On Wednesday the Arkansas State University Football team reported back to campus for the team's annual Media Day, the day before the team takes the practice field for the beginning of Gus Malzahn's first fall camp.
There was an obvious energy and excitement in the air as the Red Wolves hit the practice field for the first time on Thursday.
"We are all excited about fall camp to start," Malzahn told a large group of media. "Our players are very excited, we met a little earlier today, our coaches are very excited to get started."
Malzahn talked about returning one of the top quarterbacks in the country and conference in Ryan Aplin and about several weapons for him to throw to.
"We have one of the top quarterbacks in the country," Malzahn said. "He is someone who we are going to hang our hats on offensively."
He also spoke about a talented wide receiving corp for Aplin to throw to.
"We have three senior wide outs who all have a chance to play at the next level, Josh Jarboe, Taylor Stockemer and Allen Muse," Malzahn said. "On defense we only really have two returning starters in Nathan Herrold and Don Jones. We will be asking a lot from those guys from a senior leadership standpoint."
Malzahn realizes that he and his coaching staff has a big task at hand, getting a depth chart developed over the first couple of weeks and then preparing to go on the road to take on a No. 4 nationally ranked Oregon Duck team.
"We hope to get a order for our starters and our twos in the first couple of weeks," Malzahn noted. "Then that will give us two and a half weeks to prepare for a very talented Oregon team."
According to Malzahn, he and his staff will divide up the team in the early going, to maximize the reps each group of players will receive.
"We are going to divide our guys up early, younger guys and older guys so everyone can get more reps," Malzahn said. "We have a lot of questions going into camp, we have some very young and talented players. We know that there will be some growing pains, we are hoping to overcome those by an accelerated pace and hopefully it all comes together."
Malzahn was very excited about the beginning of fall camp.
"I'm tickled to death to get out on the practice field," Malzahn said. "You could sense the energy in this room when the players reported today. They have high expectations, you can tell that they are excited to get this thing started. They have worked extremely hard this summer. Anytime your players are excited, our coaches feed off of it. Sometimes your coaching staff has to steer the boat, thats not the case in this situation. I'm ready to go, I'm looking forward to watching them."