There is no doubt that there is a new excitement and energy surrounding the Southern Methodist University Football team this fall.
With the arrival of June Jones, Mustang fans have reunited in support of the once proud program, local sports celebrities seem to be joining in with the excitement that has returned to the Hilltop.
Former Dallas Cowboy superstars Troy Aikman and Darryl Johnston were two of several special guests on hand for the Mustang's third practice of the fall session.
Coming out in shoulder pads for the first time seemed to provide a special spark for the two hour practice session.
"Any time you come out in any sort of pads the intensity automatically picks up," Jones said Wednesday. "This team is practicing hard, they did it all spring and we don't expect anything less of them."
Jones was asked if anyone was starting to develop or standout to the veteran coach after three days of practice.
"I don't pay a lot of attention to those things the first week or so," Jones said. "It's hard to evaluate players when they are thinking so much. This is a teaching time for us. We are spending a lot of time in the classroom explaining to the players what we expect of them this fall. Then we go out and go over live what we taught them in the classroom."
While the Mustangs were in shoulder pads today for the first time, the SMU coaching staff emphasized staying off the ground.
"We don't want to roll up a knee or anything," Jones said. "We get done what we need to get done out there."
Offensively speaking, Quarterback coach Dan Morrison is happy to see that all five quarterbacks are currently getting the same amount of work.
"Right now everyone is getting the same amount of reps and the same opportunity to perform," Morrison said. "By this time next week we may narrow it down to two to three guys, who then will get the majority of throws."
Morrison is pleased so far with the work of all five quarterbacks.
"They all did a great job of preparing for fall camp through their work during the summer," Morrison said. "They aren't feeling it too much right now, but their arms may get a little sore starting next week when we go to three hour practices or during two a days."
Morrison declined to give an evaluation on the race for the starting position.
"It's too early to tell," Morrison said. "We will get a better idea in the next week or so."