ETSU Football Fall Camp Headquarters
ETSU Football Fall Camp Headquarters
Saturday, August 26, 2017
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This is the official headquarters for ETSU football fall camp. Follow what's going on as the Buccaneers prep for the 2017 season. This page will be updated each day with coach/player interviews, highlights, social media coverage and news coverage throughout the Tri-Cities. 

AUG. 26 - PRACTICE #21

The ETSU football team wrapped up fall camp with an 18-period practice on Saturday morning inside William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium. 

Following practice, head coach Carl Torbush, senior wide receiver Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.) and senior defensive back Daren Ardis (Bradenton, Fla.) talked about wrapping up fall camp and gearing up for the season opener next Saturday night against Limestone. 

AUG. 24 - SCRIMMAGE #3

After holding a press conference to announce the naming of William B. Greene, Jr. Stadium, the ETSU football team completed a scrimmage under the lights inside its new, on-campus home on Thursday night. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

OFFENSE

The Buccaneer offense totaled 451 yards on 66 plays, while scoring three touchdowns and one field goal … The quarterbacks went 16-for-29 with 374 yards and two touchdowns and the running backs totaled 77 yards. 

Redshirt junior quarterback Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.) connected on a 51-yard score to senior Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.) and completed a 70-yard touchdown to redshirt junior Hunter Wike (Canton, N.C.) … Both Lowe and Wike broke several tackles and sprinted their way into the end zone … Overall, Sexton finished 7-of-11 for 271 yards and the two touchdowns. 

Redshirt junior running back Matt Thompson (Morristown, Tenn.) highlighted the first score as he found the end zone on a 38-yard run to cap off a 4-play, 80-yard drive on the second series of the scrimmage … To go with his touchdown, Thompson finished with 42 rushing yards on three carries (14.0 average). 

Redshirt sophomores Quan Harrison (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Artevius Smith (Birmingham, Ala.), along with Lowe all totaled three receptions … Harrison finished with 100 receiving yards, which included a 71-yard catch from Sexton … Lowe posted 60 receiving yards, while Wike ended with 80 and redshirt freshman Braxton Richburg (Hoschton, Ga.) hauled in a 50-yard catch from redshirt sophomore Dylan Wieger (Kingsport, Tenn.)

Wieger completed six of his 11 pass attempts for 108 yards and redshirt junior quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) finished 2-of-4 for 40 yards, along with adding three carries for 18 yards … Herink completed a 34-yard pass to junior Kobe Kelley (Knoxville, Tenn.)

In total, the offense generated seven plays of over 20 yards, including four going over 50 yards. 

DEFENSE

The Buccaneer defense registered 66 tackles, eight sacks, 14 tackles for loss, eight pass break ups and two fumble recoveries. 

Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Olajuwon Pinkelton (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the group with seven tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery. 

Joining Pinkelton with a sack were redshirt junior linebacker River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.), redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Austin Rowan (Knoxville, Tenn.), freshman linebacker Chris Ross (Enterprise, Ala.), redshirt sophomore linebacker JD Griffin (Kodak, Tenn.) and redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Joe Pittman (Pell City, Ala.). 

Ross finished with four tackles and also blocked a punt, which he scooped and scored from 23 yards out, and Rowan added four tackles (two tackles for loss). 

Sophomore defensive back Jeremy Lewis (Lawrenceville, Ga.) added three tackles and had two pass break ups, while Boruff and redshirt junior linebacker Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) both totaled five tackles. 

Senior defensive back Paul Hunter (Denton, Texas) finished with three tackles (one tackle for loss) and a forced fumble, while redshirt junior linebacker Austin Gatewood (Ooltewah, Tenn.) had the Bucs’ second fumble recovery. 

Senior defensive back Bryce Suber (Lebanon, Tenn.) ended with three tackles and a pass break up. 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Joe DeFatta (Franklin, Tenn.) made the only field goal attempt of the night as he connected on a 19-yard make. 

Junior defensive back Domenique Williams (Charlotte, Tenn.) finished with 53 all-purpose yards – 38-yard kickoff return and 15-yard punt return. 

