Each week we'll review Middle Tennessee's game as the Blue Raiders drive for a Sun Belt Conference…
Former Smyrna standout Jeremiah Bryson officially announced that he'd be withdrawing from Pittsburgh and enrolling at Middle Tennessee ahead of the 2011 season. According to the DNJ's Adam Sparks, the talented running back cited his desire to be nearer to his family and the fact that Pitt recently parted ways with assistant Matt Dudek.
Bryson will have to sit out the 2011 season in order to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, but that actually works out well considering the list of established players on the depth chart. At 5-10, 175 lbs., Bryson is a solid running back who started four seasons at Smyrna. During his senior year, he rushed for over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. With a year of learning the Blue Raider system and working in the strength and conditioning program, Bryson should be able to compete for carries beginning in 2012.
Kilgore learning from the best
In other news, Blue Raider quarterback Logan Kilgore has spent the last several days as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy. The rising sophomore will be spending days instructing high schoolers during the days and talking football with some of the greatest quarterbacks in the land at nights.
Kilgore will head into Fall Camp in a two-way battle for the starting job with junior Jeff Murphy. Both had their ups and downs in limited playing time last season, although the scouting reports seem to indicate that Kilgore has a higher ceiling.
And now for the bad news . . .
The athletic department also announced this week that DT Derrek Upshaw would not be with the team in 2011. The 6-3, 290 lb. lineman was suspended during the Spring and failed to meet the terms set by Coach Stockstill that would allow him to return to the team.
Upshaw was expected to be a big time producer on the defensive line this season after showing a lot of potential during his r-Fr. season. His departure will leave a big hole on the line for the Blue Raiders, who might look to a number of reserves and newcomers to make up for those snaps.
The athletic department also announced that cornerback Marcques Dixon wouldn't be enrolling this Fall due to his inability to qualify academically. The speedy Dixon had a similar issue last season, when he signed with Tennessee but was unable to enroll.
Dixon was rated the number 80 cornerback in the nation coming out of high school and would've provided a big boost to the Blue Raiders' special teams unit thanks to his tremendous speed. He will enroll in a JuCo this season in attempts to become academically eligible.
Stay tuned to the BlueRaiderZone.com forums for the latest breaking news and discussion of Middle Tennessee athletics throughout the coming weeks!
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