Spring football tid bits

The Wildcat football team got started with spring drills on Monday. Although it is just the first day and the spring game is nearly a month out, there are already some stories coming out of camp.

The public and the media are not allowed to watch practice, but that doesn't mean information isn't available. Here are some tidbits from Monday's practice and other notes on the team.

*The quarterbacks were sharp for the first part. Willie Tuitama was particularly effective in the 7-on-7 drills. He did throw a few picks in team drills but at lest one was tipped. Kris Heavner started out slow, but by the end of practice really looked sharp.

*The running back battle is already in full swing. Chris Henry was the talk of the day. He's actually gained some more muscle but lost none of his speed. If he can duplicate Monday's performance in actual games then the Cats may have a premier back. Both Xavier Smith and Terry Longbons were impressive as well.

*Brandon Lopez's mix of size and speed have people on the staff very intrigued. Expect him to have a greater role in the offense than previous fullbacks.

*The Cats miss injured tight end Brad Wood. Although Travis Bell showed some nice things, he is not the blocker that Wood has become. Ryan Kilpatrick and Brandyn McCall have some work to do in the pass catching department, but are solid blockers.

*For the most part the receiving corps was decent. There were a few dropped balls, but nothing overly concerning. All of the receivers look bigger and stronger. B.J. Dennard showed some flashes, while Bobby McCoy looks like he may have a better grasp on the position.

*The defensive line has more size and depth than at any time in recent memory. Marcus Smith, despite bulking up, spent his time on the outside. Johnathan Turner also looked bigger. Paul Phillip was limited.

*Linebacker Xavier Kelley continues to impress the staff with his speed.

*Expect Dominic Patrick and Brandon Tatum to compete for Darrell Brooks' free safety spot. Expect JC transfer Nate Ness to join the battle in the fall.

*Byron Smith will not be rejoining the team. He is apparently a medical casualty due to a problem with his thyroid.

*Most of the spring will feature the first team offense and the first team defense squaring off.

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