TOWSON, Md. – Coach Rob Ambrose and the Tiger football team will start their pre-season preparations for the 2012 campaign when the Tigers open their pre-season camp on Thursday, August 2. The players will report on Thursday and hold their first practice session on Friday afternoon, August 3.
Over the next four weeks, the Tigers are scheduled to hold 25 practice sessions and three scrimmages. The Tigers will hold five double-practice sessions in the pre-season.
All practices are closed to the public unless otherwise noted. Practice sessions will be held on the Tigers’ lower practice field and Johnny Unitas® Stadium.
Coach Ambrose has 39 returning letter winners, including eight starters on offense and defense, on the roster. There are also seven transfer students and 22 red-shirt freshmen competing for playing time.
For the first time in Coach Ambrose’s tenure as coach, the Tigers also enter their pre-season camp with something new – high expectations. Last year, the Tigers were the most-improved team in NCAA Division I as they posted a 9-3 record, won their first Colonial Athletic Association championship and appeared in the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time.
As a result, the Tigers enter the season as the CAA’s pre-season favorites. Towson received 12 of 22 possible votes in the CAA’s pre-season poll. Towson has also been nationally-ranked in some pre-season polls.
"It is a humbling honor to have earned the respect of the football community in being picked as the top team in our incredible league,” says Ambrose, who was the winner of Eddie Robinson Award as the 2011 FCS Coach of the Year. “It's great that we have been recognized for what we did last year but in truth, last year is gone. Every game is a war in this league and when we strap it up, rankings, predictions and accolades mean very little."
With last year’s success, a number of Tigers have earned recognition as pre-season All-Americans. Sophomore running back Terrance West, senior defensive end Frank Beltre and senior defensive back Jordan Dangerfield have earned most of the pre-season recognition.
The CAA Pre-Season Offensive Player of the Year, West was honored as the winner of the 2011 Jerry Rice Award, which is presented to the top freshman in FCS football. West, who was also the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2011, rushed for 1,294 yards as a first-year freshman and averaged 6.7 yards per carry. The second-leading rusher in the CAA, he scored 29 touchdowns to set an NCAA FCS record for freshmen. The top scorer in the NCAA FCS last season, he also set a Towson single season record with 29 TD’s.
West is part of an offensive unit that returns eight starters, including offensive linemen Eric Pike, Anthony Davis, Randall Harris and Doug Shaw. One of the Tiger captains last season, the 6-5, 298-pound Pike has started the last 23 games at left guard. Davis and Harris were starters at guard last season while Shaw was the Tigers’ starting offensive center in 11 of 12 games last season.
Senior quarterback Grant Enders returns to direct the Tigers’ offense again. The CAA leader in passing efficiency last season, Enders was named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week twice. He passed for 2,081 yards and 16 touchdowns last year and he was also the Tigers’ second-leading rusher with 387 yards and five touchdowns.
A repeat selection as an All-CAA Pre-Season selection, Beltre is a third-year starter at defensive end. Last season, he ranked among the team leaders with 68 tackles. He also led Towson with 12 tackles for lost yardage and had four sacks. Beltre, who has made nearly 200 tackles in his college career, was named to the All-CAA first team last season. He is one of eight returning starters on defense.
A two-year starter at free safety, Dangerfield has led the Tigers in tackles the last two seasons. Despite missing two games last year, he led the team with 93 tackles, a mark that placed him second among all CAA defensive backs. He also intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered a pair of fumbles. Dangerfield was one of the Tiger co-captains last season. A first team All-CAA selection last year, he made a team-leading 96 tackles as a sophomore.
The Tigers' Pre-Season Practice Schedule
|Friday, Aug. 3||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Saturday, Aug. 4||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Sunday, Aug. 5||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Monday, Aug. 6||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Tuesday, Aug. 7||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Wednesday, Aug. 8||8:30 am||Lower Field|
|Wednesday, Aug. 8||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Thursday, Aug. 9||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Friday, Aug. 10||8:30 am||TBA|
|Friday, Aug. 10||3:30 pm||TBA|
|Saturday, Aug. 11||3:45 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Monday, Aug. 13||8:30 am||TBA|
|Monday, Aug. 13||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Tuesday, Aug. 14||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Wednesday, Aug. 15||8:30 am||TBA|
|Wednesday, Aug. 15||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Thursday, Aug. 16||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Saturday, Aug. 18||12 noon||Unitas Stadium|
|Monday, Aug. 20||8:30 am||TBA|
|Monday, Aug. 20||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Tuesday, Aug. 21||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Wednesday, Aug. 22||2:15 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Thursday, Aug. 23||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Friday, Aug. 24||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Saturday, Aug. 25||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Sunday, Aug. 26||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Monday, Aug. 27||6:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
|Tuesday, Aug. 28||3:30 pm||Unitas Stadium|
ALL PRACTICES CLOSED TO PUBLIC.