Since we're halfway through spring football practice, I thought I could summarize what I've seen out of practices. We'll go position by position. Today, the offensive skill positions. Tomorrow, the lines. Wednesday, the defensive skill positions.
- QB -
The Positives: Very Quick Release; Throws on a rope; Can thread the needle; excellent arm strength
The Negatives: In a limited number of practices, Jevan looked pretty bad. This could hint towards some inconsistency. When he played well, he was excellent. When he played poorly, he threw two picks to Fon Ingram (who may be good eventually, but still... he's third string on a bad cornerback unit.)
RSC Analysis: We expect Jevan to excel. This season, he will be better than anything we've had since No. 18's boy graced us with his presence. Still, to expect top of the SEC numbers this year is way too much. Our hope is simply that he's in the top half of the SEC in QB rating.
The Positives: Good decision-making; Good accuracy
The Negatives: Slow release; Lacks significant arm strength
RSC Analysis: Billy Tapp has actually played quite well through practice so far. Our guess is that he's not quite as good as Seth Adams was last year, but hey... that's not too bad for a backup who was only recruited by Columbia.
- RB -
The Positives: Runs with power; Good speed; Able to hit the holes quickly and get to the second level.
The Negatives: Doesn't read holes well; Impatient
RSC Analysis: Eason may not be as good as many had hoped when we recruited the 4* from Meridian, but he is the most complete back that is currently on campus. The chances of us using him in a feature back role are zip, but he will be the first running back used in a by-committee system. Eason has broken several insanely long runs, a good sign for his speed. Also, he can get the nitty-gritty yards. If Eason can get better at allowing blocks to set up, he could be phenomenal.
The Positives: Runs with power; Patience
The Negatives: Lacks top-end speed
RSC Analysis: People weren't just pumping kool-aid when they said that Davis was as good as Eason when both were juniors at Meridian. He is a great second runningback, as is evidenced by Nutt's faith in moving Jeremy McGee to corner, leaving us with two runningbacks. Davis has overcome the injury that had him riding the bench for two years at Ole Miss, and he appears ready to show that he wasn't just part of a package deal for Eason.
The Positives: Excellent vision when running with the ball; patience; Top-end speed
The Negatives: Ability between the tackles; Durability
RSC Analysis: I know it's not fair to talk about McCluster's inability to run between the tackles, but he's going to be asked to do that some running the "Wild Rebel" and out of the I. He has to be able to put up with some damage across the middle, and we worry he won't be able to do so. Still, he is the biggest playmaker on the field, and has done an excellent job of getting short and long runs out of the wild rebel.
The Positives: Blocking; Strength; Experience; Powerful Runner
The Negatives: Speed; Inexperience with the ball
RSC Analysis: Jason Cook should have been used a lot more for the past three years. It's good to see Nutt wanting to get him the ball in the flats. Let's hope that Cook can make the most of it.
The Positive: Speed; Strength; Good with the ball
The Negatives: Blocking
RSC Analysis: Hicks can be used more as an offensive threat than as a lead blocker. Look for him to come in on some third downs.
The Positives: Strength; Blocking
The Negatives: Speed
RSC Analysis: Hartmann has been too slow in practice to effectively lead block. I guess if we need a pass blocking FB, we can go with him.
- WR -
The Positives: Top-end speed; Height
The Negatives: Does not run crisp short routes; Sometimes drops sure catches
RSC Analysis: Mike Wallace is the epitome of a deep threat. This practice, he has repeatedly put a move on his d-back in one-on-ones and gone long. Unfortunately, Wallace is just not physical enough to run across the middle effectively. Still, it's great to have a threat to go deep with Wallace's speed.
The Positives: Height; ability to use body; goes up and gets the ball; runs crisp routes
The Negatives: None so far
RSC Analysis: It's always interesting to see which players step up when there's a coaching change. Obviously, Markeith Summers is one of those players. Summers has developed into the most complete receiver in a corps ripe with talent. He has not disappointed in a single practice.
The Positives: Ability to use body; goes up and gets the ball; runs crisp routes; makes the tough catch
The Negatives: Drops sure catches; Top-speed
RSC Analysis: Shay Hodge is very similar to Chris Collins. He gets the ball a lot just because he's so good at running routes. The only devastating problem Shay has is his hands. One play, he'll catch the ball over a corner's back. The next, he'll drop one that hits him in the numbers.
The Positives: Speed; Route-Running; Elusive
The Negatives: Size
RSC Analysis: McCluster will continue to be used in unconventional ways. He will see screens, reverses, etc. and will be given the opportunity to make a play with the ball in his hands. With his ability to make a player miss, he should be good.
The Positives: Speed
The Negatives: Doesn't show up some days
RSC Analysis: Breaux could be a good player, but right now, he just gets lost in the shuffle.
The Positives: Height; Ability to use his body
The Negatives: Everything else
RSC Analysis: Has he even been at practice? Seriously, what happened to this guy?
- TE -
The Positives: Blocking
The Negatives: Speed; Receiving
RSC Analysis: This is where the team starts sounding a lot less like a national championship contender. The TE position is REALLY thin. Traxler has made a few catches, but he usually looks lost in space.
The Positives: NA
The Negatives: NA
RSC Analysis: I've seen him make one catch for about 6 yards. Comments?
The Positives: ...
The Negatives: Speed
RSC Analysis: Jevan Snead put out a gorgeous pass one day for Cecil, and he couldn't even find it. Note: There was no problem with the sun or lights.