Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- With just nine days remaining until the 2012 season opener, players on the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) football say excitement is growing for the preseason routine to give way to playing games.
"We're doing good. It's getting long," UMD junior wide receiver Joe Reichert said. "We're definitely excited to hit someone else."
"It's going good. We're getting a little more confident each and every day," Bulldogs senior tight end Ben Helmer said. "We're battling through the little injuries and that type of thing. We'll just keep working hard every day."
For Willow River native Nate Zuk, the 2012 season will provide another opportunity after he was forced to sit out much of 2011 with an injury.
"We're working hard, and it's starting to pay off," the junior linebacker Zuk said. "We're trying to stay healthy, as always. It's good."
Sophomore running back Brian Lucas called the preseason practice schedule a bit easier now that he's become accustomed with the program.
"When we came in, we were the younger group," Lucas said, "but now we've got a couple years under our belt. It's a little different situation being an older guy and being looked up to. It's nice."
UMD opens the 2012 season on August 30 on the road to Southwest Minnesota State, and the team's home opener is September 8 against Winona State.