Storm forces Blue Raiders indoors for Wednesday practice

Practice held in Murphy Center

August 11, 2010 · Athletic Communications

Wednesday's Practice: Due to a thunderstorm that developed late in the afternoon and brought heavy rain and power outages in the Murfreesboro area, the Blue Raiders had to shift Wednesday's practice to Murphy Center.

Following scheduled meetings, the offense worked out in Gym 1 and the defense gathered in Gym 2 to go over plays and assignments. The workout lasted for little more than one hour.

"The lightning and heavy rain pushed us indoors today but I thought we had a very productive practice," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "We worked on fundamentals a great deal which should only benefit us down the road. The short workout will probably allow us to get our legs back a little as we will have three practices over the next two days and a scrimmage on Saturday."

The Blue Raiders will return to the practice field on Thursday with a 5:20 PM practice before holding their first two-a-day on Friday.

1. What Blue Raider would do the best on "Dancing with the Stars"? Roderic Blunt
2. Who has the best nickname on the team, and what is it? Stuart Taylor - Biscuit
3. Which one of your teammates would be the most likely to appear on "Survivor"? OL Colin Boss
4. What teammate would most likely get involved in politics? OL Jessie Grisham
5. From the Twilight series, do you like Team Edward or Team Jacob? Team Edward
6. Who should be the next judge on American Idol? Lebron James
7. What Super Hero would you like to be! Superman
8. What food did your mother have to make you eat as a youngster before you left the table? Steak and Potatoes
9. What song would you pick to be played when the Blue Raiders run out onto the field before a home game? Rick Ross

TANNER GEARED UP FOR FINAL SEASON: It is unusual for one player to be a part of two senior classes, and to be a leader in both, but that is what happened to running back Phillip Tanner as the result of a season-ending knee injury in the 31-14 win over Memphis last September.

Tanner had been the starting running back, and was considered one of the primary leaders on a team that included such seniors as Danny Carmichael, Alex Suber, Chris McCoy, Patrick Honeycutt, and Mark Thompson. After the injury, he still stepped up as a leader, coming to practice every day, and helping coach the young running backs that had to replace him.

After using a red-shirt season last year, the speedy Dallas, Texas, native is healthy again and ready to go. The respect of the coaches around the Sun Belt says volumes about his ability, as he was named to the pre-season All-Sun Belt team, despite playing only six quarters in 2009.

Being a team leader is now old hat, but for a while it hadn't really sunk in to Tanner that this would, indeed, be his last time around.

"I don't think it really hit me until we had our senior meeting last Thursday on the first day of camp. Those guys who were leaders last year did a great job, and we all want to follow in their footsteps as leaders this year. They were great role models," noted Tanner.

"Every championship team is senior-driven, so the seniors want to be there for the team. We want to be a close-knit group, to be a family, and go out with a bang."

Tanner has some quality backups this year as the result of experience gained in his absence in 2009. Junior D. D. Kyles and sophomore Benny Cunningham have both come on strong in spring drills and summer workouts.

"It's going to be an interesting season," smiled Tanner.

FAN DAY: Meet the 2010 Blue Raiders and coaches at Middle Tennessee's annual Football Fan Day, Sunday, August 15 from 2 PM - 4 PM at Murphy Center. Autographs, inflatables, free hotdogs and drinks, and loads of fun will be on hand for all members of the Blue Raider family. Bring your kids and friends to get them ready for the 2010 football season. Show you're Blue Raider Pride and pick up 2010 football posters, schedule cards, and much more. Blue Raider fans who would like to purchase the official BLACKOUT t-shirt may do so for $15.00 which will include a ticket to the Oct. 5th game versus Troy. IdeasTees will also be on hand to sell other Blue Raider gear.

FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT VIDEO IS READY: "March to New Orleans", presented by The Cavender Financial Group, is on its way to season ticket holders who took advantage of the early bird renewal special after the 2009 New Orleans Bowl and is available for sale in local stores.

The 49-minute video is a permanent record of the memorable 2009 season that included wins over Memphis and Maryland, the first visit to Floyd Stadium by an SEC team, a seven-game winning streak to close out the year, and the New Orleans Bowl victory over Southern Mississippi. Chocked full of highlights, the story of the incredible season is told from the point of view of many of the players and Coach Rick Stockstill.

"March to New Orleans" is on sale for $20 per copy at the Floyd Stadium Ticket Office, Lightning's Locker Room, Phillips Bookstore, The Learning Circle, and Reeves-Sain Drug Store.

NEXT PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders will practice on Thursday at 5:20 PM. The practice is open to the public.

SEASON TICKETS: 1-888-YES-MTSU OR GoBlueRaiders.com.

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