Redshirt sophomore Landon Kunak (Spartanburg, S.C.) recorded two punts for 80 yards, including one inside the 20, while posting three kickoffs for 182 yards. 

Chris Ross blocked a punt and scored from 23 yards out. 

HIGHLIGHTS

POST SCRIMMAGE COMMENTS

Listen to what head coach Carl Torbush had to say following the Bucs' scrimmage on Thursday night.  

PHOTO GALLERY

AUG. 23 - PRACTICE #18

There was plenty of excitement and electricity surrounding ETSU’s football practice on Wednesday.

For the first time since being built, the Buccaneers were able to practice inside their new, on-campus stadium. After taking the route of the BucWalk to the stadium, the team held a 21-period practice on the new turf inside the stadium.

ETSU will hold a closed scrimmage at the stadium Thursday evening to prep for next Saturday’s season opener against Limestone.

Below are sights and sounds from Wednesday’s practice.

PHOTO GALLERY  

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Following practice, head coach Carl Torbush, redshirt junior wide receiver Drake Powell (Clinton, Tenn.), redshirt junior quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.), junior defensive lineman Chris Bouyer (Rock Hill, S.C.) and redshirt junior Trey Quillin (New Albany, Ohio) talked about practicing inside their new stadium for the first time. 

 

AUG. 22 - PRACTICE #17

East Tennessee Football head coach Carl Torbush and his staff released the first installment of the Buccaneers’ depth chart on Tuesday. 

ETSU’s depth chart features 35 players on offense, 32 on defense and 10 on special teams. 

BELOW IS THE BREAKDOWN BY CLASS OF THE OFFENSE:

Redshirt Seniors – 2

Seniors – 2

Redshirt Juniors – 11

Juniors – 4

Redshirt Sophomores – 10

Sophomores – 1

Redshirt Freshmen – 5 

BELOW IS THE BREAKDOWN BY CLASS OF THE DEFENSE:

Redshirt Seniors – 1

Seniors – 3

Redshirt Juniors – 7

Juniors – 3

Redshirt Sophomores – 5

Sophomores – 6

Redshirt Freshmen – 3

Freshmen – 4 

BELOW IS THE BREAKDOWN BY CLASS OF THE SPECIAL TEAMS:

Seniors – 1

Redshirt Juniors – 3

Juniors – 3

Redshirt Sophomores – 2

Sophomores – 1 

DEPTH CHART (AS OF AUG. 22; SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

 

AUG. 21 - PRACTICE #16

The ETSU football team opened up its final week of fall camp by holding a 24-period practice in full pads on Monday morning outside on the ETSU Practice Fields ... The Bucs battled some hot and humid conditions as the Blue and Gold worked on the two-minute drill, positional drills, and special teams work ... Following practice, head coach Carl Torbush announced to the media that the first two-deep of fall camp will be released on Tuesday ... Below are interviews from Coach Torbush, redshirt junior wide receiver Malik Styles (Dandridge, Tenn.) and redshirt junior linebacker Alonzo Francois (Ooltewah, Tenn.) on the importance of the two-deep. 

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM PRACTICE #16

ETSU FOOTBALL STADIUM UPDATE (PHOTO GALLERY) 

AUG. 19 - PRACTICE #15

The Buccaneers wrapped up their second week of fall camp by holding a 24-period practice in full pads on Saturday morning outside on the ETSU Practice Fields ... The practice consisted of positional drills, special teams work, and third down and overtime situationals ... With the Bucs getting an off day on Sunday, the players were put through a frenzy conditioning circuit. 

Following practice, head coach Carl Torbush, redshirt junior quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) and redshirt linebacker Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio) talked about practice and looking ahead to opening the season in two weeks against Limestone.

COACH AND PLAYER INTERVIEWS

A LOOK AT SATURDAY'S PRACTICE

Take a look at Saturday's practice via @ETSUFootball Twitter.  

