2002 Preseason Begins Next Week

The dog days of summer are over for Marshall fans. Beginning Monday, August 5, the preseason preparations will begin as players report back to campus for summer practices. Marshall enters the preseason ranked in just about every poll, backed up with a legitimate Heisman candidate in QB Byron Leftwich.

Marshall Football 2002 officially begins on August 5, when freshmen and transfers will report for summer drills. The newcomers will practice without the returning players on August 6, 7, and 8.

"We played a lot of young kids last year. Now, they have to step up and be men," Marshall coach Bob Pruett said recently in a preseason outlook. "It is their time."

The returning team members begin drills on August 8. The annual Media Day is scheduled for August 9 at Marshall Stadium. The first team practice in full pads is slated for August 14.

Marshall returns 50 letterwinners from the 2001 squad.

Marshall QB Byron Leftwich

Heisman Trophy candidate and Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich leads the team, which finished 2001 with a 11-2 record, including a GMAC Bowl win over ECU in December. "He is a great leader and has a great presence on the field," Pruett said of his star QB.

1-AA and Southern Conference power Appalachian State visits Marshall Stadium for the season opener on August 31, with kickoff slated for 7pm.

Marshall then goes on the road to Blacksburg, VA on September 12 to take on Big East foe Virginia Tech in a Thursday night ESPN nationally-televised contest.

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