The first official practice of fall camp 2012 is in the books and count head coach Chris Mussman among those in attendance that were pleased with what they saw. Sure there were mistakes, and the two-hour session was far from perfect, but the fifth-year head coach came away impressed by the product his 95 fall camp attendees displayed on the field at Memorial Stadium.
"I liked the tempo today," Mussman said. "Sometimes you don't get that on the opening day of fall camp, but our guys came out focused and really had what I thought was a good first practice."
As for the practice itself, there was no easing into what was the first official one for the team as a Big Sky member. And, that was not something taken lightly by the players.
"Our guys are well aware of what lies ahead with this season and how challenging the move to the Big Sky is going to be," Mussman added. "But, you could tell in the way they practiced today that that was on their minds. And, that was good to see."
Individual work and team work were all sprinkled into the script for the opening day with 11-on-11 work ending the day. In those final two periods, the offense and defense traded jabs with each side winning some third-down plays.
Junior Greg Hardin (Bellevue, Neb.) made the nicest catch of the day going up in between a couple of defenders to pull down a pass from senior Braden Hanson (Charlotte, N.C.).
Fall Camp Notebook
- The players sported brand new practice jerseys for the first official practice of fall camp. The offense wore black tops, while the defense wore white tops.
- Several of the players also donned the freshly painted helmets that will look slightly less metallic than in years past. The entire team will be outfitted in the new head gear within the first week of fall camp.
- No players had an ND decal on their helmets as those will have to be earned during fall camp.
- The cornerbacks were able to work with Wes Nurse, their new position coach, for the first time, while the other units all had the same coaches back from the spring.
- Redshirt freshman Dayo Idowu (Woodbury, Minn.) switched positions and opened fall camp working with the outside linebackers. Idowu spent his first season in the program at safety.
- Sophomore Dwayne Pecosky (Commerce City, Colo.) will work exclusively with the defensive line during fall camp after interchanging between the offensive and defensive lines last season.
- True freshman Codee Varner (Baker, Mont.) put together the fastest time in the annual "Sioux Run" on the eve of the first practice.
- WDAZ and KVLY both had reporters on hand for the first practice and the Grand Forks Herald had a photographer and two writers there to cover the action.
- The team will be back on the field for practice No. 2 at 9:15 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.