"It was a typical first day, but it really wasn't bad," said head coach Matt Viator. "All-in-all I thought it was good. I thought the kids moved around good. It seemed like we retained some things from our meetings and didn't really look real sloppy."
The Cowboys will workout in shorts and helmets again on Saturday before slipping on the shoulder pads for the first time on Sunday. The squad will don full pads for the first time on Tuesday.
"I thought it was a good day," said junior quarterback Tyler Bolfing. "There was a lot of energy and a lot of activity going on. I just loved getting back out here. I thought it was a pretty good practice. There were a few things that were a little iffy, but that's just typical of the first day. We really showed a lot of competitiveness which what I was really excited about."
Hitting the practice field with 100-percent health for the first time in his college career was senior wideout Ernest Celestie who couldn't help to express his excitement.
"It's exciting to be back on the practice field," said Celestie who played in all 13 games last season on a broken foot but rarely saw the practice field in order to keep from furthering his injury. Celestie had surgery on the foot in the offseason.
"Around May is when I hit 100-percent."
It seems the story of fall camp will be the fight for the starting quarterback spot, but regardless of who that player will be, there's no lack of competitiveness nor is there any ill-will among the competitors.
"Competition makes everybody better," said Bolfing. "Coach V treated me great. He called me in right when he got the news that (Kansas State quarterback transfer) Daniel (Sams) was transferring in. I was excited. Daniel is a great guy. At the end of the day, winning is all that matters."
"My first day here, he (Bolfing) took me in with open arms," said Sams. "He and (Will) Briscoe as well. They've been teaching me all of the signals, the terminology. At Kansas State, it was a more complex offense. Everything here is just name difference. It's all the same thing. But they took me in with open arms. Of course this is a competition but it always feels good to know you have a teammate at the end of the day."
COWBOYS RANK 8TH IN THE SPORTS NETWORK TOP 25 PRESEASON POLL
Just a few days removed from posting a No. 9 ranking in the FCS Coaches Top 25 preseason poll, McNeese has been tabbed for a No. 8 ranking by The Sports Network in its preseason poll released on Friday.
The Cowboys, 10-3 in 2013, consistently ranked in the top 25 in both polls last season and ended the year ranked 11th in the SN final poll of the year.
Southeastern Louisiana, the reigning Southland Conference champion, is ranked third in the preseason poll while Sam Houston State is ranked 17th.
1. Eastern Washington Eagles (82)
2. North Dakota State Bison (62)
3. Southeastern Louisiana Lions (2)
4. New Hampshire Wildcats (1)
5. Montana Grizzlies
6. Jacksonville State Gamecocks
7. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
8. McNeese State Cowboys
9. Northern Iowa Panthers
10. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
11. Fordham Rams
12. Villanova Wildcats
13. Towson Tigers
14. Chattanooga Mocs
15. Tennessee State Tigers
16. Eastern Illinois Panthers
17. Sam Houston State Bearkats
18. Montana State Bobcats
19. William & Mary Tribe
20. Richmond Spiders
21. Furman Paladins
22. Bethune-Cookman Wildcats
23. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
24. Youngstown State Penguins
25. Maine Black Bears
by Matthew Bonnette