EAST LANSING, Mich. - Eighth-year Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio welcomed 105 members of the 2014 team back to campus for dorm check-in, freshman academic orientation, compliance and drug education meetings, a media workshop, team meetings and a welcome dinner on Friday, Aug. 1, as the Spartans opened preseason football camp. The first preseason practice is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2 at 10:05 a.m. ET.
"It's exciting to be back in preseason camp because it signifies a new beginning for the entire program, coaches and players alike," Dantonio said. "The key to the upcoming 2014 season is our ability to handle success while continuing to be grounded in our work ethic, discipline and focus. It starts here.
"Since returning to Michigan State, we've always had great senior leadership and our expectations remain high for this year's seniors. Last year's seniors had their best seasons, both on and off the field. The challenge is for the 2014 senior class is to do the same, especially as the expectations continue to rise at Michigan State. Competing for championships has become an expectation for our program, so the focus and a sense of urgency need to be there from the opening day of preseason camp. We're all excited to get back to work."
Following a 6 a.m. wake-up call and breakfast Saturday, the players will report to the Skandalaris Football Center for team and unit meetings before hitting the practice field for the first time in helmets, jerseys and shorts. Saturday afternoon, the players will participate in lift and film sessions and attend another team meeting.
Over the next five days, the Spartans will practice in shorts for two days and shells for two more days before donning full pads for the first time on Wednesday, Aug. 6. Michigan State will conduct its annual Media Day on Monday, Aug. 4.
Michigan State, ranked No. 8 in the Preseason Amway Coaches Poll, opens the 2014 season and home schedule against Jacksonville State on Friday, Aug. 29, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET on BTN.