CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern battle through a light rain on Friday morning as CSU kicked off fall camp on Buccaneer Field. Head Coach Autry Denson and the Bucs opened up the first of 19 practices in the preseason camp slate as CSU builds toward the season-opener at Furman.
The Bucs worked out in shorts and helmets on the field throughout the light drizzle on the field and will continue with the shorts-helmets theme throughout the weekend, before moving on to shells and full contact next week.
Denson, heading into his first season at the helm for the Bucs, was ready to get back on the field this fall after a strong spring showing for CSU.
"Day One is always really exciting," the first-year head coach commented. "Guys come out early to practice, and they're ready to go. The excitement level was exactly where it should be and it's fun. Though it's my first day with these guys, football is football - it doesn't change. It all comes down to blocking and tackling and fundamentals."
The Bucs enter preseason picked third overall in the Big South Conference preseason football poll as announced at the conference media day in Charlotte. CSU returns 10 starters from last season's team with four players recognized with preseason All-Conference accolades.
CSU will be embracing more of the passing game this season with the offense looking to continue building off the repetitions the teams took throughout the spring practice slate.
Denson looks forward to see what the Bucs can do as they build continue to establish the "Air Raid with an Attitude" that the head coach referenced in his press conference.
"With our offense, we're not at all where we want to be," Denson said. "This is a repetition-based offense, so we're just trying to get as many reps as we can. The guys are excited about the new offense and we really won't know for sure what we have until we kick it off in the first game. It's so different, so our job is to try and get our guys as close to that as we can so that they can go out and play relaxed and confident."
Denson and company are seeking to make the most of their practice and meeting times this fall as the coaching staff continues to build on their emphasis of family, as well as providing a God-honoring effort and attitude in everything they do.
"Our job is to develop all of them," he said. "They're all our guys now, whether they were here before we got here or we brought them in, they're our guys. My job as a coach is to develop them and grow them, so that's what we're doing. We look at all of them the same. It doesn't matter what they were running before, they're running what we're running now and we're just coaching them up to get better at it."