MTSU Hit By Injuries
MTSU Hit By Injuries
Two of MTSU?s most valuable players are sidelined by groin injuries and two reserves may be out for the season.
Junior quarterback Joe Craddock and senior defensive end Erik Walden are day-to-day with groin injuries. Both dressed out for MTSU?s practice on Wednesday morning, but did not participate in drills.
True freshman Dwight Dasher, fifth-year senior Patrick Jackson and sophomore Gene Delle Donne divided the quarterback reps during team session.
Meanwhile, true freshman receiver D.D. Kyles is out for the season due to a previous knee injury. Redshirt freshman defensive end Andre Wicker is awaiting x-ray results and may also be out for the season with a foot injury.
Junior linebacker Ivon Hickmon (knee), true freshman defensive end Sa?Coby Carter (knee) and sophomore receiver Dale Galvin (unspecified) are still out with injuries.
If Wicker?s injury is season-ending, it would be MTSU?s seventh player lost for the season this week, including three starters. Defensive end Sean Mosley quit the team. Fullback Hunter Birtsch (knee), center Jake Padrick (shoulder) and linebacker Landon Givers (back) have been lost to injuries. Fullback Brodey Mann was dismissed from the team for missing multiple practices.
Redshirt freshman Chris Hawkins moved to starting center Wednesday morning, and Chris Ritter played backup center. Senior Brandon Nix moved from center to guard. Redshirt freshman Gary Tucker has been moved to second-team defensive end.
For more, see Thursday?s Daily News Journal.
? Adam Sparks, (615) 278-5167
Blue Raiders patching holes
As many as seven players out for season
By ADAM SPARKS
? Adam Sparks, (615) 278-5167
MTSU football is reluctantly performing a magic trick: The amazing shrinking roster.
The Blue Raiders have lost as many as seven players for the season this week and three for good.
The new additions to the list are true freshman wide receiver D.D. Kyles and perhaps redshirt freshman defensive end Andre Wicker. Kyles is out for the season with a lingering knee injury suffered before his arrival at MTSU. Wicker is awaiting x-ray results and could be lost for the season with a re-aggravated foot injury.
Three others had already been lost for the season this week due to injury, including starting center Jake Padrick (shoulder), starting fullback Hunter Birtsch (knee) and true freshman linebacker Landon Givers (back). Starting defensive end Sean Mosley quit the squad, and reserve fullback Brodey Mann was dismissed from the team.
At least five others were out or limited by minor injuries Wednesday, including starting defensive end Erik Walden (groin) and starting quarterback Joe Craddock (groin).
MTSU coach Rick Stockstill acknowledged that the depth chart is having to be adjusted quickly, as the Sept. 1 season opener looms at Florida Atlantic.
"I tell it like it is, but just look at it," Stockstill said. "We've got 72 or 73 (players) on scholarship. We've got at least four out for the year, so then you're at 68 or 69. And we still haven't had two weeks of practice yet. Hopefully, we don't lose any more, but guys are having to move around.
"We're so thin at every position. I keep saying that we've got to build this program the right way, and that means improving in everything we're doing. I'm not making excuses, but we've still got so far to go from a numbers standpoint."
MTSU has made several personnel moves as a result of injuries and departures.
As a result of Padrick's injury, redshirt freshman Chris Hawkins played center on the first-team offense Wednesday and junior Chris Ritter was second-team center. Senior Brandon Nix and true freshman Colin Boss, both prospective centers, have been inconsistent in snapping the ball.
"Everything was initiated by Padrick going down," Stockstill said. "We're just trying to find someone who can snap the ball consistently. Nix went in there and struggled, so we moved him back to guard. We had moved (Boss) to second center, but he hasn't been consistent. But he's not supposed to be because he's only been here a week and a half. We're struggling (finding a center). We moved Chris Hawkins there (Wednesday), and it was his first day there so he struggled."
With Mosley's absence and Walden's injury, sophomore Chris McCoy and senior Tavares Jones started at defensive end Wednesday. Redshirt freshman Gary Tucker has been moved from defensive tackle to end.
Craddock dressed out in full pads Wednesday, but he did not participate in team drills. True freshman Dwight Dasher and fifth-year senior Patrick Jackson shared most of the quarterback reps during team session, and sophomore Gene Delle Donne took a few snaps.
"In the last couple of days, those other (backup) quarterbacks haven't been performing that well, so (Dasher's) reps have increased," Stockstill said. "Joe got hurt, and so he missed half a scrimmage. That got Dwight in there, running some of the first team, and Patrick ran some of the first team. With Joe out, Patrick's reps increased and Dwight's reps increased."
MTSU signee Demarcus Cleveland, a true freshman defensive tackle from Tampa, Fla., did not report to fall camp after failing to meet NCAA academic requirements.