CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College football team will begin its preparations for the upcoming 2017 season on Friday, as players return to campus this week. PC is set to begin its 105th season of football in 2017.

PC will take to the practice fields in shorts and helmets on Friday and Saturday, before adding shoulder pads for Sunday and Monday. The first full pads practice will take place on Tuesday.

The Blue Hose are once again under the leadership of head coach Tommy Spangler, who returns for his second stint as head coach. He previously served as head coach at PC from 2001-06, going 42-24 in six seasons and leading PC to its most recent conference championship in 2005.

PC returns 44 letterman and 13 starters from a year ago, including seven starters on the offensive side of the ball for the second straight season. The group includes a pair of second team All-Big South players from last season in wide receiver DaShawn Davis and punter Brett Norton. Davis led the team with 42 receptions and 455 receiving yards in 2016, while Norton led the team in points with 32 as kicker.

Quarterback Ben Cheek (8 starts, 837 passing yards, 168 rushing yards in ‘16) also returns to lead the offense with DarQuez Watson (24 receptions, 251 yards, 2 touchdowns in ‘16), Cedric Frazier (16 recpetions, 219 yards, 2 touchdowns in ’16) and Kyle Goddard (16 receptions, 112 yards in ’16) joining Davis in the receiving core. The offensive line remains nearly intact with four of the five starters from last season back, led by senior guard Thomas Hughes.

The defense returns six starters from last season, led by junior cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (31 tackles, 9 pass breakups in ’16). The entire defensive line departs from last season, including second team All-Big South picks Khari Rosier and Obinna Ntiasagwe. PC does return its top two leading tacklers, though, in linebackers Grant Beidel (75 tackles, 2.5 sacks in ’16) and Nick Moss (73 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss in ’16). Kenneth Coleman (37 tackles, 2 INTs in ’16), Ryan Burgess (36 tackles in ’16) and Robert Baker (42 tackles, 1 INT in ’16) also return to help anchor the secondary.

The Blue Hose will once again face one of the toughest schedules at the FCS level this season. PC faces four teams that advanced to the FCS Playoffs, as Charleston Southern, The Citadel, Saint Francis (Pa.) and Wofford each made the postseason last year. Additionally, PC opens the season with a trip to FBS foe Wake Forest, as well as a road trip to Liberty, who is transitioning to the FBS level.

All 11 games will again be available on a video platform this season. The Blue Hose can be seen on ESPN3, ACC Network Extra, the Big South Network and Stadium this season.

PC officially opens the 2017 season in 36 days with its Thursday night season opener at Wake Forest on August 31.