Things are a little quiet around the Middle Tennessee Football offices today as the coaching staff prepares to spend the next three weeks on the road recruiting. Coaches have spent the last two weeks since the spring game hidden away in their offices planning their itineraries, printing maps, gathering supplies and rating prospects. This is all in anticipation of the NCAA's annual spring evaluation period that runs from April 15th-May 29th.
Spring evaluation is critical for the Blue Raider coaches as they will travel thousands of miles by plane and rental car canvassing high schools in their recruiting area looking for 2011 prospects. Coaches set out in the spring with a huge list of players that have been recommended to them and they slowly whittle down that list and add unknown prospects that they find so by the time that June 1st rolls around they have a list of the recruits in their area that are targets in 2011. During this time coaches cannot speak to a recruit so they only gather athletic and academic information during this time. First, they will collect film and watch a recruit perform during practices and scrimmages in an effort to gauge his true athletic ability. Next coaches will collect transcripts to ensure recruits are performing in the classroom and have what it takes to meet NCAA requirements when the 2011 signing day approaches. Lastly they will visit with anyone at the school that knows the prospect
including coaches, teachers and guidance counselors all in an attempt to
find out about a recruit's reputation on and off the field.
Below: Coach McCray finalizes his recruiting lists while his bags are packed
By Lance Basler on April 29, 2010 12:06 PM
Many of you know that the Blue Raiders are honoring the 278th Armored Calvary Regiment by placing their insignias on our helmets until their 2011 return home. But since the inception of this gesture back in the 2009 season a special bond has formed between the Blue Raiders & the 278th, the team tries to honor our troops and provide some excitement with their on the field play while the 278th continuously sends us letters and emails of encouragement and pictures from their life abroad. These are a constant reminder of what our men and women in the armed services sacrifice for our freedom and enjoyment of life back in the states.
We are excited to post these pictures so Blue Raider Nation can share a glimpse of these great soldiers and Americans in action.
**If you are a member of the armed forces or have a family member serving that proudly flies the Blue & Silver send their picture to us email@example.com
From Left to Right: 2LT Justin Wax '06, SFC Jeff Holt '00, CPT Richard Stackpole '03, MAJ Brent Gurley '95, CPT Todd Lowrance '98, CPT Brian McSpadden '98
From Left to Right: SFC Jeff Holt '00, CPT Brian McSpadden '98
From Left to Right: 2LT Justin Wax '06, CPT Brian McSpadden '98
From Left to Right: CPT Todd Lowrance '98, 2LT Justin Wax '06, CPT Brian McSpadden '98
Originally named Horace Jones Field, Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium opened its doors on October 14, 1933 with a scoreless tie against Jacksonville State.
Floyd Stadium was originally built as two sideline grandstands on either side of an outdoor track, it was enlarged in 1940, 1960, 1968, and most recently in 1998 to bring it to its current configuration as an octagonal bowl. The largest expansion came when the Blue Raiders moved into NCAA Division I-A. In August 1995 the university announced plans for a $25 million dollar renovation. After a lengthy bid process ground was broken January of 1997 and the project was competed in the summer of 1998.
The newly renovated Floyd Stadium featured 30,788 seats with only the east side grandstands remaining from the original structure. The old press box gave way to a five-story tower including luxury suites on the third level, a large press area and a few suites on the fourth level, and a camera deck on the fifth level. The renovation also included the addition of more chair-back seats as well as a club level. In addition to the spectator facilities, the stadium complex includes a team meeting room, position meeting rooms a 10,000 square foot weight room for all Middle Tennessee teams, an academic center for Blue Raider student-athletes, and access to Murphy Athletic Center from the stadium via a walkway. The stadium also allows for further expansion that would provide an increase of approximately 40,000 seats, putting capacity over the 70,000 mark.
The first game in the newly renovated stadium took place September 5, 1998 in which saw Middle Tennessee host rival Tennessee State and drew a record crowd of 27, 568 fans, which was broken on September 12, 2009 with an attendance of 28,105, as the Blue Raiders hosted Memphis in the annual blackout game and won 31-14.
