We continue our series of camp previews for select non-AQ schools.
Opening camp: Middle Tennessee
Schedule: Practice starts today.
Sidelined: WR Jamar Brown (hernia) is out for three weeks. DT Dwight Smith, RG Alex Stuart, RT Mark Fisher, CB Kenneth Gilstrap and DT SaCoby Carter are coming off offseason surgery and could be limited.
What’s new: Both coordinators. Mike Schultz runs the offense after spending last season at Illinois and 2007-08 at TCU. Randall McCray runs the defense after spending the last four years as an assistant at Wisconsin.
Key battle: Middle linebacker. Senior Antwan Davis and junior Gorby Loreus are competing to replace Danny Carmichael, the leader of the defense and second-leading tackler with 94. Davis has more experience, but Loreus is a better athlete.
New on the scene: LB Stephen Roberts. Don’t forget about Roberts in the battle for MLB, either. Roberts has plenty of potential but needs more experience.
Breaking out: Look for Garrett Andrews to become the go-to guy for Dwight Dasher with leading receiver Chris McClover gone. Andrews had 530 yards receiving and four TDs last season and ended the spring as the team’s top receiver.
Don’t forget about: RB Phillip Tanner. After leading the team in rushing as a junior, Tanner went into last season with high hopes. But he injured his knee in the second game of the season and took a redshirt. He leads a deep unit, joining Benjamin Cunningham and D.D. Kyles.
All eyes on: QB Dwight Dasher. Last season, Dasher became the fourth player in NCAA history to throw for more than 2,500 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season, while breaking school records for total offense, rushing yards in a season for a quarterback and single-season TD passes. He had a monster bowl game against Southern Miss (201 yards rushing, 162 yards passing, 4 TDs) -- can he keep it up for this season?
Quoting: “A lot of expectations are surrounding our team and we are excited about the challenges that are in front of us. It's a chance to get out and compete and football is all about competition." -- Coach Rick Stockstill