McNeese State head football coach Matt Viator talks with quarterback Cody Stroud during a game last season. (American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:15 PM
Football is here.
McNeese State’s players reported to training camp on Tuesday — the earliest reporting date in school history thanks to an Aug. 30 season opener at Middle Tennessee State — and will put on their helmets for the first workout of the preseason today at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re excited,” said McNeese coach Matt Viator. “It appears all of our (returning players) will be eligible, which is good. Other than (quarterback) Will Briscoe, everybody’s coming back healthy to be ready for the season.”
Briscoe injured his knee in the spring game and will miss the season. Cody Stroud, Tyler Bolfing and Garrett McCain are the three quarterbacks in camp.
The only major adjustment to this year’s preseason schedule is the absence of Cowboy Night due to the season starting on a Thursday night. Viator said there is still a fan appreciation event being planned.
The Cowboys will don full pads for the first time on Sunday afternoon and begin the first of three two-a-day sessions Monday. Scrimmages are scheduled for Aug. 11 and 18.
Viator expects to see depth make for interesting battles at multiple positions.
There will be plenty of good fights for the top five spots along the offensive line, where there are seven players with significant starting experience.
“You’ve got some good competition there,” Viator said.
It will be the same at tailback, where Champlain Babin, Marcus Wiltz and Javaris Murray will again share the load.
“If all three stay healthy, we’ve got competition there plus with young kids coming in at that position,” Viator said.
There are also six players with starting experience at wide receiver.
Defensively, Viator thinks the defensive line may provide the best competition for playing time.SClB“The young kids went through spring and kind of got a taste of it. We have some talent there,” Viator said. “And we signed three defensive ends. We’re hoping they can come in and provide some competition there.”