During the summer of 2006, a new synthetic surface was installed to replace the outdated artificial turf. The surface is by Sportexe and the brand used is PowerBlade, which is a special monofilament polyethylene infilled system designed to maximize player speed and performance and provide superior shock absorbency. Middle Tennessee is the first school in the country to use this top-of-the-line surface.
Floyd Stadium's most recent upgrade came in the summer of 2007 when MTSU installed an 18'x32' Daktronics display board which was put in to enhance the atmosphere for the players and bring the fans even closer to the game.
Over its 74 years in existence it has been the home field for the MTSU Blue Raiders, also for numerous years was home to Riverdale High School, Oakland High School and also Siegel for a short period of time. Floyd Stadium was also home to the TSSAA state championship football games until 2009.
Floyd Stadium has seen its share of special groups come through its door since it opened over 74 years ago, but the 2009 football season was a very special one for Floyd Stadium as it was home to one of the most successful Blue Raider teams to play on its surface over its 74 years of existence. The Blue Raiders finished with an amazing 10-3 record, which was the Sun Belt Conference's first ever 10 win season, and recorded the school's first ever bowl win as they defeated Southern Miss 42-32 in the New Orleans Bowl.
Horace Jones field was renamed Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium on November 3, 1979 in honor of long time Blue Raider coach Johnny "Red" Floyd. The playing surface is still known as Horace Jones Field. Floyd Stadium is located on the northwest corner of the Middle Tennessee State University Campus and seats approximately 30,788.
By Lance Basler on April 26, 2010 10:50 AM
As many of you know Blue Raider Defensive End and 2009 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Chris McCoy was selected in this past weekend's NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins with the 212th pick in the seventh round. Chris will join another former Blue Raider in Miami, Erik Walden, who found his way to Miami after being drafted by the Cowboys in 2008.
Click below to read McCoy's bio on the Dolphins' website...
Here is the transcript of Chris' chat during a recent interview with the Dolphins...
(On the strengths of his game) - "My speed first of all. My hands,
I'm good with my hands and I'm explosive off the ball."
(On his traits that help him as a pass rusher) - "My explosion off
the ball and my hands. I'm good at turning the edge and getting to the
(On where the Dolphins told him he would be playing) - "I'll be
playing weak side linebacker."
(On what position he played in college) - "I did a lot of things. I
played up, sometimes I played down as a D-end. Sometimes out of the
'three' technique. I did a lot of different things."
(On if he is with his family receiving the news) - "Yes, my parents
and my girlfriend."
(On if he played a 3-4 scheme in college) - "I played a base 4-3, but
we did multiple things."
(On if he played various positions) - "Yes sir."
(On whom his agent it) - "Chris Morris."
(On when he expects to come to Miami) - "I'll be down there on
This morning at the weekly Friday morning run Coach Patterson announced the individual winners from yesterday's Ironman Competition. Skill Champion- Arthur Williams Jr. Lineman Champion- Kendall Dangerfield Combo Champion- Jared Bamber
Change is rampant around the Middle Tennessee athletic facilities these days, first is the players' locker room lounge project and now the weight room is getting a face-lift. The Blue Raider weight room is already one of the largest and nicest facilities in the southeast but Coach Patterson is taking on a major project that will increase the facility's performance, versatility and effectiveness against fighting germs.
What could do all these things you ask, well a new flooring system called mondo. The facility currently has carpet throughout which is hard to keep clean and doesn't have the shelf life that the new surface boasts. Another benefit of the mondo surface is that the power lifting platforms that used to take up large amounts of floor space will be a thing of the past. The new mondo surface will have the lifting platforms built into the floor which frees up space and makes the room more versatile.
Because the floor is getting replaced the strength staff is spending their days relocating tons (literally & physically) of weight equipment including plates, dumbbells, platforms, boxes and weight racks. Most of this equipment will be stored under the adjacent areas of the football stadium until the project is completed. Construction will begin soon and is slated to be completed by the time the team returns at the end of May.
Head Strength Coach Russell Patterson and his staff started setting up the practice field this morning for this afternoon's annual Blue Raider Ironman Contest. The event is a reward/leadership/team building exercise that consists of three events including a farmers walk, prowler pull and sled spring. Coach Patterson conducts a draft the night before the event with senior players forming teams and drafting other players.
