MTSU busy building depth

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 1:03am

Numbers on the Middle Tennessee depth chart still aren’t quite where football head coach Rick Stockstill would like them to be, but it’s evident the Blue Raiders are making strides developing quality numbers at certain positions.

The addition of quality players in the last two signing classes has generated greater competition.

“I think we are getting closer to having more competition at every position and the more competition you have the better your team will be because competition allows you to build a team,” Stockstill said. “Even when you are in shorts, guys have to compete and you are seeing that in the initial practices.”

The Blue Raiders are still thin along the offensive line and at the linebacker positions but the developing depth at quarterback, receiver, running back, tight end, defensive line and in the secondary is generating more spirited practices and helping improve individual development along the way.

“When you reach a point where you have the numbers to have competition at each position that increases the intensity and mental energy that you have during a practice whether you are in shorts, shells, shoulder pads or full gear,” Stockstill said. “We are still developing depth but I like where we are with the running backs, tight ends, receivers, quarterbacks, defensive ends and secondary. We still have some positions where there isn't a lot of competition. We are so thin at offensive line and at linebacker that there is not a lot of competition there right now.”

BEAT THE HEAT: The Blue Raiders endured the hottest day of fall camp when they took the field Tuesday. The heat index was right at 100 degrees at the outset and remained in the mid-90s throughout. It wasn’t as much the temperature that created a seemingly steamier day as it was the humidity, according to athletic trainer Drew Shea. He said the 54 percent humidity was the highest of the early camp dates.

“It was hot out there but it is fall camp and it is hot everywhere right now,” Stockstill said.

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