AUG. 17 - SCRIMMAGE #2 /PRACTICE #13

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 17, 2017) – The ETSU football team moved one step closer to its season opener as the Buccaneers held their second scrimmage of fall camp on Thursday morning outside on the ETSU Practice Fields. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

DEFENSE

  • The Buccaneer defense recorded three turnovers and freshman linebacker Chris Ross (Enterprise, Ala.) scored on a 90-yard fumble return, which put the finishing touches on a stellar scrimmage by the defense … Junior defensive lineman Tremond Ferrell (Washington, Ga.) also had a fumble recovery, while sophomore defensive lineman Austin Rowan (Knoxville, Tenn.) came down with an interception on a tipped pass. 
  • Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.) led the Bucs with nine tackles, four sacks and one quarterback hurry, while redshirt junior linebacker Alonzo Francois (Ooltewah, Tenn.) and freshman defensive back Karon Delince (Phenix City, Ala.) each totaled eight tackles. 
  • Redshirt junior linebacker River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.) finished with six tackles and a sack and sophomore defensive back Jeremy Lewis (Lawrenceville, Ga.) added five tackles and two pass break ups. 
  • Joining Boruff and Maduafokwa with sacks were defensive linemen Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) and Chris Bouyer (Rock Hill, S.C.), and linebackers Spencer Brien (Gatlinburg, Tenn.), Blake Bockrath (Loveland, Ohio), Zack Yancey (Opelika, Ala.) and Chei Hill (Homestead, Fla.)
  • Overall, the defense finished with 98 tackles, 12 sacks, two fumble recoveries, one interception, five pass break ups and three quarterback hurries. 

OFFENSE

  • The Buccaneer offense generated two touchdowns as quarterbacks Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.) scored on runs … Herink – who scored on 10-yard run up the middle – went 6-of-9 with 106 passing yards … Sexton completed eight passes for 57 yards and scored on a three-yard run … Redshirt sophomore Dylan Wieger (Kingsport, Tenn.) went 9-for-16 for 103 yards. 
  • Overall, the quarterbacks completed 26 passes for 293 yards, while the running backs totaled 100 yards on the ground. 
  • Redshirt junior Jajuan Stinson (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the running backs with 46 yards on two attempts, which included a 45-yard carry on the sixth play of the scrimmage and led to a 45-yard field goal by JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) … Freshman Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) finished with 28 yards on eight carries. 
  • The Buccaneer quarterbacks completed passes to 14 different receivers with Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.), Andrew Heyward (Powder Springs, Ga.), Anthony Spagnoletti (Bealeton, Va.) and Kashif Warren (Knoxville, Tenn.) all registering three receptions … Lowe led the group with 44 receiving yards, while Quan Harrison (Greeneville, Tenn.) had a 40-yard reception.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • JJ Jerman and Joe DeFatta (Franklin, Tenn.) provided scoring highlights for the offense on Thursday … The Buccaneer duo went 7-for-10 on field goal attempts, which included four makes from over 50 yards.
  • Jerman went 3-for-5 and connected on attempts of 40, 47 and 55 yards, and DeFatta went 4-for-5 with makes of 26, 51, 53 and 55 yards.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

Afterwards, head coach Carl Torbush, quarterback Austin Herink, running back Jajuan Stinson and linebacker River Boruff talked about the scrimmage. 

HIGHLIGHTS

PHOTO GALLERY

UP NEXT

The Blue and Gold return to practice Friday morning at 8 a.m., before wrapping up the second week of camp with another morning practice on Saturday.

ETSU will hold its third and final scrimmage of fall camp on Thursday, Aug. 24 … Game time and location for the scrimmage has yet to be determined.

SEASON OPENER 

ETSU opens its 2017 season on Saturday, Sept. 2 when the Buccaneers host Limestone at 7 p.m. inside the new on-campus stadium. 

Season and single game tickets are currently on sale, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at (423) 439-3878 or by clicking here.

For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link. 

AUG. 16 - PRACTICE #12

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 16, 2017) – The ETSU football team will hold its second scrimmage of fall camp on Thursday morning. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m., outside on the ETSU Practice Field, which is adjacent the Basler Center for Physical Activity (CPA). 

Thursday’s scrimmage is free and open to the general public. 

