LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell football team is back on campus and brought in August by participating in its first full practice.
The Bison, who reported on July 30 and took part in testing yesterday evening, broke out their helmets and spider pads for a session that lasted nearly two and a half hours.
Overall, head coach Joe Susan was satisfied with his team's performance but noted it's still early and the Bison have a long way to go before they're ready to take the field for Sept. 2's season opener against Marist at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
"In terms of the football IQ, the preparedness for practice and then the energy of practice, I thought today was pretty good," said Susan, who is entering his eighth season at Bucknell. "Obviously, there's a lot we've got to improve. And the other thing is we're playing in shorts. It's a little bit different when you put the pads on."
The Bison coaching staff has a new look in 2017, with three new faces and four returning coaches taking on additional or new responsibilities. Susan has begun to work one-on-one with Bucknell's tight ends and fullbacks, drawing on his experience from his time at Rutgers.
"I love it," Susan said before joking he may be guilty of extending individual periods. "It's great to be out here. We're fortunate to have a group of young men at the tight end and fullback position that know the game, that work hard [and are] talented."
The 2017 team will be led by senior captains Abdullah Anderson, Mark Pyles and Ben Richard. Pyles and Richard spoke highly of the effort their teammates have brought to camp and expressed their excitement to be back on the field.
"I don't think we skipped a beat since we left this spring," Richard said. "The energy was better than it's ever been."
"It's a different team," Pyles broke in. "It's a great feeling out here. There was intensity every rep."
Follow @Bucknell_FB for updates throughout camp. The full practice schedule can be viewed here.
For the first time since 2010, Bucknell is scheduled to play six games at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Season tickets are on sale until Monday, Aug. 14. Single-game sales begin on Thursday, Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000.