Rose-Hulman Football Practice Underway

746-TeamTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology preseason football camp is officially underway, in preparation of the team's home opener against Kalamazoo College on Sept. 1.

Nearly 100 players, including more than 55 freshman, reported to the Rose-Hulman campus in mid-August to prepare for the upcoming season.  The freshman class of 55 marks the largest in school history.  The roster also represents over 20 states.

The Fightin' Engineers finished 5-3 in conference play last season and tied for second place in the HCAC standings.  Rose-Hulman returns five starters on offense, six starters on defense and the starting punter from the 2011 squad.

Offensively, the Fightin' Engineers return two all-conference players and five overall starters.  Senior Kyle Kovach (Munster/Andrean) led NCAA Division III in all-purpose yardage and earned SI.com/Associated Press Little All-American honors last fall.  Sophomore offensive tackle Eric Taylor (Chapel Hill, N.C./Carrboro) earned second-team all-league honors in 2011.

Senior quarterback Mitch Snyder (Casey, Ill./Casey-Westfield) returns behind center, with a total of three offensive line starters providing depth up front.  Snyder recorded the sixth 2,000-yard passing season in Rose-Hulman history last fall.

Defensively, Rose-Hulman returns two starters on the line, two at linebacker and two in the secondary.  Senior linebacker Ryan Gallagher (Greenwood) claimed first-team all-league honors, with sophomore linebacker Grant DePalma (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect), junior defensive lineman Dean Griffing (Plano, Ill./Aurora Christian) and senior defensive back Jordan Martin (Shelbyville/Triton Central) earning spots on the honorable mention all-conference squad.

Junior punter Eric Schaible (Findlay, Ohio) also returns after claiming second-team all-league honors last fall with 15 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and just four touchbacks.

Rose-Hulman's schedule begins with a home matchup against Kalamazoo College on Saturday September 1 at 7 p.m.  The Homecoming Game features a battle with Manchester College on Sept. 22.  The remaining home contests include matchups with Bluffton, Anderson and Earlham.

2012 HCAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL

RANK SCHOOL PTS. (1st) 2011 RECORD 2011 HCAC
1) Franklin 79 (7) 10-2 8-0
2) Mount St. Joseph 67 (2) 6-4 5-3
3) Hanover 62 5-5 5-3
4) Bluffton 48 5-5 5-3
5) Defiance 41 4-6 4-4
6) Rose-Hulman 38 5-5 5-3
7) Manchester 34 4-6 3-5
8) Anderson 21 1-9 1-7
9) Earlham 15 0-10 0-8