Ferris State Football Opens Fall Camp

BIG RAPIDS – Since coach Tony Annese arrived in Big Rapids and the campus of Ferris State nearly five years ago, the Bulldogs football program has continued to climb its way up the Division II ranks.

On Thursday, the two-time defending Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions opened fall camp, sporting a consensus top 20 preseason ranking nationally.

Riding a two-year regular season unbeaten streak, the 2016 edition of Ferris State football will look slightly different, with the noticeable departures of two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan as well as defensive standout Justin Zimmer and wide receiver Jake Lampman – all of whom are beginning the NFL careers.

“You know people are looking and saying… even people in our league who know that we’ve got a lot of good players still, have kind of said that ‘well, we’ll see what they can do without Vander Laan.’  And you know, that’s a valid point,” Annese said. “Let’s see what we can do without Vander Laan. I’m ready. Our guys believe, nobody on our team is looking around saying ‘Where’s Jason? Where’s Justin?  Where’s Jake Lampman?’ We’re ready to turn the page, and be a great productive team without those guys."

The Bulldogs were picked to finish second in the GLIAC North.

Ferris State opens its season on Sept. 1, hosting Ohio Dominican.