Big Rapids, Mich. - The FSU Gridiron Club will welcome the 2011 Ferris State University football incoming freshman class by holding its annual "Freshman Picnic" on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at FSU's Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids, Mich.
The families of the incoming players and the Big Rapids community are invited and encouraged to attend the event, which is sponsored by the Gridiron Club. The picnic will begin at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) and the FSU coaching staff and incoming players will be introduced to the public.
After the introductions, the FSU Gridiron Club members and athletics department staff will meet with the parents in attendance to cover a variety of topics on the upcoming season while the incoming freshmen will meet at the same time with team coaches.
The incoming players will report to fall camp next Wednesday (Aug. 10) morning for check-in and physicals prior to the picnic and meeting. Veterans players will report on Thursday (Aug. 11) morning with testing and meetings set for the first day of camp. The first practice is slated to be held on Friday (Aug. 12) morning following additional testing.
Ferris State kicks off its 103rd season of varsity competition this fall by hosting Hillsdale in a non-conference matchup on Friday, Sept. 2, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Top Taggart Field. FSU and Hillsdale are not scheduled to play each other as part of the GLIAC schedule this season.
The Bulldogs, who will play an 11-game regular-season schedule, open GLIAC action the following week at Saginaw Valley State in their first road contest on Saturday, Sept. 10, at SVSU's Wickes Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET).
The Bulldogs' 2011 schedule features alternating home and away games throughout the year as FSU will not play consecutive contests either at home or on the road at any point during the campaign.
Ferris State is expected to return nearly 50 letterwinners for the 2011 campaign, including almost 19 full-time starters with nine on the defensive side of the ball and eight coming back offensively along with two kicking specialists.