Following a tumultuous offseason, Weber State's football program can now look forward to the pop of pads.
The Wildcats, under first-year head coach Jody Sears, will have their first full scrimmage of the preseason Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. inside Stewart Stadium. Weber State's first game is Sept. 1 at Fresno State.
Picked for the middle of the new-look, 13-team Big Sky Conference, Weber State returns 36 lettermen and 14 starters from 2011, a team coached by Ron McBride, who retired following a season-ending victory at Portland State.
John L. Smith was hired to take over WSU, which finished 2011 at 5-6 overall and 5-3 in the BSC. Smith then left for Arkansas in the spring, and the head coaching position was awarded to Sears, originally hired by Smith as the team's defensive coordinator. Sears will continue to run the defense. Matt Hammer, in his seventh season at WSU, remains the offensive coordinator.
The Wildcats plan to run about 120 plays Tuesday. All practices are open to the public.
Among the returning starters are sophomore fullback Tevia Tolutau, a first-team all-conference selection last year, and senior offensive lineman Tytan Timoteo, a second-team all-conference pick.