Practice Day 3

After two very competitive practice sessions, the Wildcat offense had the upper hand on Saturday night. There weren't as many big plays as the night before but the offense was clicking. It wasn't a dominant performance but it was good enough to have the defensive coaches fuming on a few occasions.

The third night of practice had the players in shoulder pads for the first time. This meant more contact, more hitting and a better gauge of what is what.

Things got off to a good start for the offense in the running drills. A few plays in Chris Henry got around the end for a nice pick-up. Two carries later the left side was shut down, but he changed direction and raced to the right side.

After than Chris Jennings showed a nice burst and broke off a decent run of his own. After that the line seemed to gain confidence and there were a few other big runs.

By the time the entire team convened for 11-on-11 drills the energy was high. The defense got fired up and started jumping in a big circle and chanting. The offense then huddled up and started chanting right back.

On the first play Willie Tuitama hit Brooks Reed in the flat for a nice gain, but the freshman took three good pops from the defense for his efforts.

Xavier Smith had a couple of nice runs. He has some nice shifty moves. Bolasky and Jennings also showed off some nice change of direction moves in the scrimmage. There were no big pass plays as there were the night before, but Tuitama found some holes in the zone that caused the second string to get a nice tongue lashing from Mike Stoops.

I focused my attention on the running backs tonight. Henry is still getting the most carries, but almost every back on the roster got his shot to carry the ball. Henry remains number one on the depth chart and has all the tools to be a big time back but must gain consistency. He has broken off a few long runs but has also been caught behind the line of scrimmage too much.

The talk of camp has been Chris Jennings. Jennings has a nice mix of speed and power, but is also very shifty. Jennings admits he has a chip on his shoulder after lacking good offers after his career at Arizona Western was over. He claims that he had offers from Kentucky, West Virginia and Purdue out of high school but had to go to junior college after coming up just short on the SAT.

Smith was the talk of fall camp and he has been a solid performer. He hasn't broken off as many big runs as Jennings and Henry have, but he has been consistent. He has some nice shiftiness and can make people miss.

Glendon Bolasky got some work. He's a strong player but has to change his running style. In high school he could run over just about any defender. Now he has to better use his athleticism and make people miss. He has a nice burst and is committed to playing running back despite having numerous opportunities to play defensive back.

Tim House saw some action. He is very short, maybe shorter than the 5-9 he is listed at but he can scoot.

At fullback both Earl Mitchell and Reed got a lot of work. Brandon Lopez was in the dog house after a bad fumble. Mitchell has great size and loves to block. He says he's basically an offensive lineman in a fullback's body. Reed is a true H-Back and played that position in a sophisticated high school offense.


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