Football Camp Notebook for Sunday

Blue Raiders add the shoulder pads on Sunday

August 6, 2006 · MT Media Relations

Today's practice:
"Our second day outside and the first in shoulder pads went pretty well. The heat was good today for us and I like our effort and the shape we are in at this point. I have been pleased with the first two days outside. The first day was disappointing because of the weather and we had to go inside. You just get a lot more done outdoors.

Conditioning: "I think we are in good shape. Russell Patterson, our strength coach, and his staff did a great job with the guys this summer and it shows out there right now. You can run all you want to in the summer but nothing simulates practice. I don't think we are in game shape yet but we are headed in the right direction. We have a great plan to get there and the guys have a great attitude and are very focused."

Anybody impressed you to date: "It is really too early to pick players out because we have not practiced in full pads yet. I don't like to brag on them until the popping starts because that is when you find your tough guys. Overall, I am very pleased after three days."

Are late practice times due to heat: "Not really. Next week they are still in summer school and we have to go later in the day and today I wanted to give them time to go to church, eat lunch, and have time to digest our food. Joe-Joe Petrone, our athletic trainer, has a good plan with numerous waterbreaks, fruit, and a number of preventive measures to help the guys get through the heat and humidity. Our number one concern is the health of our players."

Looking forward to putting on the pads: "That is what football is all about. You don't play the game in shirts and shorts. We will find out a lot about this team on Tuesday when the pads go on. I know I have said this before but I really like the focus and attitude of this team right now. We don't have a lot of guys out there so we have to be smart and take care of our own. If we have a chance at a good shot on somebody I would rather we save it for a few weeks when it really counts. I want to get everybody to the first game healthy because we simply do not have a lot of players out there right now."

"It has been a good camp so far. All the guys are in good shape and have a lot of enthusiasm. We are all very excited and can't wait for that first game, but we also know we have a lot of work to do until that time. We have done well for the first few days out here. It is a totally new system but the guys are learning it and I think we are coming together. This is the tough part right now because everybody likes the games but this is when you get better and determine your season."

On heat: "It was a little cooler today when the sun went down but we have to play in it the first part of the year so you have to get used to it sometime."

PURVIS LEAVES TEAM: Walk-on wide receiver Thomas Purvis from Clarksville, Tenn., had to leave the team Saturday night after practice when he was told his father was involved in a serious car accident. According to the Associated Press, former NASCAR driver Jeff Purvis broke his neck in a crash on I-65 on his way to Talladega Saturday night to compete in a Dirt Late Model Series race. A total of seven people, including Purvis' wife and 15-year old son, were injured in the crash. "We are all hoping for the best during a difficult time for Thomas and his family," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "Thomas will not be enrolling in school later this month so he can be with his family, but I told him he can come back next August and be a part of this team."

MISCELLANEOUS: The first practice in full pads is scheduled for Tuesday at 5:30 PM, while the first 2-A-Day session will be this coming Saturday ... Former record-setting quarterback Wes Counts stopped by practice today ... The Daily News Journal, Newschannel 5 and Channel 4 all attended today's practice.

NEXT PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders will hold their fourth practice of fall camp on Monday from 6:00 PM to 7:50 PM.

BLUE RAIDER BLAST: The final "Blue Raider Blast" will be held in Downtown Murfreesboro on the square, Thursday, August 24, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This event is geared toward Blue Raider fans, alumni, and supporters in Rutherford County and surrounding areas and all interested parties are encouraged to attend and meet Middle Tennessee players, coaches, athletic administrators and University administrators as the athletic department gears up for the start of the 2006-07 school year. Admission to the "Blue Raider Blast" is free; however, food provided by Whitt's Barbecue will be available for $5 per plate. The blast will include music, inflatables, face painting and a special guest appearance by Middle Tennessee mascot, "Lightning," to entertain the youngsters.

FAN/MEDIA DAY: Middle Tennessee's annual Fan/Media Day is scheduled for August 19 at Noon in Murphy Center. 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 Aug. 31.

FENTON PAYNE AND FRED 5K: On Saturday morning, Aug. 19, the third annual Fenton Payne and Fred 5K Run/Walk to take place on the campus of Middle Tennessee with Head Football Coach Rick Stockstill firing the starting gun. The event will get underway at 7:30 AM with registration at Peck Hall. 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 80 and over. For more information, contact Mark Hardison at 615-848-9063.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.