Football Practice begins for newcomers

August drills began in earnest this morning for 25 newcomers. 15 high schoolers, 5 junior college transfers and 5 invited walk-ons got their first taste of Baylor football during a 10 a.m. session. Most of the time was spent testing the players speed in the 20-yard shuttle and cone-drills as well as vertical leap. The players were in shorts and in shoulder pads for only part of the morning. Still, I felt like I got a good idea of what to look for from this group, so here are my impressions.

Let's start with the JUCO's. Charles Bungert (6-8, 378) is just mammoth, I mean as big as a mountain. He seems to move well and looks incredibly strong. I would imagine he'll start at one of the tackle spots. Matt Bickel (6-4, 355) is also a huge lineman but looks to be more like a guard. Bickel has actually lost weight and may tip the scales around 335 now. However, the best of the JUCO OL's looks to be Antoine Murphy (6-5,325). The attribute that sets him apart is his agility. I saw him run the shuttle and it was impressive. He changed directions quickly and under control and really appeared to enjoy it. He looked very athletic for such a big man.

The two DE's, Shaun Jackson (6-3, 238) and A.C. Collier (6-3, 235) both looked good. Collier looks taller and heavier than 6-3, 235. Someone told me that he reported at over 250. Regardless, he's tall, athletic and very quick. Both will push for starting spots. Linebacker Greg Wade (6-3, 230) also looks very good and ready to step right in.

I was also very impressed with WR Ray Harrington (6-3, 195). He looks alot like teammate Reggie Newhouse and is very fast. Ray topped out with with a 34 inch vertical leap. He may break into the lineup very quickly.

Now, the high schoolers. First and foremost among the freshman is LB Justin Crooks (6-1, 217). The guy is chiseled and you can tell by looking at him that his motor never stops. He is as intense a Baylor linebacker as I've seen since Dean Jackson. He looked very fast and is extremely pysically mature for a true frosh. The only way I can see him not playing this season is for someone to keep him on the sidelines.

The other two linebackers, Colin Allred (6-3, 230) and Jamaal Harper (6-2, 220) are fast and strong and will no doubt be mainstays in years to come.

I was very pleased to see RB Eron Haynes (6-1, 185) out on the practice field. He looks very good, very quick and strong. He looks as though he could run north-south and juke people with ease. J. Fields also looked very good. He has much the same build as Newhouse and Harrington, just a little thinner.

On the O-Line, Quinton Outland (6-5, 320) and Glen Oskin (6-5, 300) are both big and in good shape. Outland especially looks ready to play.

The kid I am most excited about is QB Davon Vinson (6-4, 208). Vinson is ultra-athletic, if that is even a word. Seeing him run he is going to be something special. He's quick, fast, strong and in great shape. I know we haven't seen him throw yet, but if he's got a good arm then he's a complete package. He's a big kid too, all of 6-4 with brouad shoulders. Stay tuned on this one.

On defense, I was impressed with the speed and quickness of Maurice Lane (5-11, 175) and Michael Boyd (5-10, 175).

Practice will resume this afternoon at 4 pm.

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