Charleston, S.C. – The Citadel football team kicked off fall camp on Monday morning with the first official practice at the Maybank Triplets Practice Facility at Willson Field.
The squad, led by first-year head coach Mike Houston, returns 35 lettermen from last year’s team including 13 starters. Among the starters returning are preseason all-conference members Justin Oxendine and Carl Robinson.
“We are here trying to establish an identity of what we want to be,” said Houston. “And that is a well-disciplined, high-intensity squad that makes you work for every inch you are going to get.”
Monday’s rainy weather offered moderate temperatures in the low 80s. No injuries were reported for the two-and-a-half hour workout.
Aaron Miller enters the season as the team’s starting quarterback after playing behind four-year signal caller Ben Dupree, and the coaching staff is very excited to see the senior take the field in 2014. Dupree closed out his career second all-time in rushing yards by a quarterback while finding the end zone 36 times, including 18 in 2013.
Miller has played in 28 games in his career, but will be making his debut as the starter when the Bulldogs face Coastal Carolina.
Junior Vinny Miller, who made the move from slot back in the offseason, and Tyler Renew, who played in eight games as a freshman in 2013, have big shoes to fill with the departure of Darien Robinson. The duo entered fall camp as the only two players at the position with game-day experience.
A ton of talent and athleticism is expected to be showcased in 2014 on the defensive front as the Bulldogs return senior all-conference defensive end Justin Oxendine along with interior linemen Cam Mobley (senior) and Mitchell Jeter (junior).
Without a doubt the most experienced crew entering 2014 are the linebackers. Senior Carl Robinson, who earned second team all-conference honors last season, was back in action and is fully healed following an ACL tear which kept him out of the season finale against Clemson.
Also returning to the playing field today was junior Carson Smith who is at 100 percent following a fractured ankle suffered in fall camp last season which kept him out the entire 2013 campaign.
Two more solid athletes in junior James Riley and sophomore Tevin Floyd will play outside. Floyd had a huge debut campaign in 2013, recording 38 tackles and two interceptions en route to being named to the SoCon All-Freshman squad.
The special teams responsibilities will be decided in camp as Coach Houston and his staff expect stiff competition at punter, placekicker and in the return game.
FALL CAMP SCHEDULE
Aug. 5: 7:30-10 a.m. (helmets)
Aug. 6: 8:50-11 a.m. (shells)
Aug. 7: 8:50- 11 a.m. (shells)
Aug. 8: 8-11 a.m. (full pads)
Aug. 9: 8-11 a.m. (full pads); 2-4 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 11: 8-11 a.m. (full pads); 2-4 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 12: 8:50-11 a.m. (shells)
Aug. 13: 8-11 a.m. (full pads); 2-4 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 14: 8:50-11 a.m. (full pads)
Aug. 15: 8-11 a.m. (full pads); 2-4 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 16: 11 a.m. Media Day, Meet the Bulldogs
The Citadel opens up the 2014 campaign on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. at home against Coastal Carolina. To purchase single game or season tickets, call the ticket office at (843) 953-DOGS (3647).