The 2016 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl has some local flavor, as a total of five Alabama natives appear on the rosters of both teams.
Appalachian State has four Alabama players in its roster, including former Montgomery Academy standout Josh Thomas.
Thomas has been a media darling this week and served as the Mountaineers unofficial team host. He has also had some down time with his family and friends.
“I just went home (Tuesday) to spend time with my family,” Thomas said. “(On Wednesday night), we found something to do and had fun with my teammates. Just follow me, we’ll find something for sure.”
Thomas anchored a secondary that led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked third nationally with 25 interceptions. The sophomore defensive back played in 11 games and recorded 25 tackles, two interceptions (26 return yards), two tackles for loss (-4 yards), two pass breakups and one quarterback pressure.
“This year, it’s a lot different because now my role is a little bigger, so I’m definitely excited to go out there and play and just help my team get a ‘W,’ Thomas said.
Sophomore defensive back Tae Hayes attended Decatur High School. He played in 12 games and recorded 18 tackles and one pass breakup for the Mountaineers.
Freshman quarterback Zac Thomas played at Hewitt-Trussville High School. Freshman offensive lineman Cole Garrison played a Clay-Chalkville High School. Both redshirted this season.
Toledo has one Montgomery native on its roster this season. Freshman linebacker Tre’Shaun Wilson played at Robert E. Lee High School. The Cramton Bowl, the site of the 2016 Camellia Bowl, was his home field the last three years. Wilson is redshirting this season. Toledo’s interview policy does not allow freshmen to be interviewed.
THURSDAY PRACTICE NOTES
Both teams held a brief walk-thru on Thursday afternoon. Appalachian State held a 45-minute walk thru at Alabama State University. Toledo held a 45-minute, closed session at Huntingdon College.
FRIDAY SCHEUDLE OF EVENTS
Both teams will hold full speed practices on Friday at their respective practice sites. Both sessions are closed to the media and public.
Appalachian State and Toledo will attend the 2016 Alabama Football Legend Awards Luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel on Friday at Noon. Former three-time University of Alabama All-American Woodrow Lowe is this year’s Alabama Football Legend.
ASU head coach Scott Satterfield and Toledo head coach Jason Candle will meet with the media on Friday at the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Head Coaches Press Conference at the Cramton Bowl.
Both teams are expected to have a brief walk thru at the stadium with potential team photos.