Thursday marks the second scrimmage of fall camp for the Blue and Gold as the Buccaneers gear up for their 2017 season opener on Sept. 2 against Limestone inside ETSU’s new, on-campus stadium. 

Following Thursday’s scrimmage the coaching staff will finalize the Bucs’ two-deep, which ETSU will then turn its attention to prepping for the season opener versus the Saints. 

After Wednesday’s practice, head coach Carl Torbush, junior running back Matt Thompson (Morristown, Tenn.) and junior linebacker Alonzo Francois (Ooltewah, Tenn.) talked about the importance of this scrimmage. Below are comments from the three Bucs. 

ETSU held its first scrimmage of fall camp last Saturday inside the MSHA Athletic Center. The offense totaled 536 yards, while Thompson, Dontavius Monroe (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Kobe Kelley (Knoxville, Tenn.) all recorded touchdowns. Defensively, the Bucs posted 127 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, nine sacks, seven pass break ups, five quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. Sophomore defensive end Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) led the defense with six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, and two hurries. 

The Blue and Gold will hold one final scrimmage of fall camp next Thursday, Aug. 24. Time and location have yet to be determined.

For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link. 

AUG. 15 - PRACTICE #11

The ETSU football team hit the midway point of fall camp on Tuesday ... With inclement weather surrounding the Tri-Cities region, the Buccaneers were forced to hold Practice #11 inside the MSHA Athletic Center ... The Blue and Gold held an intense 24-period practice as ETSU gears up for its season opener against Limestone on Sept. 2 inside the Bucs' new on-campus stadium. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF PRACTICE #11

Following practice Offensive Coordinator Mike O'Cain and Defensive Coordinator Billy Taylor talked about the first half of fall camp. 

MEDIA COVERAGE

With depth and experience, ETSU trying to figure out who will carry the ball -- Johnson City Press

AUG. 14 - PRACTICE #10

MEDIA COVERAGE

Bucs' day off followed by tough practice -- Johnson City Press

AUG. 12 - SCRIMMAGE #1 / PRACTICE #9

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 12, 2017) – The East Tennessee State University football team wrapped up the first week of fall camp by holding a scrimmage on Saturday morning inside the MSHA Athletic Center.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

  • The Buccaneer quarterbacks combined to go 33-for-54 for 374 yards and one touchdown
  • Redshirt junior Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) went 11-for-13 for 121 yards (completed his first nine passes)
  • Redshirt sophomore Dylan Wieger (Kingsport, Tenn.) led all quarterbacks with 146 passing yards, which included the longest touchdown of the day as he connected on a 34-yard pass to junior Kobe Kelley (Knoxville, Tenn.)
  • Redshirt junior Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.), along with freshmen Tyrique Sandusky (Memphis, Tenn.) and Dylan Noe (Morristown, Tenn.) combined for 12 completions for 107 yards

RUNNING BACKS

  • Sophomore Dontavius Monroe (Delray Beach, Fla.) and redshirt junior Matt Thompson (Morristown, Tenn.) registered the touchdown runs for the Blue and Gold
  • Monroe capped off the opening series with a five-yard score
  • Thompson – who had 12 carries for 50 yards on the day – scored on a three-yard run
  • Freshman Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) had seven carries for 35 yards
  • Overall, the running backs rushed for 162 yards on 41 carries with two touchdowns

WIDE RECEIVERS / TIGHT ENDS

  • Fourteen Buccaneer receivers combined for 33 receptions for 374 yards and one touchdown
  • Redshirt junior Hunter Wike (Canton, N.C.) led the group with five catches for 64 yards, while senior Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.) totaled four catches for 51 yards
  • Freshman Drae Butts (Gray, Ga.) finished with four receptions for 38 yards
  • Kobe Kelley hauled in the lone touchdown reception with a 34-yard score
  • Eight different receivers accounted for at least two catches

