Southeastern Louisiana football coach Mike Lucas welcomed 95 players to campus Tuesday as the Lions opened preseason camp.
Players began arriving at the Dugas Center for Southeastern Athletics around mid-day before holding its first official team meeting later in the afternoon. The Lions had a scheduled NCAA meeting in the evening before additional group meetings.
“It was great to get everybody back on campus,” Lucas said. “We’ve had so many guys that have been here for the summer who have worked really hard. Our strength and conditioning coach (Matt Powell) has done a wonderful job with the guys in a short time and everyone has that bright look in their eyes and they are ready to go.”
Meanwhile, at Louisiana-Lafayette, first-year coach Mark Hudspeth is ready to welcome players to campus.
The Ragin’ Cajuns - picked by Sun Belt Conference coaches to finish eighth in the nine-team league - are scheduled to move into the new Baker Hall on Wednesday, then get ready for the first day of practice Thursday.
ULL will split its team into two squads Thursday - one squad practicing in the morning, the other squad practicing in the afternoon.
The team will practice as a full team for the first time Saturday.
Back in Hammond, Southeastern’s entire 2011 signing class was on campus during the summer, attending voluntary workouts.
Lucas, whose team went 2-9 last season, said freshmen are ready to make a significant impact.
“We had our entire freshman class on campus for the first time, and I really appreciate the (Southeastern) administration for letting that happen,” he said. “Those guys are a step ahead, and we’re going to need some of those guys to be ready to play at some of these positions.”
Southeastern will hold position meetings and issue equipment beginning Wednesday before holding its annual conditioning test in the evening.
The Lions will hit the practice field for the first time at 6 a.m. Thursday, working out in helmets for the first two days before putting on shells Saturday.
Southeastern will open two-a-days on Aug. 9.
The Lions open their season at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at Tulane.
SLU’s home opener is Sept. 10 against Savannah State.
The Lions will travel to face Conference USA member Southern Miss on Sept. 17 before opening Southland Conference play Sept. 24 at McNeese State.
SLU Kickoff Reception set
HAMMOND - The Southeastern Louisiana University football team will hold its first Kickoff Reception on Aug. 20 at Twelve Oaks on the Southeastern campus.
Admission is $20 with children 11 and under free. Refreshments will be served.
For information, call Anna Woodall at (985) 549-2395.
Nicholls State to report
THIBODAUX - With the season opener against Evangel less than a month away, 95 members of the Nicholls State University football team will report for fall camp on Wednesday.
At 7:15 p.m. Thursday, the Colonels will host their first practice at John L. Guidry Stadium.
Nicholls, which returns 10 starters on both offense and defense, will get into full pads for the first time in the fall on Aug. 9 before its first two-a-days on Aug. 11.
McNeese ranked No. 13
McNeese State’s football players, who report for camp Wednesday afternoon, have been ranked No. 13 in the nation in a preseason poll by College Sporting News.
The poll was announced Tuesday. Appalachian State topped the poll followed by Georgia Southern, Delaware, William & Mary and Eastern Washington.
Reigning Southland Conference champion Stephen F. Austin was ranked No. 18 and Central Arkansas was No. 25.
McNeese has won three of the last five SLC titles. The Cowboys finished second last season behind SFA.