Savannah State has to wait a little longer than most to kick off the 2017 season officially, but the Tigers are as ready as anyone to show the progress they've made.
It's year two for the Tigers under head coach Erik Raeburn, and Savannah State will get the season going early Wednesday morning with their first practice of the campaign.
The team says a full offseason and spring practice in Raeburn's system has paid major dividends heading into this fall.
"We know the playbooks more. The bond is tighter than it was last year," says sophomore QB TJ Bell. "Everybody's just ready to go. We're just ready to get back out there."
After a three-win season in 2016, the Tigers were picked near the bottom of the MEAC preseason polls.
This team doesn't believe they will finish there.
"We feel like last year was a stepping stone for something bigger," says senior linebacker Mulik Simmons. "We feel as if they set the foundation last year for us to do bigger and better things this year."
Simmons says the Tigers are determined to show improvement from 2016, and he expects the team to do so.
"Three wins isn't enough to get us anything," Simmons says. "We were up in Norfolk, VA and everybody had their rings on, smiling. Our goal is to win the MEAC every year."
The Tigers will hit the practice field for the next few weeks, all leading up to the September 9 season opener at Appalachian State.