DEFENSE

  • The Buccaneer defense posted 127 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, nine sacks, seven pass break ups, five hurries and one forced fumble in the first scrimmage of fall camp
  • Redshirt junior linebacker River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.) led the Bucs with eight tackles, along with posting one sack
  • Redshirt sophomore defensive end Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) filled up the stat sheet as he finished with six tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and two hurries
  • Freshman defensive back Karon Delince (Phenix City, Ala.) registered five tackles, one sack and two pass break ups, while sophomore Tony Mitchell (Robertsdale, Ala.) also tallied two pass break ups to go with four tackles
  • Senior defensive lineman Ferguierson Charles (Fort Myers, Fla.) had two quarterback hurries and a tackle for loss
  • Redshirt junior linebacker Austin Gatewood (Ooltewah, Tenn.) finished with five tackles (one tackle for loss), while fellow linebacker Alonzo Francois (Ooltewah, Tenn.) recorded one sack and a pass break up
  • Redshirt freshman Blake Bockrath (Loveland, Ohio) totaled five tackles, one sack and a pass deflection
  • Local products Jack Jones (Bristol, Tenn.) and Austin Hicks (Elizabethton, Tenn.) combined for 12 tackles … Jones finished with five and Hicks totaled seven with a sack
  • Freshman Chris Ross (Enterprise, Ala.) ended with five tackles (one tackle for loss) and a quarterback hurry, while sophomore newcomer Kaman Cooper (Warner Robins, Ga.) added five tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Junior JJ Jerman (Seymour, Tenn.) and Joe DeFatta (Franklin, Tenn.) took the reps on field goals and extra-points on Saturday.
  • Jerman made his two PAT attempts, while connecting on a 50-yard field goal
  • DeFatta made his PAT attempt

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY 

Below are audio files from head coach Carl Torbush, Austin Herink, Nasir Player and Kobe Kelley following Saturday's scrimmage.

PHOTOS 

MEDIA COVERAGE

Player stands out as Bucs hold first scrimmage -- Johnson City Press

Physical, competitive first scrimmage for ETSU -- WJHL

SEASON OPENER

ETSU opens its 2017 season on Saturday, Sept. 2 when the Buccaneers host Limestone at 7 p.m. inside the new on-campus stadium. 

Season tickets are currently on sale starting at $100, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at (423) 439-3878 or by clicking here.

For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link. 

AUG. 11 - PRACTICE #8 / MEDIA DAY

Following a 15-period practice in preparation for its first scrimmage, ETSU held media day on Friday afternoon inside the MSHA Athletic Center ... The Bucs took their 2017 team photo, along with positional/staff photos and photos for use on the video board inside the stadium. 

Check out photos from Media Day 2017...

AUG. 10 - PRACTICE #7

The ETSU football team held its last full-padded practice before Saturday's first scrimmage of fall camp on Thursday outside on the ETSU practice fields ... The Bucs scrimmaged live for the last two periods on Thursday to gear up for the first scrimmage of fall camp ... Following practice, head coach Carl Torbush, offensive lineman Matt Pyke (Clinton, Tenn.) and Daren Ardis (Bradenton, Fla.) talked about the upcoming scrimmage. 

VIDEO OF THURSDAY'S SCRIMMAGE 

MEDIA COVERAGE FROM AUG. 10

Daye fitting right in with ETSU football team -- Johnson City Press

AUG. 9 - PRACTICE #6

TWITTER FEED

AUG. 8 - PRACTICE #5

For the second straight day, the Buccaneers held practice inside the MSHA Athletic Center due to the heavy rain that hit the Tri-Cities region on Monday ... Following the NCAA-mandated acclimation period, the Blue and Gold were in full pads for the first time this fall camp ... After Tueday's 24-period practice, head coach Carl Torbush, defensive linemen Ferguierson Charles (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) and offensive lineman Alex Rios (Tucson, Ariz.) talked about being in full pads for the first time this camp. 

HIGHLIGHTS

PHOTO GALLERY 

MEDIA COVERAGE FROM AUG. 8

ETSU’s passing game comes together with experienced receivers, QB

ETSU football team puts on the pads -- Johnson City Press

AUG. 7 - PRACTICE #4

ETSU wrapped up its fourth practice of fall camp on Monday morning ... Due to inclement weather in the Tri-Cities region, the Buccaneers were able to remain dry by holding their two-out, 24-period practice inside the MSHA Athletic Center ... The Blue and Gold are scheduled to hold their first practice in full pads on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., outside on the ETSU Practice Fields. 

