Blue Raiders have 103 report to camp

Crittenton, McClover report with newcomers

August 1, 2008 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Head Coach Rick Stockstill welcomed 103 veterans and newcomers Friday as the team officially reported for the start of fall drills. The first official practice is set for Saturday at 4:05 PM and it is open to the public.

"We are anxious to get things started," added Stockstill. "We are coming off a really good summer as most of our players have worked extremely hard. I expect them to report in shape and be ready to go Saturday.

"There is a lot of anticipation to see how much we have improved since the spring and to take a good look at our newcomers and see if they are ready to contribute."

On Friday, the transfers and freshmen spent most of the day in academic orientation meetings before taking photos and physicals later in the afternoon. Following dinner, Stockstill held a senior meeting, followed by a team meeting, before calling it a day.

The NCAA's mandatory acclimatization period will begin with Saturday's practice and will conclude with Wednesday's drills.

"The first week of drills is a critical time because we will install all of our offense and defense and really find out who our leaders are while getting a good gauge of our toughness," said Stockstill. "We will have a scrimmage on the second Saturday and that will tell us a lot about where we are and who we can count on."

A total of 35 lettermen and 11 starters highlighted the list of players reporting to camp on Friday, while 24 newcomers and four invited walk-ons were also a part of the group. Junior college transfer Marcus Udell will not arrive until later next week as he is completing his academic work.

Due to injuries suffered in the summer, Colin Boss, Lonnie Clemons, Desmond Gee, Danny Carmichael, Antonio Hill, Gorby Loreus, and Cam Robinson will not be available for the start of drills. All could be out as long as the first two weeks of camp.

Also, Immanuel Chu, Mark Fisher, and Andre Wicker will not be a part of practice as they will be spending time rehabbing injuries suffered during spring drills.

The Blue Raiders will open the 2008 season at home against conference foe Troy on August 28. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 PM CST.

Middle Tennessee also welcomed the arrival of Jarrett Crittenton to the team on Friday. The North Dakota State College of Science transfer is a four-star recruit who originally signed with Clemson.

Crittenton, a 6-6, 288-pound defensive end, was ranked as the fifth best junior college defensive end in the country and the 27th best player overall by SuperPrep.

The highly regarded Crittenton hails from Fayetteville, Ga., where he played high school football for Fayette County.

"Jarrett is a very athletic and talented player," added Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "How much he can contribute this year will depend on how quickly he learns the defense and what type of shape he is in entering camp. We are glad to have him in our program and I look forward to coaching him."

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