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Spring football notebook

Blue-White Game scheduled for Saturday

April 9, 2008 · MT Media Relations

CANNON IS RISING TO OCCASION: Michael Cannon has fit in nicely as one of the go-to-guys at wide receiver this spring. Last year, Cannon played in all 12 games finishing with a career-best 15 receptions. Cannon's biggest highlight of the 2006 season came in the fourth quarter at FAU. He returned a 32-yard punt for his first career touchdown. The Memphis Whitehaven alum led the Blue Raider receiving corps in last Saturday's scrimmage with two receptions and one touchdown. While Cannon has the most experience as a receiver, he expects every wide-out to elevate their game.

"We need to get everybody on the same page and working together as a team," Cannon said. "I feel we need everybody working as a group, so we don't have to depend on just one sole person."

Although there are many inexperienced receivers on the depth chart, Cannon feels that his teammates are improving with every practice session.

"We are progressing," Cannon said. "We put in a lot of new plays and the guys are learning quickly."

The senior has accepted his role as a leader and he enjoys helping his teammates. "They ask me certain things about plays or coverage's," Cannon said. "If I know the answer, I will help them."

JENKINS EMBRACES BEING A LEADER: The word "leader" has been in senior defensive lineman Trevor Jenkins's vocabulary since his freshman days. The Macon, Georgia native has played in 35 games and has started in 26 consecutive games, dating back to his sophomore season. Jenkins finished the 2007 campaign with 33 tackles, nine tackles for loss, a sack, three pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. In last Saturday's scrimmage, Jenkins tallied five tackles, one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. Jenkins' leadership does not end on the field. The business management major won the Dr. James E. Walker Junior Academic Award last spring.

"Coach Stockstill and his coaching staff have always said you don't have to be a senior to be a leader," said Jenkins. "They have been telling me this since I was a sophomore. In essence, it is my year to step up. I have been thinking of myself as a leader since my sophomore year. To be a leader, you have to practice hard. I try to practice hard by action and then when I say something, it has essence to it."

The defense has re-tooled itself on stopping the run during spring practice. Jenkins recognized the lack of intensity the defense had in late 2007, but feels the team is returning to its powerful run-stopping prowess from 2006.

"I think we are getting better because we are getting off the ball," Jenkins said. "Coach [Les] Herrin has been emphasizing getting off the ball and creating disruption. We have been practicing getting off the ball as fast as we can. If we can do that, we can stop the run like did in 2006."

Even though the defensive line lost two of its all-conference players in Erik Walden and Tavares Jones, Jenkins feels that the Blue Raiders are transitioning nicely.

"They are first class young men and on top of that, they are first-class athletes," Jenkins noted. "We are going to miss them a lot, but at the same time, the show must go on. They were great leaders and they led by example and now it is time for other guys to step up. Chris McCoy and Wes Hofacker are quality ends and will make big plays this year."

CHU OUT: Junior defensive lineman Immanuel Chu from Woodstock, Georgia suffered a posterior labrum tear of his left shoulder and will be out of action for six to seven months. Chu signed with the Blue Raiders in December after transferring from the College of the Sequoias.

GOLF TOURNAMENT FRIDAY: The third annual letterman's golf tournament will be held Friday at the Indian Hills golf course and a record crowd of nearly 100 former lettermen will be on hand. This annual event allows the current coaching staff to spend time with former players, talk about the past and future, and let them get closer to the program. Coach Stockstill sees this tournament as a great way to reach out to the football alumni. "This is a great way for us to connect to the players of the past who helped make this program what it is today," added Stockstill. "It is truly one of the highlights each season and we want to continue making it grow."

SEASON TICKETS: The Blue Raider ticket office will also be on-hand at the Blue-White Game to sell season tickets, which are only $90. As a special incentive for renewing by June 18th, you will receive a complimentary concession coupon booklet featuring your choice of popcorn or peanuts, hot dogs, nachos, large fountain drinks and frito chili pies from the Sodexho concession stands. Also, please help us by adding one new season ticket holder or adding at least one season ticket to your account. This will allow you to use your extra ticket(s) by inviting at least one more friend to attend. Our "ADD ONE" campaign will officially kick off this spring and catch every game while sitting with members of your family and friends. As a special perk by participating in the "ADD ONE" campaign, you will receive an official BLACK OUT t-shirt and car flag.

BLUE-WHITE SPRING GAME: There will be several fun-filled activities before the annual Blue-White spring game on Saturday at 1 PM at Floyd Stadium. Tailgating will be encouraged at both Walnut Grove and the Greenland Drive parking lot. The players and coaches will sign autographs prior to the game from 10:30 AM until 11:30 AM. Photo opportunities will also be available. Fans will be able to purchase Nike jerseys, a limited number of helmets, along with a few other items. The garage sale will be located outside of Lightning's Locker Room near Gate 2A and will get underway at 10 AM.

Following is a list of the day's activities on campus:
10:00 AM:
Lightning's Locker Room Opens
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM:
Garage Sale outside Lightning's Locker Room
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM:
Autograph Session (north concourse of Floyd Stadium)
1:00 PM:
Blue-White Spring Game
1:00 PM and 3:00 PM:
Softball vs Florida International
5:00 PM:
Soccer Alumni Game

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