Football begins preseason practice Wednesday

Aug. 7, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After arriving on campus Monday morning, more than 100 members of the JU football team will hit the D.B. Milne practice field on Wednesday, August 10, at 3 p.m. for the first preseason practice of the 2006 season.

The Dolphins, who graduated All-America punter Ryan Feely and the program's all-time tackle leader Brandon Torre, return 39 letterwinners, including five starters on offense, six starters on defense and two return specialists.

"We have some large shoes to replace in a couple of spots but we are excited about the group of players who are ready to have their time in the spotlight," said head coach Steve Gilbert. "Preseason camp is going to be very important for the incoming freshmen, and it will give us a chance to evaluate the positions that are still open."

The Dolphins finished the 2005 season with a 4-4 overall record and 2-1 in Pioneer Football League South Division play to finish second. This season, JU was selected fifth in the 2006 PFL Preseason Coaches Poll, as divisional play was eliminated.

On offense the Dolphins return preseason All-America and two-time all-PFL left tackle Pat Rich and former all-PFL running back Jerry Brant. JU also returns quarterback Chris Horton, left guard David Locander and right tackle Rusty Stiglitz. Among others who saw substantial playing time in 2005 are wide receivers Nathan Conner and Michael Jenner, right guard Steve Reynolds, fullback Jeremy Brown and center Joe Vitale.

Defensively, the Dolphins return all-PFL cornerback Bryan Flowers as well as cornerback Leighton Henderson, nose guard Ryan Young, defensive tackle Kiel Pierce and linebacker Joey Rumph. A veteran group looking to make an impact this season will be defensive end Sean Heverin, linebackers Dane Weathers and Brett Bonds, free safety Aaron Woods and former all-PFL offensive lineman Josue Sanchez.

On special teams, JU returns all-PFL selection Conner and Jenner who each have handled kickoff and punt return duties.

2006 JU Football Important Dates
August 9 - First practice, 3:00 p.m. August 12 - First practice in pads, 2:30 p.m. August 17 - Media/Picture Day: 1 p.m. at Milne Field August 18 - First scrimmage, 2:30 p.m. August 21 - First day of classes September 2 - First game vs. Gardner-Webb at 12:30 p.m.