As the helmets and cleats are being put on for the first time since the spring, today's official start to the Grizzly football season was summed up the same by players and coach Delaney.
"If you care about football at all, today is a fun day. Day after tomorrow, we'll see," smiles coach Mick Delaney, "but we're excited, finally out here getting together for the first time since finishing spring ball,"
"It's fun, it's the start of the season, we're all excited and fresh, not sore yet, so everyone's happy, and we're just excited to be out here," adds senior defensive end Zack Wagenmann.
So for as fun as it is, several players were nursing injuries, most noteably offensive lineman Trevor Poole, who could be out for all of fall camp as he rehabs. Even for the healthy players, they are reminded with the hits to come, today was the best they'll feel for several months.
"I'm used to it, it's my fifth year here, so it comes with the sport, I'm ready to go, and we've got ice tubs and stretching to take care of the pain during the season, but it comes with the territory," says Griz senior running back Jordan Canada.
Last fall camp, the Griz were coming off their worst season in recent memory. This fall, they are coming off a top 10 FCS ranking, and a pre-season spot in the top five., but regardless of the different finishes, they say both years have been similar.
"It really doesn't feel that different, except for me, I hadn't played in two years last fall, so I was anxious to get on the field and play, but when it comes to preparation it really just feels the same," says Griz senior quarterback Jordan Johnson.
While Montana State has a QB competition to find their starter, coach Delaney is thankful to have Jordan Johnson for one more season.
"It's great to have your leader back. This will be his third year as a starter, so he has great awareness of what we're doing. Obviously that's a good feeling to have someone with that much experience," says Delaney.
One thing the players haven't had to deal with before, adjusting their practice and training schedule around Tuesday's Paul McCartney concert in Washington Grizzly Stadium.
"It's made things a little hectic around here. We're out here for starters, we had meetings at the UC, so it's thrown off the schedule a bit, practicing earlier than we normally would for one a day practices, but we've got to do it, and we're not too worried about it really," says Canada.