Once again, the Cupdaters who know what they're doing weren't able to visit practice so all of this information has been supplied by a friend.
The Rebels only practiced for a short two hours in the Wednesday afternoon sun. There were mostly positives to take away from the practice this afternoon which excites us. The players just seemed one step quicker and a bit more motivated out there.
Everyone's biggest concern is, without a doubt, the offensive line. After reports of Bradley Sowell not playing with the aggression necessary for Left Tackle, he performed somewhat admirably today. He wasn't all-worldly, but he wasn't terrible. Perhaps his bum ankle was giving him fits in earlier practices or perhaps Markuson has lit a fire under him because he's better. Of course, we should reserve our judgment for him until at least the Grove Bowl. He could become a legitimate SEC tackle or a complete bust. Only time will tell.
Nathan Stanley is looking really good. He is as solid as ever with regards to hitting his deep routes. If you haven't ever gotten the chance to see this guy practice you really should do yourself a favor and check it out. It's exciting to think about our future at quarterback with Stanley and Raymond Cotton calling the shots.
We were throwing to Ferbia Allen a good bit today and he looked good. He showed sure hands in traffic and isn't afraid to get hit. Believe it or not, we're surprisingly deep at tight end.
Derrick Davis was also in the mix as a fullback today. He was good and will likely be utilized this upcoming fall as he was last: as a redzone weapon. He and Andy Hartmann will be a good fullback tandem in that both can run, catch, and block but still have different skillsets. Hartmann is the hard-nosed kind of blocker (if you'll recall, he sprung Brandon Bolden's TD run by telling Texas Tech's MLB to fuck off) whereas Derrick Davis is the bruiser.
Andrew Harris had a really good day at receiver and gained praise from coach Dickerson for his efforts. Expect to see a fair amount of him this fall. The other-other Harris, Melvin, was in attendance but obviously couldn't practice due to his foot injury.
Devin Thomas' stock is rising everyday. The former Army All-American is beginning to show what he is capable of. He even took reps with the first team today. Of course, I don't imagine anyone unseating Brandon Bolden or Enrique Davis as our primary back, but don't be shocked when you see Devin Thomas in on Saturdays. he is now taking reps with 1st team. He has great combination of speed and power (didn't see that one coming) and has no problem lowering his head to grind out the extra yard or two. In fact, during the practice there was a big 3rd down situation where Devin took a draw and broke off a run up the middle for a 1st down. During that play, the defensive sideline was starting a raucous "DE-FENSE" cheer which didn't seem to throw anyone on offense off.
Of course, that doesn't mean the D didn't show up. They continued to perform admirably. If this spring is any indicator, we're going to be quite successful at keeping folks from scoring this fall. Marshay Green is still an exceptional badass. He does it all: sprints to the ball, aggressively takes on his man regardless of size, rappels from the rafters of the IPF and takes a bunch of dudes out with a baseball bat, etc.
Our linebackers just keep getting better and better. Our starters are going to be fantastic. The coaches were very, very impressed with Allen Walker, Johnathan Cornell, and Patrick Trahan for their speed and hard work. As a unit, these guys should be solid and could somewhat easily pick up where Ashlee Palmer and Tony Fein left off.
From a source of ours close to the program, the coaches see the offensive line as being the make-or-break of this team come fall. They feel that if Bradley Sowell, Rishaw Johnson, Bobbie Massie, and others can step up and give Jevan the time he needs, we will be very difficult to beat. This leads many of us to believe that the coaches feel more than secure with our offensive skill positions and (more importantly) defense.
Practice will take place at 10:20 AM on Good Friday. Weather permitting, it should be outdoors. Once again, there will be a scrimmage on Saturday in VHS which will also begin at 10:20 AM.
Thanks again to the our field reporter, who we'll call "MasUno" for the information.