Ferris State Enters 2017 With Strong QB Contingent

BIG RAPIDS – After reaching the NCAA Division II national semifinals for the first time since 1995 a year ago, the Ferris State football program concluded its recent spring camp with high expectations for the fall.

The Bulldogs return a solid core from last year’s team that went 12-3, including starting quarterback Reggie Bell, who was a Harlon Hill Trophy finalist. Bell has been nursing a shoulder issue throughout the spring, which allowed younger quarterbacks Bret Mooney, Jevon Shaw and Travis Russell to have more reps during the team’s annual spring game last Saturday.

“I thought it was good,” coach Tony Annese said. “Jevon Shaw, that was the best he’s looked all spring running the ball. And he’s obviously got a unique skillset. Where (Bret) Mooney’s a longer guy, you know, he can throw the ball. Travis Russell is a steady player, and he’s got the instincts that championship quarterbacks have.”

Shaw, Russell and Mooney are all competing to fill the void vacated by Trevor Bermingham due to graduation. The team’s No. 2 quarterback and punter last year, Bermingham played brilliantly in place of the injured Bell during Ferris State’s postseason run.

“The biggest thing for us is to just get better every day, to grow from practice one to two, to three to four and so on and so forth,” Russell said. “I think as a quarterback, we’re a pretty tight-knit group and we’re always pushing each other to get better, so that’s the biggest thing.”

Ferris State is set to open its 2017 the first week of September, with its opponent to be announced.