Holy Hell, football is here. Hopefully you'll recall our (wildly popular) practice reports from last fall. These will follow similar suit. Read, provide input, yadda yadda.
So Rh0d3$+@r and I attended the first practice with illicit beverages and some honest insight. Today, I mainly focused on the skill players. It's hard to tell how good the linemen are until the pads go on. More on that later.
Raymond Cotton -Good size and release. The buzz has been that he might get looks to play in some Kent Austin formations this year. He'll have to show more accuracy and zip before that happens. Quick, high-armed release, but often high and behind the target. Didn't get any gauge on his speed.
Clayton Moore - THE LONE RANGER... If I met this guy in a dark alley, he might run away from me...
Jevan Snead- good, but maybe not as good as you'd expect from a Heisman candidate. We didn't see much promise from the qb's at this point last year, if I remember. He'll be fine. Jevan operated exceptionally well under duress last year. He likes it when shit gets real. Today wasn't all that real. He did step aside when his turn was over at skeletons and talk to several of his players. Not coaching, just keeping communication lines open.
Stanley - already noted for his good deep throws, Stanley had some good completions to shorter routes today, as well as the ability to shorten his tall frame and tuck it for a run. He's quicker than I'd imagined, but again, it's hard to tell how effective a runner is until the pads go on...
Korvic Neat - really small and not in McCluster's freshman shape (Dex was ripped from day 1, if you recall); didn't see much. He looks quick, but he won't play this year, barring injury.
Patterson -I anticipated a bigger guy. He isn't huge or ripped, it seems, but he's taking 1st and 2nd team snaps and making the defense respect him. I want to see what he does as the qb's grow more accustomed to him and vice versa.
Ja-Mes Logan - long and quick. He ran a couple of good routes today. I'd say he wasn't significantly behind Patterson or either Harris. We'll see how he develops.
The receivers as a whole weren't good today. Austin, who usually works on technique and schemes, seemed like he was just frustrated at the lack of solid hands today.
Lionel Breaux -Lionel can snag the ball cleanly, but he doesn't have the range to pluck it out of the air like Hodge, Summers, or even McCluster.
Julian Whitehead and Demareo Marr -Not terrible. More on this as it develops... Marr was more flexible and physical than I remembered. Whitehead has always looked physical when close to the line, but gets burned because of his height/speed. Today, he had two layout D's, one on Patterson and one on GWH candidate Ricky Contardoesntmatterhowyoupronounceithewontplaytesi. Maybe he's in better running shape and can provide some depth this year.
Markeith Summers -Still looks big, fast, and strong-handed. Waiting for him to take the 3rd spot by the horns. Between him, Breaux, Patterson, and both Harrises, I think he's the best candidate for the 3 spot. He's just got to man up and take it.
Andrew Harris -He's always looked fast and rangy, but he has problems beating people to the ball, and catching everything that he should.
Charles Sawyer- We've heard that he's good, but didn't notice him at all today.
Terrell Grant -People aren't expecting much from him, but they sent him out there some today. He looked athletic, but didn't perform.
Dex - Worked with the RB's today, but performed admirably in limited skeleton work with the receivers.
Shay -wasn't impressive today. It games, Shay just wants it more and works harder to get it. He's always looked about as good as Summers in practice, but in games... you know.
Overall, coaches spent a lot of time with young guys today.
Powe and Hardy -both worked with the second team. Spirit boners remain flaccid until the pads come on, at least.
Hartman - big one-handed grab in the flat. Looks like a brick shithouse; hope he can cover ground quick enough to block for all the backs.
Melvin Harris -like the other receivers, didn't bring down the ball as well as he should have. Surprising quickness, but not much strength from a receiver his size. You can't come down with jump balls just because you're tall, and Harris doesn't have the heft to compete in the air yet, in my opinion. Hope I'm wrong, as this might alleviate the D. Brown/A. Jackson/M. Brown/etc. blue balls.
Z Mason, Bobby Massie, Bradley Sowell, etc.- Can't tell anything at all yet... The tight ends didn't work with the passing offense at all today, unless I missed it. Massie looked really exhausted at times, but he's still huge and imposing. Wanted to see more confidence in the face of Sowell, but seriously, judgements on the linemen are impossible right now.
Stop by practice if you get a chance; the team looks hungry, and so do the guys on the sidelines. Otherwise, we'll keep you updated as things develop.