Stockstill pleased with team progress through four practices

MURFREESBORO – Middle Tennessee completed its fourth practice on Monday on the Blue Raider practice fields and Head Coach Rick Stockstill likes the direction of his team but is quick to point out that “real football” begins Tuesday.

The Blue Raiders, coming off an 8-4 campaign, will put on full pads for the first time tomorrow as the NCAA’s mandatory acclimation period comes to a close.

“I have been pleased so far with the first four days,” said Stockstill. “We’ll be in full pads tomorrow and that will tell us a lot. We’ve still got to play a little bit lower because we are too high at times. I think once we get full pads on, we can protect our legs better and that will help us stay lower. But the real football begins tomorrow morning.”

The Blue Raiders return 42 lettermen and 17 starters and it has been easy to see during the first four days of drills. Senior quarterback Logan Kilgore has been accurate and done a nice job leading the team and running back Jordan Parker appears primed for another productive year. The receiving corps continues to show improvement and four starters return up front to a unit that has allowed just 15 sacks in two years.

Tyrone Nix’s defense looks to make another jump in 2013 with eight starters back in the fold, including all three linebackers in Craig Allen, Roderic Blunt, and T.T. Barber. All three are having a good camp as has Jimmy Staten and Dearco Nolan up front. Kevin Byard and Kenneth Gilstrap continue to lead the secondary and Gilstrap is back to 100 percent.

There have also been some newcomers to catch the eye of Stockstill early.

“I think Shon Akins and Shane Tucker have been two guys that have really caught my attention. Jimal McBride is another one that continues to show up but its early.”

The Blue Raiders will hit the field Tuesday morning at 10:30 AM and the practice is open to the public.


Middle Tennessee’s annual Fan Day is set for this Sunday on the floor of Murphy Center from 2-4 PM. Autographs, inflatables, free hotdogs and drinks, and loads of fun will be on hand for all members of the Blue Raider family. Bring your kids and friends to get them ready for the 2013 football season.

Show your Blue Raider pride and pick up 2013 football posters, schedule cards, and much more. Fans will also be able to purchase the 2013 Blackout shirts, which have a great new design.


Lightning’s Locker Room will be open during practice on Saturday August 10th from 4-7 PM and during Fan Day on August 11th from 1-4 PM.

Also, LLR is offering a 25 percent discount for all MTSU Faculty and Staff from August 7th to August 30th at the off-campus location which is open Monday-Friday (8 AM-5 PM). They are also offering a coupon for $10.00 off a $25.00 purchase to season ticket holders and BRAA members from August 7th to August 30th.