43 letterwinners return
Cumberland football coach Donnie Suber is expecting around 140 players, including 43 letterwinners from last year, to report on campus this morning for the start of preseason practice in preparation for the Aug. 26 home-opener versus Bluefield College.
A 1:45 p.m. team meeting will be held at Labry Hall followed by physicals for returning players in the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
A 5 p.m. mandatory dinner will be held at the Phillips Dining Hall followed by concussion testing in the CU Computer Lab.
Positional meetings will be held at 8 p.m. followed by an 11 p.m. curfew.
The fun starts 5:45 a.m. Thursday when returning players go through a conditioning test.
Quarterback Dezmon Huntley as well as running backs Kendall Johnson and Kris Parker along with receivers Lorel Morton and Ladarius Rodgers return on the offensive side of the ball.
Three of the defense's top four tacklers - Alex Campagne, Cody Carr and DeAnthony Patrick - will pace the defense.
Cumberland's 2017 schedule includes five home games and just one contest against non-NAIA competition.
The Phoenix open the season at home for the fourth straight year, taking on Bluefield August 26 at Nokes-Lasater Field.
CU hits the road to take on the University of the Cumberlands on September 2 before returning home to face Webber International on Sept. 9.
Cumberland then plays three straight road games beginning Sept. 16, including contests at Edward Waters College, NCAA Division II Presbyterian College (Sept. 23) and Georgetown College (Sept. 30).
Homecoming and Hall of Fame weekend takes place October 7 when the Phoenix take on Cincinnati Christian and Cumberland hosts long-time rival Bethel University on Oct. 14
Road tilts at Lindsey Wilson (Oct. 21) and Campbellsville University (November 4) are sandwiches around a bye before the Phoenix end the regular season for Senior Day against Kentucky Christian on Nov. 11.