We will have a full wrap up of the Ironman complete with results and video tomorrow ...
Today the MT Football Offices in the Murphy Center started to get a little bit of a face lift with some new wall art. A crew started installing a new wall mural at the entrance of our office commemorating the 2009 New Orleans Bowl Champion Blue Raiders. The image was designed then printed on two large sheets of PVC material. Crews then used adhesive to fix the sheets to the wall, after drying overnight the crews will return to remove the tape and with that comes an instant face-lift and daily reminder of last year's success.
During halftime of last Saturday's Blue vs. White Game Coach Stockstill handed out the annual spring superlatives in several different categories. Here is a breakdown of which players were rewarded for their hard work...
Massaquoi Freshman Academic Award: Tavares Jefferson Donald
Craig Sophomore Academic Award: Preston Bailey Dr.
James E. Walker Junior Academic Award: Mark Fisher Dr. Sidney McPhee
Senior Academic Award:Phillip Tanner
Whiteside Award:Jeremy Kellem (Excellence in
academics, football, strength training, community service and campus
With the spring semester coming to a close and exams just around the corner Chip Walters of GoBlueRaiders.tv recently visited with Middle Tennessee State University's Athletic Academic Coordinator, Todd Wyant. In the following video the two discuss a whats coming up for all Blue Raider student-athletes in the next few weeks....
The third installment in our guest reporters segment comes to us from John Winters & Keunta Graham. John & Keunta decided to write about the Blue Raiders taking their momentum from 2009 into a tough 2010 schedule that includes dates with a Big Ten member Minnesota and the reigning ACC Champion Georgia Tech. Building off a Brilliant Year-2010 Blue Raider Football
The MTSU football program has a lot to be proud of these days. The huge win over Southern Mississippi in the New Orleans Bowl, a 10-3 finish on the season, and some of the offensive keys are coming back for one more year to play under the bright lights of Floyd Stadium. These are truly good times for the Blue Raiders football program. The key to the 2010 season will really start and end with Dwight Dasher. The speedy quarterback who did it all last year needs to have another monster year in order for the Blue Raiders to continue their win streak carrying over from the 2009 season. Brandon McLeroy a offensive lineman for the Blue Raiders said that blocking for Dasher was fun because you really didn't know what he was going to do next. McLeroy also said that Dasher was just on a roll in the New Orleans Bowl, a game in which Dasher lit it up on the ground and in the air. I concluded my brief conversation with McLeroy by asking him if the offensive line was planning to keep the pressure off Dasher like they did better than any other team in the Sun Belt, and his reply was, "NO DOUBT". The 2010 Blue Raider football season will have some amazing games on its schedule that will surely get any Blue Raider fan pumped up for. The Blue Raiders will open the season at home playing against the Minnesota Golden Gophers from the Big Ten. This is the first Big Ten Conference team to come to Murfreesboro. The game will be played on September 2nd , which is a date that defensive tackle Sacoby Carter has circled on his calendar. Carter said that he cannot wait to play that game, but is more excited to get the opportunity to play Troy at home on October 5th. Carter said, "This is the year we take control of Troy in front of our home crowd and the country". With games also against Georgia Tech on October 16th and Arkansas State on November 2nd which will also be on ESPN 2, the Blue Raiders have a lot to be excited about. The Blue Raider football team has a lot to be motivated about for the 2010 season. I caught up with Malcolm Beyah and asked him what his thoughts were for the 2010 season. His reply was short and to the point, "THE SKIES THE LIMIT!!!"
Today's guest reporters are Seth Witherington & Brandon Mcleroy (starting guard for the Blue Raiders). It probably comes as no surprise then that these young men decided to interview MT Offensive Line Coach Jimmy Ray Stephens about his units outlook for this spring.
