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August 12, 2009Middle Tennessee hit the field for the second straight day but saw its practice cut about 10 minutes short due to a thunderstorm that hit the area late in the day. Coach Rick Stockstill was not as pleased with practice on Tuesday as he was Monday.
"Like Monday, I thought we competed well and had great effort but we were just a little too sloppy today," said Stockstill. "We dropped some balls that we did not have yesterday and I think we need to pick up our tempo and move faster on offense."
Despite being in shorts, Stockstill has liked what he has seen from a few of his players. The fourth year coach pointed to Chris McCoy, Jeremy Kellem, Rod Issac, Alex Suber, and freshman Sammy Seamster on defense, while acknowledging Dwight Dasher, Desmond Gee, Sancho McDonald, and Phillip Tanner on offense.
"You really can't evaluate the linemen as well in shorts as you can the skill guys so we will know more once the pads come on later in camp," added Stockstill. "I do think Sancho McDonald looks confident and I believe Sammy Seamster has a chance to help us this year."
A few highlights during the team competition today saw Suber collect an interception, while newcomer Garrett Andrews showed great concentration on a tipped pass by Rod Issac by collecting it for a 50-yard touchdown. Sophomore Malcolm Beyah also had a long touchdown reception from backup quarterback Brent Burnette.
"Despite some of the sloppy play today, I have really had a fun two days of coaching because these kids have such a great attitude and come on the field ready to work."
WEIGHT ROOM STORY: GoBlueRaiders.com sat down with football strength and conditioning coach Russell Patterson to get an inside look at some of the veteran Blue Raiders as they enter fall camp. Following are some tidbits on some of the returning players:
Kevin Brown: Added 11 pounds to his frame and enjoyed a great summer.
Danny Carmichael: Biggest thing is that he stayed healthy ... Worked very hard as always and seems poised for a solid senior year.
Dwight Dasher: Body is in much better shape ... Coming off a great summer ... Good attitude and has weight under control.
Darin Davis: Gained 22 pounds in a year ... Great attitude and worked hard in the summer ... Was not in great shape early on but kept working and is ready to go.
Mark Fisher: Had a great summer ... Is running well and is in excellent shape.
Desmond Gee: Had best summer of his career ... Very accountable in his actions ... Never missed anything and got stronger during the offseason ... This is healthiest he has been entering a season.
Patrick Honeycutt: Is in great shape and enjoyed a good summer ... Really worked on his leadership and made sure the receivers pushed themselves every day.
Rod Issac: Joins all the veteran defensive backs in a great summer of work ... Set his personal best in the broad jump at 10-0.
Jeremy Kellem: Enjoyed a great summer ... Increased his vertical jump by two inches to 36.5.
Chris McClover: Improved his bench by 130 pounds in one year ... His conditioning is much better than a year ago ... Enjoyed a very productive summer.
Chris McCoy: From January until now he has been phenomenal in his work ethic according to Patterson ... Broad jumped 10-5 (NFL looks at combo guys like McCoy at 10-0) ... Had a hang clean of 380 which is the most under Coach Stockstill.
Brandon Perry: Weight 334 pounds at the end of the 2008 season and dropped to 283 at the end of the summer ... Leadership has improved dramatically.
Alex Suber: Had a great summer ... Came back strong from his injured jaw ... Very accountable.
Phillip Tanner: Coming off his best summer as a Blue Raider ... Benched 305 this summer and when he arrived in 2006 he could not lift 205 ... Is focused.
Mark Thompson: Body weight is under control and has hit strength numbers he has never seen before.
ULM GAMETIME SET: Middle Tennessee's final regular season game on Nov. 28 at Louisiana-Monroe will kickoff at 3:15 PM CST. The game will be shown on the Sun Belt Network and can be seen locally on CSS.
NEXT PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders will practice on Wednesday at 3:45 PM and the workout is open to the public.
SEASON TICKETS: 1-888-YES-MTSU OR GoBlueRaiders.com
FAN DAY: Middle Tennessee's annual Fan Day will be held Sunday, August 16 from 2-4 PM in the Murphy Center. Make plans to visit with the players and coaches, get autographs, posters, and much more.
FENTON PAYNE AND FRED 5K: On Saturday morning, Aug. 15, the sixth annual Fenton Payne and Fred 5K Run/Walk to take place on the campus of Middle Tennessee. The event will get underway at 7:00 AM with registration located on the west side of Floyd Stadium in the concourse. The cost is $25 with cash prizes going to the winning male and female and the overall masters (40 years and over). There will also be awards to the top three finishers in all divisions, male and female, 9 and under, then 5 year age groups through 85+. New this year is a 1-Mile Kids Fun Run which will benefit Special Kids. For more information, contact Kerry Slicker at 615-796-1396.