YPSILANTI, Mich. (WOOD) — The start of the new USFL season is just a few weeks away and to officially start the countdown, teams reported to their first practices of camp Monday.

The Michigan Panthers, alongside their hub mates the Philadelphia Stars, will hold the duration of camp at the campus of Eastern Michigan University. Players first started arriving to prepare for the season on Friday.

“We are very appreciative to the USFL for deciding to make Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw County its home for the 2023 season,” EMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee said in a statement. “This is a tremendous moment for our community, the University, and our athletic department to partner with the USFL to host the Michigan Panthers and the Philadelphia Stars. Having the opportunity for professional players and coaches to utilize our facilities is a testament to how far we have come as a football program over the last decade.  This is a win-win for everyone and I am hopeful that this can become a long-term relationship.”

Both the Panthers and Stars will play home games at Ford Field in Detroit and practice at EMU’s Rynearson Stadium this year, changing it up from the inaugural season in 2021 where all eight teams played and practiced in Birmingham, Ala.

New Panthers’ head coach Mike Nolan has been excited about his return to coaching professional football and also playing in Michigan again.

“We’ve got a great group of players, I’m looking forward to working with them,” Nolan said.
“Thus far, we’ve done some Zoom meetings and stuff like that but really no hands-on stuff. But I think everyone is excited for what lies ahead and playing in Detroit is going to be a real boost for us.”

Linebacker Terry Myrick, who is also a former standout at EMU, said that the first day of practice was much needed.

“The guys and I have been getting so anxious around one another,” he said. “It’s just super exciting to see everyone and put a face with a name. There was a lot of adrenaline out there today. We’re so excited to just get around each other at practice and compete for our ultimate goal.”

The season for the Panthers begins on April 16 against the Houston Gamblers.