Football Preseason Camp: Day 1

Aug. 8, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After reporting to camp, receiving their team handbooks and going through team meetings on Monday, the JU football team made its way onto the practice field today at 3 p.m. for the first step towards the 2006 season.

During the two hour session, the Dolphins went through a fitness and skills test on D.B. Milne Field before heading to the practice field. Among the top condition athletes heading into the preseason are senior co-captains Pat Rich and Ryan Young. In the final hour, the squad worked with their respective position coaches and split into offensive and defensive groups. The squad will continue to practice in shorts and helmets until Saturday, Aug. 12. The following is some quotes from Day 1:

Head coach Steve Gilbert: "The biggest thing we accomplished today was the 16 110-yard sprints to help us gauge our conditioning heading into camp. It was evident to the coaches and players who had stayed over the summer. We had about 50 players hang around and they completed the tests easily. We have another two to three weeks to improve our conditioning, and get the freshmen to slowly figure things out, before the first game.

"Overall, the enthusiasm was good and it was nice to get the first day out of the way. We still have a lot of preparation to go through, but it was a great feeling to final get out on the field."

Senior left tackle/preseason All-American Pat Rich: "Today went pretty good. It was good to see some of the new guys moving around on the field and starting to understand the system. We have some promising newcomers but we're not really going to know anything until we get on some pads and go through live drills. We have a veteran group of returning players on offense and the cohesiveness is already starting to show. The camaraderie around here is some off the best that we've ever had.

"We have some good competition going on offense, especially at running back. I always sit back with a smirk on my face because they are always trying to beat each other at everything they do. If one of the backs makes a certain time, the next one is trying to surpass it. It's been that way since being in the weight room over the summer. We need to have competitive mentality at every position this season.

"Ryan Young and I made an emphasis to stay over the summer to make a point in camp. We were voted team captains during the spring and now we are trying to set an example in everything that we do."

Senior nose guard Ryan Young: "The first day went really well. We did some running to begin with and we had a lot of guys make time, so all around, it was a good day. I made sure I stayed during the summer to keep my condition strong and I made my time easily.

"Defensively, we have some good experience and a veteran core returning at certain positions this year. There are also some positions were we need some of our younger guys to step up for us. In order for us to be successful, we need to have everyone on the same page and playing as a complete unit."

The Dolphins will return to the practice field at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Key Dates:

August 12 - First practice in pads, 3:00 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 7:30 p.m.