dealt with adversity, and made himself a starter on defense. We redshirted him last year, but at times it was very difficult to not put him in the game and see what he could do. I remember at Connecticut he dressed out and during the game I told him how sorry I was that he could not play. Jerry looked me right in the eye and said coach I will be ready for next year. He was already focused on the job he had in front of him."

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE:Two-a-day practices will resume with the first workout starting at 8 AM and concluding at 10:20 AM, while the evening practice will begin at 5:20 PM. Two-a-days will conclude on Aug. 18.

TIDBITS: Tennessee Titans scouts Ray Biggs and Cole Procter were observing practice today - The Blue Raider Football Preview will begin airing on MTSU Channel 9 on Comcast cable television on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. It will air each Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. and Sundays at 4:00 p.m. for the next three weeks. The show features last year's Blue Raider highlight video along with preseason information on the football team, parking, ticket packages, and more - Fan Day/Media Day is scheduled for Aug. 18 at Noon at Floyd Stadium (free hotdogs and cokes will be provided along with opportunities to get autographs and pictures with all the players and coaches) - If you would like to purchase a 2001 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.

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