BOWLING GREEN — For the Bowling Green State University football team, Saturday afternoon was meant for clowning with friends, posing for photos, and enjoying a warm, sunny August day.
But media day is now in the books for the Falcons and all that is left is preparations for the 2016 season.
“After this day, you know it gets serious,” BG coach Mike Jinks said. “We’re excited about that, and we look forward to the opportunities.”
Actually, Saturday was not completely wasted for the Falcons, who held a morning practice in helmets and shoulder pads. The focus was on individual skill positions, but there was a big of scrimmage time at the end of practice.
As for the two days of practice before that, they were spent drilling in preparation for the season opener at Ohio State on Sept. 3, as well as processing a number of new faces on the roster.
Among the newcomers is wide receiver Vanel Dossous, who played last season at Mt. San Jacinto College, a junior college in California. Dossous caught 53 passes for 841 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games with the Eagles last season; he also returned 15 punts for 313 yards and two more scores.
The Falcons also welcomed two running backs from Texas, Josh Cleveland and Bryson Denley. Last season Cleveland ran for 1,065 yards and 12 touchdowns in 11 games for Navarro (Texas) Junior College.
Denley is a product of Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas — the same school where Jinks once served as head coach. Denley, who originally planned to “grayshirt” at Texas Tech, ran for 813 yards and 14 TDs at Steele last season.
Denley also had offers from Oregon State, TCU, Tulsa, Kansas, and Illinois.
Other newcomers added to the roster include Tristan Davis, a wide receiver who played at Indiana (Pa.) in 2014; Romeo Masuku, a former running back at Rhode Island who is playing defensive back for the Falcons; and place kickers Kekoa Sasaoka from Hawaii and Grant Tinnerman from Centerville.
Among those not on the roster are wide receiver Da’Mario Jones and running back Derrick Green, both of whom were expected to join the Falcons as a graduate transfer from the University of Michigan.
Bowling Green does have a player named Darrick Green on the roster, but he is a defensive lineman from Independence High School in Columbus.
When asked about the potential for other players to join the BG program, Jinks simply said, “Everybody is here who can be here. We do have some roster spots available.”
In the early days of camp, the only injuries the Falcons have suffered are minor ones. One was to offensive lineman Ryan Hunter, who was in uniform for practice but did not take part in contact drills.
“He’s coming off a minor knee [surgery],” Jinks said of Hunter. “By next week he’ll be back in our offensive line rotation.”
And wide receiver Teo Redding was in street clothes during practice, although Jinks said Redding’s injuries also are not a concern.
“He was banged up in the first few days of camp,” Jinks said of Redding. “We wanted to give his knee a rest, but he’ll be back out soon.”
Through the team’s early practices, Jinks said the position group that has stood out early has been his corps of linebackers, which has All-Mid-American Conference players such as Trent Greene and Austin Valdez leading the way.