DENTON, Texas - The North Texas football team officially reported to campus today as the second season under head coach Dan McCarney is set to begin with the first practice on Monday night. The Mean Green welcome back 35 returning letterman along with 15 starters from a 2011 team that won the most games in a single season since 2004.
The fall camp begins Monday night with the Mean Green practicing in shorts, with the first day in pads set for Friday. North Texas has nine starters back on offense, led by junior quarterback Derek Thompson who threw for 1,759 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Thompson has perhaps the deepest and most talented offensive line blocking for him in years at North Texas.
The Mean Green has four starters back on the offensive line, led by sophomore Cyril Lemon who started all 12 games and was an all-conference pick as a true freshman. Lemon was the only true freshman offensive lineman in the nation to start all 12 games and receive all-conference honors. He was named to the 2012 Preseason All-Sun Belt team.
On defense the Mean Green has six starters returning led by middle linebacker Zach Orr who North Texas with 74 tackles last season, despite missing the final three games with an injury. Senior punter Will Atterberry has a chance to etch his name further into the North Texas record books this season. Atterberry has been named to the 2012 Ray Guy Award preseason watch list, which goes to the nation's best punter, and was picked to the Preseason All-Sun Belt team.
McCarney looks to build on the success and the turnaround he had in his first season with the Mean Green.
McCarney led North Texas to the most wins in a single season since 2004 and a tie for the fourth-most wins in a single season since returning to FBS football in 1995. The Mean Green also notched the most league wins since 2004 and McCarney had the most conference wins by a first-year head coach at the FBS level at North Texas since 1973.
McCarney collected the most wins by a first-year head coach since 1994 and the sixth most by a first-year head coach at North Texas. The five wins also matched the most wins by a first-year head coach at the FBS level since 1979 at North Texas.
North Texas opens the 2012 season at LSU on September 1.