Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football program continues to prepare for its 2012 season opener as fall camp rolls on in Big Rapids.
The Bulldogs, who reported to camp last Wednesday (Aug. 8), are slated to hold their first practice in full pads on Monday afternoon. The first official two-a-day practice session is scheduled for Tuesday at Top Taggart Field with both a morning and afternoon workout on the agenda.
FSU has battled often wet and near fall-like weather conditions since the opening workout took place last Thursday. The Bulldogs wore only helmets the first two sessions followed by two days of half-shell work per NCAA regulations.
Some other camp highlights have included:
* A team bowling session was held on Sunday evening at The Gate entertainment center in Big Rapids. The event helped build team camaraderie and served as a break from the physical workouts.
* Head Coach Tony Annese sat down for a live interview with the Bulldog Sports Network on Monday morning. The segment will air later this week as part of the launch of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Football Media Day Website and the annual league preseason poll.
* Several players were interviewed following one of the opening practice sessions for regular features that are airing throughout camp at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Additionally, various media outlets have already attended practice or utilized footage such as the Big Rapids Pioneer, Grand Rapids Press, Fox 17 and TV 9 & 10 Sports.
* Many of the workouts and regular meetings have included special teams work in all phases of the game in addition to offensive and defensive drills.
Throughout Ferris' three-week training camp period, regular activities include not only practices and scrimmages, but also meetings, lifting, conditioning, testing, orientation sessions and more leading up to the season opener.
The Bulldogs return 40 letterwinners and nearly 18 starters from a year ago when they finished with a 6-5 overall record in the GLIAC.
Among the returnees for the Bulldogs this campaign are senior linebacker Tayo Moss, who has been tabbed as a Preseason All-American after earning All-GLIAC First Team honors a year ago. Other returning all-conference picks from last year include senior defensive end Jordan Morgan, a second-team choice in 2011, along with honorable mention returnees in senior tailback Skyler Stoker, senior offensive tackle Trevor Smolinski and senior defensive end Brad Iskow.
A proven winner at all of his previous coaching stops and highly-regarded across the country, Annese will direct the Bulldogs for the first time this fall following three impressive years as the head coach at Grand Rapids Community College, which came on the heels of a highly successful 25-season stint at the prep level.
Ferris State will officially begin its 104th season of varsity competition and the first campaign under Annese on the road with its lone non-league game on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the University of St. Francis (Ill.) in Joliet, Ill.
The Bulldogs' 11-game schedule in 2012 features five home contests at FSU's Top Taggart Field along with six consecutive night games to open the campaign. Ferris State's home opener is scheduled for Sept. 15 when the Ashland Eagles make the trip to Big Rapids to square off against the Bulldogs. Kickoff for the initial home game is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) under the lights.
Season and single-game tickets for the 2012 campaign are currently on sale now. For more information on ticket sales, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.