Semper Fi: Practice Day 3 (East Team)
Whenever it is time for 1-on-1s between the offensive and defensive lines during East practice in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, it usually means the defense is about to dominate. Such was the case again Wednesday when the defensive linemen – highlighted by Alabama commit Darius Paige barreling over Marshall commit Cody Collins and a beautiful spin move by Wisconsin commit Chikwe Obasih – went down the line taking apart the offensive line. The streak hit a bump when Notre Dame commit Mike McGlinchey stoned Wisconsin commit Alec James on an inside move, but it started again with the next round. Again, the highlight was Paige bull-rushing through South Carolina commit Bryce King and ended with Auburn commit Tashawn Bower pushing uncommitted Joshua Outlaw into the backfield. The defense was the drill 6-2. The first unit offensive line consisted of McGlichey at left tackle, South Carolina commit D.J. Park at left guard, Collins at center, Nebraska commit Zach Hannon at right guard and Virginia Tech commit Braxton Pfaff at right tackle if he is healthy, or Tennessee commit Austin Stevens. The quarterbacks continued to be inconsistent. Notre Dame commit Malik Zaire had problems with his accuracy and the ball isn't poppin' out of his hand. Afterward, he was icing his throwing shoulder. But he is electric when he pulls the ball down and runs. Arkansas commit Austin Allen missed several open receivers as he battled accuracy issues as well, but Missouri commit Eddie Printz had a number of nice throws and is playing the best of the trio. It wasn't a great day for receivers as even Notre Dame commit Will Fuller dropped a couple of passes, but Georgia commit Uriah LeMay hauled in several passes and was able to come out of breaks well. Florida State receiver commit Levonte Whitfield showcased his speed on special teams, but he also caught a few passes in the team period and uncommitted tight end Arshad Jackson got off the line of scrimmage well and in the passing game and also had a few nice blocks. His day was highlighted by a nifty catch running along the back of the end zone. Uncommitted running back David Williams had his best day as he squeezed through holes during run-game practice and also got the edge to showcase his extra gear and ability to turn up the field. The East's linebackers continued to struggle, especially in coverage. In the secondary, Notre Dame commit Devin Butler was strong in coverage and had several pass breakups. Oklahoma commit Ahmad Thomas continued his impressive string of play and continued to close well on receivers when the ball was in the air. Finally, Auburn commit Jimmy Hutchinson put his big right leg on display as he boomed punt after punt, taking advantage of perfect kicking conditions and getting a nice mix of distance and hang time as the ball continually turned over. Injury report Michigan commit Maurice Hurst Jr., a defensive tackle, did not practice. He said he was diagnosed with tonsillitis, but received medication and remains optimistic he will play in Friday's game. Pfaff sat out the last 90 minutes of practice after straining his right rotation cuff in 1-on-1 drills, and later said he will talk to his father about whether he will play in the game. Bower returned to action and played through a sore ankle, but he plans to play Friday despite being limited with is lateral movement.