TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Improvement has been the steady marker of the Indiana State football program under fifth-year head coach Trent Miles and that improvement continued to show itself in many ways on the first day of fall camp for the Sycamores on a hot and sunny afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
The first sign of improvement for the Sycamores came in the actual field that the team worked out upon. The grass practice field, which was used occasionally last season, was in full bloom on day one and was the site of the first workout of the fall. Before coach Miles came to campus, the area was used for game day parking, but now it is the area upon which the 2012 Sycamores will formulate their squad for battle this year.
Another sign of improvement was the sheer numbers out on the practice field. The Sycamores have 95 candidates in preseason camp, as they went through the annual conditioning test at 6 a.m., meetings during the day, head shot photos and lunch in the afternoon and the evening brought out the time to finally hit the field for the first time as the 2012 Sycamores.
Familar faces were on both sides of the ball showed leadership skills that have developed in the offeseason. Shakir Bell kept the offensive troops focused while several leaders have emerged on defense including Ben Obaseki, Aaron Archie and Jacolby Washington.
Out of action for the Sycamores during the course of the workout were offensive lineman F.N. Lutz, who is battling back from a knee injury suffered during the spring game and Garrison McElroy, who is missing from the defense due to an offseason injury.
The rest of the Sycamores were in action including punter Lucas Hileman, who boomed several kicks during an early special teams period and senior Myles Walker -- who most recently competed for two seasons as a member of the basketball team -- who worked out on the defensive side of the ball and in special teams.
The team went through their standard practice although with new faces around -- as well as new coaches -- the Sycamores saw plenty of work in different individual drills.
Mike Perish made Deshawn Prentice of his top targets on the day, as they pair connected on a couple of long touchdown passes during individual work and another during 7-on-7.
The Sycamore defense is expected to be strong and proved that they were ready to pick up where they left off from a strong spring as they were able to stop the offense and forced a couple of turnovers during the team workout.
The first practice of the fall is mandated to be held in just helmets, jerseys and shorts, so contact was not permitted amongst the eager group of Sycamores.
The final sign of improvement had to be the large senior class with their leadership skills meshing together nicely with a talented group of newcomers, who are showing signs of a promising future to come.
The team returns to action on Saturday, August 4 with their second workout of the spring at 6 p.m. (ET) inside Memorial Stadium.