Check out some sights and sounds from Monday's practice. 

 AUG. 6 - PRACTICE #3

The Bucs held their first fall practice of 2017 in shells and third overall practice on Sunday morning outside on the ETSU Football Practice Fields ... The Blue and Gold held a 24-period practice that lasted approximately two hours. 

Afterwards, ETSU head coach Carl Torbush, junior linebacker River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.) and junior wide receiver Kobe Kelley (Knoxville, Tenn.) talked about the Bucs' first three practices of camp. 

MEDIA COVERAGE FROM AUG. 6

Daryl Daye making an impression early on Bucs’ defensive lineman - WJHL

AUG. 5 - PRACTICE #2

Watch highlights from Saturday's practice via ETSU Football's Instagram account.  

 

Take a look at updated photos of the ETSU Football Stadium

LOCAL MEDIA COVERAGE

Bucs keeping contact in check early at camp - WJHL

The ETSU football team began preparing for the upcoming 2017 season as the Buccaneers opened fall camp on Friday morning.

The Bucs, who return 22 starters (10 offense, nine defense, three specialists) from last year’s squad that defeated two nationally ranked teams in Kennesaw State and Samford, held a 24-period practice that lasted approximately two hours out on the ETSU Practice Fields. 

Friday marked the first of nine straight days of practices for the Blue and Gold as ETSU gears up for its season opener against Limestone on Saturday, Sept. 2 inside its new on-campus stadium. Today's practice mainly of positional group drills, along with a few periods of 7-on-7. During the 7-on-7 drills, junior linebacker Austin Gatewood (Ooltewah, Tenn.) sparked the defense with a pick six, while senior Jevon Gooden (Jamaica Queens, N.Y.) followed with an interception of his own. 

HIGHLIGHTS

QUOTABLES

Below are quotes from head coach Carl Torbush, along with Austin Gatewood, Dylan Weigel, Austin Herink.  

HEAD COACH CARL TORBUSH

ON TODAY’S FIRST PRACTICE

I thought it was an excellent day. Today’s practice was well organized, and I thought our coaches have done a good job getting our young men ready to come out and practice.  

ON HAVING MORE EXPERIENCED PLAYERS ON THE ROSTER

Obviously, we’re so much better now than we were four years ago. We are much more bigger, faster and stronger. There’s a core group of guys who have been here from the beginning. They didn’t have any players to look up to when they got here, and now they have to be role models to the freshmen who just arrived. They were the leaders (then), and now they are the leaders to these incoming freshmen. 

ON SEEING THE NEWCOMERS FOR THE FIRST TIME

From what I saw athletically today, I think our freshmen class has a chance to be an outstanding group. They have a lot of speed and size. I don’t know how many of them will play this year – that will be determined over these next 20 practices in camp – but at the same time I feel like we have a solid foundation to build this football program on. 

ON THE LOOK AT DIFFERENT POSITIONS

We have a lot of guys on our defensive front seven that have played a lot of snaps, and with those guys coming back as returning starters – if they can stay healthy – that should be a good position for us. 

I think our most improved position group is probably our offensive line. I also feel like we have some good players at the skill positions, so I like where we are as a football team.

------

AUSTIN GATEWOOD – JUNIOR – LINEBACKER – OOLTEWAH, TENN.

WHAT YOUR GOAL FOR THE SEASON IS

One of our main goals is to force more turnovers. Turnovers really impact the game and we didn’t have nearly enough last year. This is one of our biggest goals coming into camp and we were able to do that today. 

IS THERE A DIFFERENT VIBE GOING INTO CAMP KNOWING YOU’RE GETTING READY TO MOVE INTO THE NEW STADIUM?

Absolutely. You can hear the hype all around the area. The players, community and everyone around campus are very excited to open the new stadium. You can just tell the energy level is extremely high.