Spring 2010 Offensive Line Report
After an excellent 2009 season expectations are high for the Blue Raider football team going into spring practice, especially for Coach Jimmy Ray Stephens and the offensive line. MTSU returns four starters from the 2009 squad and with the addition of transfer Preston Bailey; the o-line will be expected to lead the offense in 2010. For Coach Stephens one of the most important things going into spring practice was to improve on the fundamentals of pass blocking and run blocking. "Because we have such carry over from last year we are able to spend more time on fundamentals and less on learning the system" Stephens said when asked about his goals for the spring. Another key factor in this year's spring practice is to stay healthy. While it is an advantage to have so many guys coming back, you still have to be careful not to get anyone injured. The Blue Raiders have done more work in shorts this spring than normal in order to keep guys healthy throughout spring drills on both offense and defense. When asked about the perception that spread style offenses are passive coach Stephens was quick to point out that their system is very aggressive. "We try to keep things simple for our guys up front so that they don't have to spend so much time thinking, which allows them to be more aggressive in their blocking assignments". MTSU linemen must be very well conditioned and athletic because the Blue Raiders run such a fast paced, open system. "Obviously you want guys who are big, strong, and fast but for us, if we have to choose one over the other, we look for more athletic linemen over size" Stephens replied when asked about the type of lineman MTSU has and recruits. All in all the 2010 MTSU football team has high expectations for themselves. As for Coach Stephens, he believes the offensive line has the opportunity to be even better that last year provided that everyone stays healthy. It is important to get some young guys productive work in the spring in order to establish depth for the offensive line. Junior Guard Brandon McElroy says the key for the 2010 offensive line is to "stay healthy". "We have some guys that have switched positions and some young guys are stepping up and doing a really good job in addition to returning four starters".
By Lance Basler on April 12, 2010 12:55 PM
Today was a great day on the MTSU campus as the Rutherford County chapter of the Special Olympics held there annual spring event on the Dean Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium. As part of the B.R.A.S.S. program MTSU athletes are encouraged to be involved in running the event and visiting with the athletes. Its really a refreshing sight to see because as soon as Coach Stockstill posts the sign-up sheet for the event its always filled with players' names within a few minutes. Our guys are excited to go out and help encourage and cheer on athletes as they give their all in competition.
If you would like to get involved in this great group here are some links to get you started.....
Rutherford County Special Olympics Chapter on Facebook
The staff enjoyed a much needed day off yesterday after the busy spring practice period. But today the coaching staff is back in the office bright and early for a staff meeting. Coach Stockstill covered a gauntlet of topics today ranging from spring recruiting, summer planning, spring academics and even summer camps.
Friday afternoon provided some perfect weather for the 2nd scrimmage of the spring practice season. The highlight of the day was perhaps kicker Alan Gendreau's perfect field goal record complete with a 61-yard kick that ended the scrimmage to the cheers of his teammates.
Our first guest report comes from Larry Maples & Demayo Partee. These young men are part of the Blue Raider Football Equipment staff and often do most of there work unbeknown to the average fan. Without their work behind the scenes the football program would not be able to run as smoothly. With this fact in mind Larry & Demayo were excited to have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on their trade for all Blue Raider fans to see. So for this project they decided to show us how the Blue Raider stripes and logos are applied to the helmets for each game.
As part of an exciting idea for a group project, students in Coach Stockstill's football class have been designated guest reporters for The Stock Report Blog. Each group was given the task to choose a topic that is relevant to the Blue Raider football program and that they feel fans will want to read. These topics will range from player interviews, coach bios and behind the scenes stories. Each story could be presented in any format ranging from video, audio and even traditional type.
The goal of this project is to help students learn more about the in's & out's of the program and should leave them with a better understanding of the coaches, players, staff and even the way we use our websites to distribute information and media.
We are excited to bring this content to you and hope you will enjoy the work of these young guest reporters!!
Today will be business as usual for the Blue Raiders as they prepare for their second scrimmage of the spring session. With the University still open today players will attend their normal Friday classes before a busy afternoon of action. 1-3pm Player head shots for the spring program 3:15pm Team meeting 3:20pm Positional meetings 4:15pm Flex 4:30pm Begin Scrimmage #2
Adam Sparks at Murfreesboro's local news paper, the Daily New Journal, just released a great read on how Coach Stock keeps an all access family atmosphere around the Blue Raider Football Program... >>CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE