SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Saturday marked media day for Missouri State football.
In our Bear Nation report, it came ahead of a season still tied to the struggles of last year.
For one, the Bears are coming off just a three month offseason after last year was pushed to the spring because of the pandemic.
Head Coach Bobby Petrino, however, was very positive about his players’ level of fitness as camp starts.
“I’m very impressed with our guys to be honest with you. We gave them May and said relax. Take time off. Heal. Rest. A lot of them did that for a week or two weeks and then wanted to get right back into the weight room and get working out. I was impressed with the type of condition and type of shape that we’re in. We’re much stronger.”
Player health goes beyond just fitness, however, as the world has far from cleared the COVID hurdle.
But again, Petrino praised his players level of preparedness.
“We can’t just relax and think COVID is gone,” he said. “You see some of the things that are going on throughout the country and especially right here in our county. We’re at 86 percent with our team vaccinated. I think with our inner circle we’re more than that. So our guys have done a good job if that’s what they wanted to do. We tried to encourage them to get it.”
As for the players, there are plenty of new names on the roster like Utah State transfer quarterback junior Jason Shelley or Vanderbilt linebacker transfer junior Demetri Moore.
Moore was an All SEC freshman for the Commodores.
In all, there are 14 new transfers on the roster now joining a Bears’ group eager to build on the success of last years’ Co-Valley champion season.
“When we won a conference championship, it was shared,” senior linebacker Tylar Wiltz said. “Now we’ve got to get it to where it’s not shared. It’s only ours. Make our statement. Then we get to the playoffs, let’s get further. Let’s win a national championship. We want to do more than we’ve done. To do that, every single person, that 1/11th on the field, you’ve got to do your part. Make sure you’re doing the right things. So at the end of the day, when we all bring it together, it’ll click. That’s how you be the best version of you. I’ll be the best version of me and it’ll all just trickle down.”