Tigers Don Full Gear

If you thought the Memphis Tigers 5:30am first practice of the season was early..

How'd you like to wake up getting hit in the head!

U of M players put Full Pads on for the first time in Fall Camp..

It's 6:30am and the Tigers have full pads on for the first time.

After almost 8 months of waiting, these guys were ready to hit somebody.

'Yeah we did some hitting. Started with some tackling drills and they'll wake you up real quick.'

says Defensive Back Wesley Smith.

Adds Offensive Lineman Blake Butler,

'It was nice to get out there and play some real football instead of just going through the motions in shorts.

It's hard to imagine that getting your bell rung first thing in the morning would be enjoyable. But, hey, whatever it takes right? Head coach Tommy West says the practice was productive.

'We didn't get off the field till 7 last night and then we're back here less than 12 hours later so I knew they would be (tired). But that's what I wanted. I thought they paced themselves and got through and did a real nice job.'

West feels good about the quarterback situation. Both Patrick Byrne and Will Hudgens have fully recovered from broken legs last year and are pushing Martin Hankins hard for the starting job.

West says,

'I really think we have a good competition going on there with all of them. I don't plan on doing anything until we have a couple scrimmages at least.'

The Tigers will hold their first two-a-day practice Tuesday, starting with a morning scrimmage at the Liberty Bowl.