The Troy football team opened fall camp with a three-hour practice on the brand new turf in Veterans Memorial Stadium Thursday morning. The Trojans, who worked out in helmets and shorts, battled temperatures that soared over the 100-degree mark as they began preparations for the 2012 season.
"I'm impressed with the energy that has carried over from the offseason and from spring ball," Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said to the large contingent of media following practice. "We have a lot of guys that retained a lot and know what to do and it should be that way. We have a lot of new guys and new faces that are trying to make their mark. We are trying to make sure that we nurture them and bring them along at a rate that they can deal with. We had a good work day and I hope that we can build on today and continue to get better. I challenged each individual player to come out here every day ready to get better as an individual and therefore the team gets better."
The coaches mixed in a little of everything during the opening practice session of the fall that allowed to players to show off some 1-on-1 skills in addition to working in some team drills.
"The energy was up all practice, I just hope that everybody keeps it up," linebacker Kanorris Davis said. "Everybody came out ready to play and ready to show the coaches what they were made of. We have a lot more leadership this year. We have a lot more people in your ear telling you what to and everybody is listening. We've got more people wanting to lead and we've got more people wanting to have better attitudes."
Troy has won a share of five of the past six Sun Belt Conference titles and is the only school to represent the league in five bowl games. Troy has 11 more Sun Belt victories than any other school in the league since the Trojans joined the Sun Belt in 2004. The Trojans also have a Sun Belt leading 84 all-conference selections and 38 first team all-conference selections over that same time period.
"We are trying to work towards getting back to where we think Troy belongs and that is championship caliber and being in bowls," Blakeney said. "That is the driving force. I think we have evolved as a team of leaders. We've got more folks trying to assert themselves as leaders and that is a positive thing."
The Trojans will once again practice in helmets and shorts on Friday beginning at 8:15 a.m. before moving into shells on Saturday.
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