Monday's Football Camp Notebook

August 8, 2005 · MT Media Relations
(Practice No. 1)

MCCOLLUM ON TODAY'S PRACTICE: "The team seemed very focused, showed good enthusiasm, and had a business approach. The veterans came out like the leaders they should be and the newcomers fit right in. Overall, I was pleased with the first practice."

MCCOLLUM ON J.K. SABB: "J.K. needs to catch up in conditioning, but you can see his natural instincts and burst. He has a lot of learning to do, but we're excited about what he can bring to this team."

MARKS ON FIRST PRACTICE: Quarterback Clint Marks, who looked very crisp throwing the football, was pleased with the way today's first practice went. "It was the best first practice we have had since I have been here. Everybody knew what they were doing, where they were supposed to go, and played with a lot of focus. It was a great day."

NUMBER CHANGES: Entering camp today there were a few noticeable number changes that should interest Blue Raider fans. CB Roy Polite moved from 25 to 6, WR Taron Henry switched from 87 to 13, FB Hunter Birtsch moved from 44 to 38, LB Tavares Jones moved from 34 to 19, and DL Quinton Staton went from 68 to 91.

POSITION CHANGES: Following are a few position changes that occurred prior to the start of camp today: Ronald Steed went from safety to running back, Christopher Sapp moved from offensive line to defensive line, Justin Rainey made the move from safety to linebacker, and newcomer Jordan Wilson went from running back to corner.

NEWCOMER SUBER ON DAY ONE: Freshman running back Alex Suber, who registered four receptions during the 7-on-7 drill today, is expected to be a major contributor in his first season. Suber, out of Tampa, Fla., talked about his first practice. "I knew it was going to be high tempo and fast paced, but I think overall I did okay today. I was a little anxious early on, but after a while you get settled in. A few of the defenders were talking a little noise and taking their shots because I am a freshman but I realize I will have to earn everything out there. I just want to out-work everybody and help this team win football games."

7-ON-7 STATS: Today's 7-on-7 drill was pretty impressive as the Blue Raiders had only one incompletion in 28 plays. Starting quarterback Clint Marks completed all eight of his attempts to seven different receivers, while backup Josh Harris also went 8-for-8. Joe Craddock matched Marks and Harris by hitting on all eight of his attempts to seven different players, while Patrick Jackson went 3-for-4.

STEED IN THE BACKFIELD: Junior Ronald Steed, who worked as a safety on last year's team, was moved back to familiar territory when he lined up at running back on day one. A former back in high school and at Morris Brown, Steed welcomed the change. "I wanted to do whatever would help the team. I am familiar with being a running back because that is what I did in high school. I like the ball in my hand, so I am real comfortable with the switch."

JACKSON DISMISSED: Sophomore running back Terry Jackson did not report on Sunday and was not at practice on Monday. The Memphis, Tenn., native was dismissed from the team for violation of team rules.

FAN/MEDIA DAY: Middle Tennessee's annual Fan/Media Day is scheduled for August 20 at Noon in Floyd Stadium. There will be free hot dogs and cokes given away while supplies last, games for the kids, and various drawings. Also, tickets will be on sale as well as this year's football media guide. As always, fans can get player autographs and photos so make plans now to check out this year's team as they prepare for the season-opener on Sept. 3.

QUICK HITTERS: WR Linnie Yarbrough, who was not on the team during spring drills due to his track commitment, was back on the field today. Yarbrough made some nice catches in drills and showed his always impressive speed ... Freshman wide receiver Michael Cannon drew some second looks from the coaching staff. The speedster out of Memphis, Tenn., hauled in a number of nice catches and showed he had the ability to cut up field and make people miss ... At the end of today's workout, senior Jeff Littlejohn gathered up the defensive linemen to do some extra running. "Those guys did that extra running on their own," said McCollum. "I think that tells you a lot about this team."

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