Citadel football coach Mike Houston on Bulldogs' first day of practice

Citadel coach Mike Houston quotes Aristotle to the Bulldogs after Monday's opening practice. (Jeff Hartsell/Staff)

Citadel football coach Mike Houston quoted Aristotle on the Bulldogs' first day of fall practice, telling his players that "Excellence is not an act, but a habit."

After a drizzly morning practice, Houston talked with the media about his first-day impressions:

Q: What was the first day like?

A: It's probably the most over-prepared for practice that we have all year, because you have the build-up of all summer and all the meetings going into it. We got really lucky with the weather, with it being overcast and a bit of a drizzle, a little bit of a cooler morning for the younger guys to get acclimated to Charleston.

Q: Anyone catch your eye today?

A: Obviously, our older players. (Quarterback) Aaron Miller, (linebacker) Carl Robinson, (defensive linemen) Justin Oxendine and Cam Mobley, they've been in the fire before and look a little more comfortable than the younger guys. But I think there's a lot of want-to and a lot of great effort out there. Things will look sharper as we move along.

Q: In the past, Aaron was fighting for time on the field. Now that this is his team at QB, how has handled that leadership role?

A: I told Aaron that every job is up for grabs in pre-season camp, so he'd better be on point. And he was today, and I think he has put in a lot of work and has earned the opportunity to start and lead this team. He's embracing that role and put in good work today.

Q: Are there other positions where there is competition for starting jobs?

A: Tons of competition, across the board at every position. We do expect the young kids, after they get used to the pace of a college practice, to push for playing time as well.

Q: Do you have any freshmen that you think can get on the field quickly?

A: We do, but they don't look like it yet. They are just trying to survive practice right now.

Q: There was a rotation at QB last year. Do you plan to do that again this year?

A: I think that depends on the other kids at quarterback. Right now, I'd say it looks like Aaron will get most of the reps. But you've got (redshirt freshman) Cam Jackson and (freshman) Dominique Allen who are two very talented kids who I feel like will push Aaron as camp goes on.

Q: How about at running back?

A: (Junior) Vinny Miller is moving all over the place. We had him at slotback this morning and he worked at B-back (fullback) in the spring. He's a guy with talent and ability and we've got to find the best place to get him on the field. I thought (B-back) Tyler Renew had a very solid practice today. Where Vinny ends up will be dictated by who comes along at B-back, and how quickly.

Q: Are there any big changes on defense?

A: The biggest thing is the way we play defense. It's more about how you play than what scheme you play. The scheme we run is not that different from what they've run in the past here, and the big emphasis for us is the edge we play with, the way we run to the ball and the way we compete.

Q: Any more philosophers you can quote?

A: I read a good bit, and any time I come across a quote I feel can be applicable, I jot it down. That one was very good, about how the things you do repeatedly become habits, so that when we get out under the lights on Aug. 30, everything comes natural to us."

. Houston said all of the 29 freshmen who reported to campus last week are present and accounted for ... Freshman Jalen Lampkin, who was brought in as a quarterback, has been moved to slotback ... Sophomore DeAndre Schoultz has been moved from slotback to receiver, offensive coordinator Brent Thompson said ... Remaining at quarterback in the freshman class are Dominique Allen, who spent a year at the Air Force Academy Prep School, and Shon Belton of Lugoff-Elgin High School ... Allen should push redshirt freshman Cam Jackson for the backup QB job, Houston said.