Football Camp Notebook (#16)

August 13, 2001 · MT Media Relations
(following evening practice on Aug. 13)

LIGHTNING, STORM MOVES PRACTICE:The Blue Raiders were able to get in pre-practice and 16 of 24 periods of contact work this morning before lightning forced the team inside. At 9:30 AM head coach Andy McCollum whistled the team off the field due to lightning in the area. "Bobby Barlow told me we were about five minutes away from the storm hitting so I got the guys inside as quickly as I could," McCollum said. The team then went into the Murphy Center to conduct walk-thru's. The defense went in auxiliary gym one, while the offense worked in gym two. "We got in a good two hours on the field, then another hour in our indoor facility," McCollum said. "We got most of our physical work in, pass skeleton and punt block. It was a very productive morning."

MCCOLLUM ON PHYSICAL PLAY:"We have to continue to be a physical football team. We have to go at it hard everyday and so far we have. If we just keep fighting and getting in our live work we have a chance to make Middle Tennessee as good as it can be."

RECEIVERS UPDATE:One of the most talented and deepest areas on the team is at receiver where all-America candidate Kendall Newson and future star Tyrone Calico lead the way. The duo of Newson and Calico was the seventh best receiving tandem in the nation a year ago with a combined 121 catches for 1,697 yards. The group is more than just those two, however. Senior Hansford Johnson, junior David Youell and upstarts Kerry Wright and Hashem Joyner are expected to be big contributors. "Everyone is working real hard both on and off the field," offensive coordinator Larry Fedora said. "The four veteran guys (Newson, Calico, Johnson, Youell) are right where they left off this summer. They know what's going on in the offense and are having a solid camp. Kerry Wright is coming on strong and we expect him to be a big factor when the season begins and (Hashem) Joyner will also see time this year. We just have a lot of guys pushing each other right now, which is making the position pretty strong."

QUARTERBACKS CRISP IN PASS SKELETON:During this morning pass skeleton drill, quarterbacks Wes Counts and Jason Johnson were sharp. The pair combined to hit their first five passes and ended the drill 12 of 13. Counts went a perfect 7-for-7 through the air, while Johnson hit on five of six passes. On the receiving end, Tyrone Calico led the way with three catches, while David Youell, Quan Domineck and Dwone Hicks added two each.

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE:The Blue Raiders will hold their morning practice (pads) beginning at 7:45 AM and will start the evening practice at 5:10 PM.

TIDBITS: Senior receiver Nick Payne was out of his boot today and jogging on the sidelines - LB Sheldon Durham collected an interception during the pass skeleton drill - OL Josh Willoughby sprained his ankle this morning and is listed day-to-day- 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.

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