HARRISONBURG - Running plays end with collisions. And that’s fine with Jamal Sullivan.
“I know football’s a violent sport,” the James Madison sophomore tailback said after practice Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium. “I’d rather deliver the blow than take it. That’s my motivation.”
BALTIMORE - Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley doesn’t have to continually remind his players of their goal of winning a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title any more — they do it for him.
“Before you had to sell them on the fact that they didn’t want to be part of a losing tradition and they just wanted to be competitive,” Hill-Eley said. “I hear them talking about championships, but I see them doing extra laps, I see them putting in extra time in the weight room.”
Armed with a two-year contract extension, Robert Morris football coach Joe Walton has begun the task of taking on another season.
Football is, of course, a passion of Walton, who spent a lot of years coaching in the NFL.
Since he started the Robert Morris program in 1993, Walton has enjoyed his share of success. He led the Colonials to back-to-back NCAA Division I FCS mid-major championships in 1999 and 2000 and has compiled an 85-55-1 career record.
ORONO – “It’s just another game.”
Jordan Stevens’ answer didn’t come with the knowing wink that he knew you knew he was giving the correct response. So the University of Maine football team opens its 2008 season at Iowa. So what?
Friday was media day for the Maine football team. Photographers asked for poses while reporters posed questions that don’t always have answers when preseason had just begun and the first game is still three weeks away.
Ex-Mississippi St. star received All-SEC honorable mention
Alabama A&M, in desperate need of a left tackle after preseason All-Southwestern Athletic Conference pick Darius Turner was ruled academically ineligible almost two weeks ago, landed a big one Monday when former Mississippi State standout Michael Brown practiced with the Bulldogs for the first time.
Brown, 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, graduated with a degree in Business Communications and will work on his master’s in Family & Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Human Development/Family Studies at A&M. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
Texas State coach Brad Wright said his team simply can’t afford to participate in too many scoring duels this season.
The Bobcats were in far too many last year, during a 4-7 campaign in his first year as head coach.
Wright hired Fred Bleil, a veteran defensive coach, as his new coordinator.
Bleil’s arrival could be the key to the Bobcats becoming a contender, after last year’s team allowed 34 or more points seven times — including more than 50 points twice.
Senior linebacker eager to help MSU after recent absence.
Jeremy Dawson was back in his element on Monday as Missouri State’s football team practiced in full pads for the first time this preseason.
Not only was Dawson able to celebrate full-contact football, the senior linebacker had an extra bounce because he was fully healthy.
Dawson had his tonsils removed last month. The normally routine procedure took on some complications, extending his recovery period into the first week of practice.
“It was kind of tough those first few days of practice,” Dawson said of being a spectator. “A lot of people look to me, being a senior linebacker, as somebody who needs to be out here being physical.
“I hadn’t even lifted and run for three weeks. But shoot, I don’t care who you are, if you have that drive, you’re going to get after it when you’re cleared.”
CARBONDALE - Hitting, blocking, catching the football. These are football basics, especially for someone at the Football Championship Subdivision level.
Trying to catch a football going end over end, with the possibility of getting run over? While people are pushing each other all around you? Not so basic. Southern Illinois University special teams coach Tom Dosch knows it, and that’s why he’s still on the lookout for Craig Turner’s heir apparent this season.
Monday, at SIU’s local media day, Dosch spoke about what he and the Salukis are looking for in their new punt returner. Running backs Larry Warner and Richard White are scheduled to start as the team’s new kick returners in the Sept. 6 opener against Hampton.
If the Montana Grizzlies’ success in Big Sky Conference football doesn’t continue, it won’t be for lack of effort.
Andrew Selle and a still-growing Cole Bergquist capped the Grizzlies’ first fall practice in preparation for the 2008 season with sharp two-minute drills, under a breezy, clear sky at the South Campus Fields.
There were plenty of new faces, since a couple dozen players were seniors on last year’s 11-1 squad. There were also a few subtractions, since a small number of ‘08 signees aren’t at camp.
Meanwhile, the veterans aren’t about to fade away.
Skyler Moore knew exactly where he was going after Sunday afternoon’s NAU football practice.
“I’m going to get the legs in the tub and relax for a bit,” Moore said. “I want to be able to stay fresh and finish up camp real strong.” There’s a good chance Moore was going to have to wait his turn to get into the tub as several of his teammates surely had the same idea.
Sunday’s practice marked NAU’s eighth practice in seven days as the first week of fall practice came to an end. Moore and the rest of the Jacks have plenty of bumps and bruises to nurse, but still have three more weeks of practice to look forward to.
New players will get rare contact scrimmages
There’s not much Jerry Glanville hasn’t seen or done in his lengthy career in football.
Starting today, though, Glanville is doing a new thing.
The Portland State coach will put the 46 new players on his roster, a list that includes 32 true freshmen, through “rookie” scrimmages for the final 20 minutes of each morning practice on days when the Vikings work out twice.
“I’ve never done it before,” Glanville says, “but I’ve never had a squad like this.”
Glanville says he needs to see, as soon as possible, which of the new Viks can contribute.
University of Northern Colorado offensive coordinator Dennis Darnell would like one of his returning running backs to step up and seize the No. 1 job.
For now, though, he just wants to see them get into shape.
His returning trio of David Woods, Tyrone “D.C.” Wilson and Andy Muns all failed their conditioning test when they reported, and Darnell wasn’t happy.
THIBODAUX – Playing on television is nothing new for the Nicholls State football team.
Since 2000, the Colonels have played games on Cox Sports Television, Fox Sports Southwest, College Sports Television and WHNO-TV in New Orleans.
This season, the Colonels will add one of the ESPN networks to their television resume. On Oct, 2, Nicholls will face the Northern Iowa Panthers in a game televised by ESPNU. The game will kick off at 6:25 p.m. in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The All-American and two-time Gateway Conference first-team pick is eyeing an even greater senior season.
YOUNGSTOWN — For the past three seasons, Mychal Savage has been a dominant force on the Youngstown State football team’s defensive line.
The 6-2, 305-pound tackle from Hartsdale, N.Y., is beginning his senior season and feels that he has a lot more to accomplish before he ends his career with the Penguins.
As a freshman in 2005, Savage played in 10 games and started seven of them while being named to the Gateway Conference All-Newcomer Team.
As a sophomore in 2006, Savage played in all 14 games, starting 13 of them. He totaled 54 tackles and three sacks, and earned first-team All-Gateway Conference honors.
Last season, he again started all 11 games, registering 43 tackles including 4.5 sacks.
HARRISONBURG - Mickey Matthews is never shy about promoting his players, so take this for what it’s worth. When the 10th-year James Madison football coach was asked about the return of tailback Eugene Holloman - who missed most of last season with a knee injury - here’s what he said.
“I think he’s the best back in the country,” Matthews said this week. “His injury last year cost us the national championship. You look at our games, if we had him playing, we would have won. The other running backs were thrust into a role they weren’t ready to assume. … He was the one guy we couldn’t afford to lose.”
Holloman just flashed a smile when told of his coach’s remarks.