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DYLAN WEIGEL – JUNIOR – LINEBACKER – PICKERINGTON, OHIO

ON THE TEAM BEING OLDER AND RETURNING A LOT OF PLAYERS

I feel like we’re picking up where we left off in the spring. We finally have a good mix of experienced players and it’s important we help out the underclassmen. We have more depth now than at any point since I’ve been here. We have a good mix of talented players and it’s exciting to see everything come together.

-----

AUSTIN HERINK – JUNIOR – QUARTERBACK – CLEVELAND, TENN.

HOW’S THE TEAM FEELING COMING INTO CAMP?

Everyone is excited to be in camp and start preparing for the season. Most of us have had three years of playing experience under our belt and a lot of people are more experienced. I think this year’s camp is about fine-tuning our skills and focusing on our technique. We’ve most of the plays down. We’ve been doing this for three years. There’s a lot of excitement to just get back out there.  

HOW IN SYNC ARE YOU WITH THE RECEIVERS AND BACKS?

We’ve had all summer to get together, throw and workout to get our timing down. Now, we don’t have to coach up the guys and tell them the route. We’ve done it for two seasons, so it’s second nature for a lot us. I tell Drake Powell to run a 10-yard route. I know where he’s going to be and he knows where I like to throw it. Being in sync is one of our biggest strengths right now. 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF CAMP?

I thought we brought a lot of excitement and enthusiasm today. We came out excited to play. Everyone was running to the ball and giving their best effort. There weren’t many mental mistakes. Overall, I thought everyone came prepared and ready to practice.  

HAVE YOU SEEN OVERALL IMPROVEMENT THROUGHOUT THE TEAM?

Absolutely. I think this is one of our best recruiting classes – if not the best. There’s a lot of really raw talent out there and I can’t wait to see them get used being in our program. I have definitely seen a lot of talent out there, and the new guys are going to be a big help for us now and in the future. 

WHAT WOULD MARK SUCCESS TO YOU THIS YEAR?

I want to get better each and every day. We’ve focused on a lot of things. Offensively, we want to be better and improve on third down conversions. If we continue to improve on that, the results will speak for themselves. We just have to be our best every single day and let the chips fall where they may.

PHOTO GALLERY

Below is the photo gallery of today's first practice. 

MEDIA COVERAGE FROM AUG. 4

Bucs open preseason practice with more experience under their belts - Johnson City Press

ETSU opens fall camp with some experience on the roster - WCYB

ETSU Football Opens 2017 Fall Camp - WJHL

5 College Football Stadiums Debuting in 2017 that are True Works of Art - HERO Sports

College Sports Madness 2017 Preseason SoCon All-Conference Teams

FALL CAMP SCHEDULE

Sunday, Aug. 6 – Practice #3

Monday, Aug. 7 – Practice #4

Tuesday, Aug. 8 – Practice #5 – FIRST DAY IN FULL PADS

Wednesday, Aug. 9 – Practice #6

Thursday, Aug. 10 – Practice #7

Friday, Aug. 11 – Practice #8 / MEDIA DAY, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 12 – Scrimmage #1; 10 a.m.

Monday, Aug. 14 – Practice #10

Tuesday, Aug. 15 – Practice #11

Wednesday, Aug. 16 – Practice #12

Thursday, Aug. 17 – Scrimmage #2; 10 a.m.

Friday, Aug. 18 – Practice #14

Saturday, Aug. 19 – Practice #15

Monday, Aug. 21 – Practice #16

Tuesday, Aug. 22 – Practice #17

Wednesday, Aug. 23 – Practice #18

Thursday, Aug. 24 – Scrimmage #3, TIME TBD

Friday, Aug. 25 – Practice #20

Saturday, Aug. 26 – Practice #21 

Please note, practices and scrimmages are open to the general public. Practices will be held either outdoors at the ETSU Practice Fields, which are adjacent the Basler Center of Physical Activity (CPA), inside the MSHA Athletic Center (Mini Dome) or inside the ETSU Football Stadium. Practices are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., unless noted in the practice schedule that is listed above. Practices are subject to change; please follow @ETSUFootball on Twitter for schedule updates.