Wednesday A.M. Practice

Anyone watching Wednesday morning's practice may have noticed that the number of participants had dwindled from the night before. There's no reason to panic, the coaching staff merely gave morning off to a number of players who had summer school finals today. <B>UPDATE: Wednesday night's practice rained out. Rescheduled for Thursday, 7:00 am.</B>

"We want them to be fresh (for their finals)," John Mackovic said.

The ranks got even thinner when about a dozen more players left practice with 20 minutes left so they could be on time for their classes.

Even with a number of absent players, the team worked hard. Early on there was some good, spirited line play. With the tight ends and line backers participating, there was a lot of popping going on.

In the running drills it was encouraging to see Clarence Farmer show off a burst of speed. The knee appears to be better. Later on he was running back kick offs. The biggest concern will be when he starts taking hits.

The quarterbacks worked with the ladders again. The ladders help the passers adjust to throwing through, not over linemen. It could especially aid Nic Costa.

In 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills the Cats continued to put in more of their scoring zone and third down offense. Tonight they will work more on goal line situations, including a goal line scrimmage, which is always fun to watch.

Costa and Ricky Williams shined in the 7-on-7 drill. Just like last night, the Cats worked on scoring zone situations and like last night Costa led the team to a pair of touchdowns. On his second pass attempt, Costa hit Williams over the shoulder on a 25-yard scoring strike down the right sideline. Later he'd hit Williams over the middle for a 15-yard score. Williams almost had the trifecta, but he couldn't reel in a leaping grab in the back of the endzone. All told Costa was 3-4 for 55 yards.

Ryan O'Hara passed well. He was just 2-5, but one of the incompletions appeared to be a sure touchdown, but reserve safety Bennie Brown broke up the pass to Ricky Williams at the last moment. O'Hara did hit Matt Padron down the sideline for a 10-yard score.

In the 11-on-11 drills it was Kris Heavner who was the star. Both he and fellow freshman Richard Kovalcheck got the bulk of the snaps, especially when most of the starting offensive linemen left midway through the drill to go to class. Heavner was 4-4 for 32 yards. The biggest pass play was a 20-yard strike to Ryan Eidson. Kovalcheck was 2-5 for 30 yards, while O'Hara was 3-5 for 16 yards. Costa struggled a little bit, going 0-4 with an interception by Marcus Hollingsworth. Costa's first pass was a 25-yard completion, but the coaches blew the whistles signifying a sack right as he released the ball.


*Keoki Fraser and Kili Lefotu are getting reps at tackle in an effort to "cross train" them as back-ups. With Tanner Bell out for a month, the Cats need to add depth. Peter Graniello is listed as a back-up tackle, but Mackovic confessed that he needs a lot of work.

*Darrell Brooks sat out practice due to some pain in his back.

*With the loss of Brad Brittain and the uncertain status of David Sharp, walk-ons Shawn Pack and Bobby Kaspar are seeing a lot of reps.

*Both of the freshmen quarterbacks have done a very nice job in picking up the offense, especially the protection schemes. Former Wildcat and current radio analyst Lamont Lovett has been very impressed. He compares Heavner to Brett Favre and Kovalcheck to Joe Montana. He loves Heavner's arm, but thinks Kovalcheck has great mechanics.

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