Since he arrived at North Texas, Dan McCarney has implemented a host of new traditions. Some he borrowed from programs he worked for as an assistant coach while others he came up with during his time at Iowa State.
One of the most successful of those ideas is a landmark event that will be back for a second year today when UNT hosts its second Friday Night Lights event at Apogee Stadium.
UNT brings in some of its top recruiting targets for a few hours in a nighttime camp setting at Apogee. The venue is one of the biggest assets the school has to sell as a program.
Florida hosted a similar camp while McCarney worked there as an assistant.
UNT had 75 players sign up early last year but had more than three times that many participate in the camp when dozens of players registered the night of the event.
Some of the top players who ended up signing with UNT’s 2012 recruiting class participated in last summer’s Friday Night Lights camp, including Buda Hays offensive lineman Boone Feldt.
Feldt was No. 17 on Rivals.com’s list of the top center prospects in the class of 2012. He participated in the camp, stayed for the weekend and later signed with UNT, where he was reunited with older brother Cam Feldt.
“The response has been really good,” McCarney said. “Players know that they can come and will get really good instruction from the coaching staff that will help them as all of us get ready for the beginning of fall practice.”
The camp will be the last in a series that UNT’s coaches have hosted across the state this summer.
Nine high school players, all from Texas, have orally committed to sign with UNT in February. Several of those players have attended one of UNT’s summer camps.
UNT is expected to host several of its top recruiting targets at Apogee tonight before turning its attention to the beginning of fall workouts on Aug. 6.
UNT announces kickoff times for five 2012 home games
UNT will face Louisiana-Lafayette at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 in a rare Tuesday game that will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The times for all five of UNT’s home games were released Thursday.
The Mean Green will play its home opener against Texas Southern at 6 p.m. Sept. 8 and also will play at 6 p.m. in its Sun Belt Conference opener Sept. 22 against Troy.
UNT’s final two home games — against Arkansas State on Nov. 3 and South Alabama on Nov. 10 — will be played at 4 p.m.
UNT will not play Florida International, which was picked to win the Sun Belt title in the preseason coaches poll, this season but will host the teams picked to finish second (ASU), third (ULL) and fifth (Troy).
Former OU defensive back to walk on at UNT
Jordon Finch, a cornerback who spent three seasons as a walk-on at Oklahoma, plans to enroll at UNT and join the Mean Green as a walk-on.
Finch, 5-10 and 160 pounds, played at Mansfield before heading to OU, where he never received playing time. Marcus Trice, who is projected to start at safety for UNT this fall, was Finch’s roommate at OU.
“It’s exciting to know that I will get a chance to play since I haven’t played in three years,” Finch said. “I talked to Marcus and he told me the coaches said they could use me. Hopefully I will get an opportunity to earn a scholarship. They put three guys on scholarship in the spring.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
UNT HOME GAME TIMES