In 24 days MSU will kick off its season at home against Monmouth in the Gold Rush game. The Bobcats still have some work to do as they hit the practice field today for their first week of practices.
MSU's first practice began last night at 5 and it ended with some bad news for the Bobcats and Coach Ash. Senior Wide Receiver Kurt Davis injured his knee at the end of practice Sunday night and the prognosis was not good. Today he learned he will need surgery and will miss the upcoming season.
Another senior, Na'a Moeakiola was at practice today in a sling. Moekaiola had shoulder surgery last month and is out indefinitely. He was second on the team last season with 89 total tackles.
Despite losing their second leading tackler, the Bobcats have received glowing accolades in the off-season. They were ranked #1 in the Coaches pre-season poll alongside senior quarterback DeNarius McGhee being named the pre-season offensive MVP just to name a few.
I spoke to McGhee today to get his thoughts on these first practices. "I like seeing the young guys come in," he said. "A lot of them were here during the summer but just seeing them make the transition to the field and seeing the rest of us just continue to get better. We can see how much better we are from spring to fall camp."
Fellow senior running back Cody Kirk's said it's just nice to get out of the weight room and get on the field. "It's great to get out on the field you know. Doing some team stuff. Yesterday we just did indy (individual drills) and it's just great to get out there, do some teamwork and just get after it a little bit."
I asked both players if those pre-season awards added any pressure or excitement.
McGhee smiled saying, "how I think of it I'm just a freshman out here trying to prove myself. Everyone out here has to prove themselves as well. No matter if it's pre-season. No matter if you're unnamed or MVP. We have to prove ourselves to our teammates, ourselves and the coaching staff."
"What matters is what we do this year," Kirk replied. "We're worried about getting better this year. Doesn't mean anything what we did last year. It's gonna be a great year and it's exciting to have everyone out there and the energy it's just exciting is the best way to describe it."