Final Camp Scrimmage Set For Friday Morning At Top Taggart Field

Eric Grozenski
Sophomore quarterback Eric Grozenski fights for yardage in FSU's initial fall camp scrimmage held last Saturday morning.
The Ferris State University football team began preparations for the 2007 campaign with its first official practice on Friday, Aug. 10. The Bulldogs will conduct their final camp scrimmage this Friday, Aug. 24, with the season opener set for Saturday, Sept. 1, versus Kentucky State at FSU's Top Taggart Field. Below are preseason Bulldog football news and notes:

Training Camp Notes: Ferris' officially opened camp Wednesday, Aug. 8, as the squad's freshmen reported to campus for the first time. The Bulldogs' returning veterans reported Thursday, Aug. 9, with the squad's first official practice held Friday, Aug. 10. FSU will hold 25 total workouts along with two scrimmages prior to the team's season opener. Ferris' three-week training camp period not only has featured practices and scrimmages, but also meetings, lifting, conditioning, testing and various orientation sessions. Practices and scrimmages have been held both on the FSU practice fields along with selected ones at Top Taggart Field. FSU's initial preseason scrimmage was held last Saturday (Aug. 18) morning. Classes at Ferris State begin on Monday (Aug. 27) as the Bulldogs start their usual game-week routine.

Media/Fans Photo Day Friday: FSU will hold its annual Media/Fans Photo Day in conjunction with the final preseason scrimmage Friday (Aug. 24) at Top Taggart Field. There is no admission charge and the general public is welcome to attend the event. The Bulldogs will play their final 2007 fall camp scrimmage starting at 9 a.m. (EDT) on the artificial surface. Regional and statewide media are encouraged to attend the event, which will feature the availability of Ferris State football student-athletes and coaches for interviews following the scrimmage around 11 a.m. (EDT). The Ferris State players and coaches will report back to the stadium at 1 p.m. (EDT) for the program's annual photo day activities. Team and individual photos will be taken and players will be available to fans for autographs and photographs in uniform. Additionally, any media representatives who are unable to attend in the morning will also have an opportunity to interview coaches and players at this time.

The Season Opener: The Bulldogs kickoff the 2007 11-game gridiron campaign and their 99th season of varsity competition Saturday, Sept. 1, versus the Kentucky State University Thorobreds in a 7 p.m. (EDT) non-conference matchup at Top Taggart Field. Ferris continues action at home the following Saturday, Sept. 8, against the Mercyhurst College Lakers in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener for the Bulldogs. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) in Big Rapids. Tickets for all home games will be available at the gate or may be purchased in advance by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. In addition, tickets can be bought online at www.starticketsplus.com.

GLIAC Preseason Poll: Ferris State was selected to place fourth in the 2007 GLIAC Football Coaches Preseason Poll, which was released in conjunction with the conference's annual football media day luncheon (July 30) at the Bay Valley Hotel and Resort near the campus of Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Mich. The Bulldogs earned 108 points in the preseason balloting, which was held by the head coaches at the various 13-member league institutions. Two-time defending national champion Grand Valley State was selected as the preseason favorites to capture the conference title as the Lakers earned 144 points and picked up 12 of the 13 first-place votes. Northwood was second with 120 points and one first-place vote while Saginaw Valley State recorded 115 points in finishing third overall.

Preseason Recognition: The Bulldogs earned preseason recognition this summer as the nation's 18th-ranked squad in the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. Expectations are high after Ferris State concluded the 2006 campaign at 8-3-0 overall, which represented the program's most single-season victories since 1996. The Bulldogs also finished the year ranked 17th in Don Hansen's Football Gazette's final Division II Top 40 poll and 22nd nationally in D2Football.com's final Top 25 poll.

Preseason All-Americans: Senior defensive tackle Kurt Hout (Arvada, Colo./West) and junior defensive tackle Jake Visser (Coopersville) of the Ferris State University football team have been chosen as 2007 preseason All-Americans by D2football.com. Hout was recognized as one of 12 first-team defensive selections while Visser earned second-team preseason laurels. Visser earlier this summer was tabbed as both a 2007 Street & Smith's Division II Preseason All-America First Team selection along with being named to the 2007 Lindy's College Football Preview All-Division II Preseason All-America Second Team.

Pro Hopefuls: Senior defensive tackle Kurt Hout was regarded as one of the top 15 NCAA Division II players being considered by National Football League scouts, according to the 2007 D2football.com Pro Hopefuls List. The Pro Hopefuls List, which was put together by D2football.com Pro Prospects correspondant Josh Buchanan, listed the top 15 prospects overall. In addition, 35 other players were ranked behind them with FSU senior offensive guard Bill Bourdlais (Newberry) found as the 35th-best D2 prospect coming out this year. Buchanan also posted a 53-man team roster of Division II prospective players and the list included Hout, Bourdlais and Bulldog senior safety Patrick Wells (Miamisburg, Ohio).

Welcome Back Troops: The Bulldogs took a break from their rigorous 2007 preseason camp schedule last Friday (Aug. 17) to help welcome home and honor a unit which recently finished serving a much greater purpose. The Bulldog players and coaching staff were among the first to greet three buses full of local national guard members, who returned home from a 14-month tour of duty in Iraq. After the second of two practice sessions Friday, the Ferris players, coaches and staff helped form a human tunnel as the 148 members of the 125th Infantry Battalion of E Company came off the bus in Mecosta County and entered FSU's Jim Wink Arena, where a large celebration was held in front of family and friends before a near capacity crowd of 1,900 people.

Game Day Promotions: Ferris will have a special game day promotion for each of its final five home contests following the season opener at Top Taggart Field. Community Night will be held in conjunction with FSU's second home tilt versus Mercyhurst (Sept. 8) with the annual Fireworks Night to take place after the contest. FSU's game against Hillsdale (Sept. 22) will represent Community Health Day while the Northern Michigan (Sept. 29) matchup will mark the school's eighth-annual Hall of Fame Day contest. Homecoming is set for Oct. 20 when the Bulldogs host Ashland with the Senior Day activities taking place Nov. 3 during FSU's regular-season home finale against Northwood.

Yearbook Available Online: The 2007 Ferris State University Football Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The 68-page publication contains information for all Bulldog football fans. The publication features such information as 2007 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2006 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc. Visit the FSU athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports to find the publication online.

Miscellaneous Rankings: The Bulldogs are listed 28th in the 2007 College Sports Report Division II preseason rankings, which can be found online at www.collegesportsreport.com. Ferris placed fourth among the GLIAC schools featured in the College Sports Report rankings ....... D2football.com columnist Tony Nicolette, who will cover the GLIAC for the online service this fall, has the Bulldogs picked second in his preseason league listing this year behind Grand Valley State ....... FSU was listed among other schools receiving votes in the 2007 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II poll. Ferris compiled seven points in the coaches' preseason rankings.

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