Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A-State Football Reports for Fall Camp, Holds Media Day Activities

JONESBORO, Ark. (8/3/16) – The Arkansas State football team reported to Centennial Bank Stadium Wednesday for its 2016 fall camp, holding its annual Media Day activities while also conducting team and orientation meetings with 105 student-athletes set to take part in the Red Wolves’ first practice tomorrow.

The defending Sun Belt Conference champions spent a large portion of their day meeting with numerous media representatives to discuss their offseason training and the upcoming season, as well as fulfilling photo, video and audio opportunities for promotional and game-day purposes.

Media members also assembled in the A-State Football Facility for a 3 p.m. press conference with head coach Blake Anderson, who said this is an exciting and fun time with players all assembling together as a full team.

“There is a lot of excitement for us going into the season,” said Anderson about his squad that was picked second in the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.  “There is great anticipation about what this group can accomplish.  We have extremely high expectations for our team with a lot of nervous energy because there are a lot of unknowns.”

While the A-State offense said goodbye to five senior starters at the skill positions, its defense brings back seven players who have been tabbed preseason all-conference selections.  The Red Wolves’ defense led the nation last season in defensive touchdowns and interceptions, while also ranking second in turnovers gained.

“Defensively, we’re excited about having a lot of veteran guys back with a lot of snaps under their belt and having the opportunity to build off a great defensive year,” said Anderson.  “They finished last season with a lot of confidence and the turnovers they created, really expecting to make big plays and get the ball into the end zone each week, is something that became part of the culture.  You saw that carry into spring, so I’m excited to see those guys go out and see where we go from there.”

A-State’s offense placed four players on the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team, including three of its five returning offensive linemen.  A-State broke the school and Sun Belt records last season for points scored while averaging 438.5 yards per game.

“Offensively, the excitement is a little different – it’s nervous excitement,” said Anderson.  “We’ve got a lot of new pieces to the puzzle – they’re just exciting new pieces.  Putting them all together, getting them moving in the same direction and creating continuity there is going to be the challenge for coach (Buster) Faulkner and the staff on offense.

“I love the fact that we have five starting offensive linemen back and healthy – we didn’t have all those guys in the spring,” continued Anderson.  “Hopefully that part of it creates some stability.  The skill positions are exciting and fun to see, but nervous in terms of the time frame.  We’ve got a very short window of opportunity to get a lot of new guys ready to play at a high level, starting with the quarterback.  So you go into it with kind of some mixed emotions – veteran guys on defense, a lot of new guys on offense – but again, there are a lot of high expectations and we’re ready to go to work.”

Set to hit the field Thursday morning at approximately 8:50 a.m., A-State will hold the first of five consecutive practice days to kick off their spring camp.

Arkansas State will begin its season with a home game against Toledo on Friday, Sept. 2. Season tickets for the Red Wolves’ 2016 football campaign, which includes six home games, are available for purchase. Arkansas State has strung together 11 consecutive years with a winning home record dating back to 2005 and has won 26 of its last 30 games at Centennial Bank Stadium.

Tickets may be purchased through the A-State Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center’s lower red entrance, in person, by phone at 870-972-2781 or online by visiting

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