South Carolina State opened preseason practice Wednesday (Aug. 2) to prepare for the 2017 campaign and a quest for their 17th Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship (MEAC) title in school history. Approximately 100 players participated in a two-hour workout session in helmets at Oliver. C. Dawson Stadium.
Bulldog head coach Buddy Pough, who is beginning his 16th season at the helm, is confident that this year’s team has the right players to finish strong and compete for a conference championship.
"When you have a season like we did last year you come into preseason with a chip on your shoulder," said Pough. "Our program is special and we owe to ourselves and all the loyal supporters to finish strong the SC State way."
Pough noted, "It's always good when your program receive recognition but our goal is to finish strong and have a championship mindset every game."
Ten (10) players received All-MEAC Preseason honors, with five (5) being named First Team All-MEAC. Redshirt senior All-American linebacker Darius Leonard was named Preseason MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, while the Bulldogs was picked to finish 3rd in the MEAC conference race.
The Bulldogs will conduct most of its practices during the morning and early afternoon session with the second on Thursday (Aug. 3), beginning at 2:30 p.m. in helmets, followed by a morning practice on Friday (Aug. 9) at 9:10 a.m. in helmets and shells and afternoon on Saturday (Aug. 5) at 2:30 p.m.
SC State will hold its Media/Picture Day on Saturday, Aug. 12, beginning at 9 a.m. The annual "Meet the Players Day," hosted by The S.T.A.T.E Club, is set for Saturday, Aug. 19that 12 p.m. More details on these events will be released later.
South Carolina State opens the 2017 campaign on the road in the annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge versus Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. (CT)/2:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised live on ESPN2.