CRAIG HICKS: With every new season comes new opportunity and there is a buzz around Denison football that hasn’t been felt in decades. After an 8-2 season in 2016, the Big Red is hoping to take another step forward. With 18 starters returning, the expectations surrounding this team seem warranted. JACK HATEM: Don’t want to downplay the success of last year, it was exciting. We had a great year. There’s a lot accomplished HAYDEN HATTEN: We were angry with 8-2. We know we under performed last year. We beat Wittenberg for the first time and we were in the top 25 for the first time but that’s not enough for us. Like, we want a lot more. JACK HATEM: What can we do to be better? What kind of thing? So our focus is having elite behaviors. Us as a team having elite behaviors and growing our culture, growing our character is the next step because we want more. JACK HATEM: It’s been a really fun camp. We have a lot of returning players. This is a veteran team, so It’s been amazing to mix that veteran team with what we think is a really, really talented group of first-year players and the energy is through the roof. CANAAN GEBELE: Intensity just kicked up. Definitely seeing the young guys get involved in our system you know, trying to teach them what the Big Red culture is all about and I’ll see if they can make plays for us. JACK HATEM: You know you’ve got a pretty good group coming back, but you lost Andrew Baird, Joel Lohoua, what are you going to look like? And they know that and they’re taking that personally. HAYDEN HATTEN: Man down, man up, we’re going to reload and I guarantee that we’ll have 11 of our best, strongest, fastest guys who are ready to storm to the ball and make plays out there. JACK HATEM: There’s a lot of really talented incoming players that I’d be shocked if you don’t see on defense and boy, they’re working really hard right now. The intensity never lacks with coach Bathiany running that group, the intensity never lacks any day. So they’ve been really exciting and really good to watch at practice these last few days. This would be a really dynamic offense. You know, with Canaan, we have one of the top players in the region, there’s all conference players coming surrounding him and a lot of returning players, and boy, it’s going to be an exciting group to watch. It’s going to be a lot of fun. CANAAN GEBELE: Four out of five lineman come back, which is definitely exciting for me. A lot of skilled positions. We got Cody Farley, we got David Weimar, a lot of All-NCAC performers coming back and we’re definitely going to try to light it up offensively. HAYDEN HATTEN: We’re not going to look at what we did last year and we’re not going to look anything ahead of who we have next week and the week after that. We’re just going to go day by day, week by week and try to go 1-0 every week until the end of the season. JACK HATEM: Really our goals are us becoming the best offense we can become, the best defense we can become, the best team we can become. CANAAN GEBELE: We want to finish on our own terms. Finish out the way we want to do it, Big Red style.