MOREHEAD, Ky. - Preseason football camp is underway at Morehead State as newcomers reported to Jayne Stadium on Monday and returning players reported on Tuesday.
The Eagles will have approximately 25 practices this month, as well as film, conditioning, team and administrative sessions. The season opener is set for 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 30 at Colonial Athletic Association member Richmond.
"It is always exciting to get our guys back on campus and get things started," Head Coach Rob Tenyer said. "We had a lot of guys here during the summer, got quite a bit accomplished and worked tremendously hard."
Morehead State returns nearly 70 players, including all 11 starters on offense and six on defense, for its 85th varsity season. The Eagles also welcome more than 40 newcomers to fall camp, including three mid-year transfers.
"It's the little things this time of year," Tenyer added. "The fewer mistakes we have and the better execution we see, the better practices we are going to have. That makes it a lot more fun for everyone."
Tenyer is in his second season as head coach and 14th as part of the program. The Eagles were 3-5 in the Pioneer Football League last year and 3-9 overall.
"I told our guys following the season that we would work hard in the offseason and be a lot better in year two," Tenyer said. "Our coaching staff will be better, and our philosophy will be better understood this season."
Sophomore quarterback Austin Gahafer, who threw for 2,430 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first collegiate season, is penciled in as the starter, according to Tenyer. MSU also returns senior running back Rees Macshara, who led the team in rushing with 534 yards, and sophomore wideout Jake Raymond, who recorded a team-high 644 yards.
Defensively, two of the top five tacklers are back. Senior safety Michael Jackson recorded 72 stops and a team-best three interceptions, while junior defensive end Ronald Cooper tallied a team-high 11 tackles for loss and 53 total tackles.
"We have a good group of veterans returning, but we'll also rely on young guys and even some true freshmen who could possibly help us this season," Tenyer said. "We'll make decisions quick on some specific positions, and others will take some more time to evaluate. There is a lot of excitement, but there has also been really good focus so far."
Tenyer's assistant coaches for the 2014 campaign are Craig Mullins, Phil Burnett, Dontae Wright, Patrick St. Louis, Rod West, Brett Rude, Wes McDermott, Casey Carlo, Sam Umberg and Zach Lewis.
The home opener is set for Sept. 6 when Pikeville (Ky.) visits Jayne Stadium at 6 p.m. ET. MSU has five home games in 2014 and seven road contests.
Season and single-game tickets are available through MSUEagles.com.