Scout Team Impresses Team Leaders

Due to practice sessions being closed, we haven't been able to note those who stand out on the practice squad as we've done during past seasons. Those that can note how the scout team has performed much better than we ever could, however, are those who go up against them every week. TBS caught up with Max Hall and Jan Jorgensen to learn more of how the scout team has performed this year.

"They're the best I've gone against since I became the starting quarterback for sure," remarked Max Hall. "They're quicker to the ball it seems than they've been in the past, especially the secondary and the linebackers up the middle. They've done an outstanding job this year."

Jan Jorgensen had similar statements when asked about the overall performance of the offensive scout team that he goes against every week. Having started in each of his four seasons, he's gone against his share of scout teamers, but believes this year's team is the best he's seen.

"No question they're the best I've gone against as a group," he noted. "In past years there have been individual players that this year's group can't match, like when Matt Reynolds was on the scout team or Max when he was playing quarterback on it my freshman year, but overall, they're definitely the best I've seen. They've done an outstanding job this year and there's a lot of guys on it that will be starters here soon. I honestly think that in some weeks they're better than what we actually go against in games and I don't know if I could have said that in other years."

Each scout team is made up largely of freshmen and is prepped each week by the graduate assistant coaches. The graduate assistants that do such a great job every week include Nick Howell, Justin Anderson, Kelly Poppinga and Shawn Nua.

"A lot of the credit goes to them," said Jorgensen about the graduate assistants. "They get these guys prepped so well that they're honestly a challenge. Every week they've improved to the point where we know that we have to execute and be on top of our game or we'll get embarrassed, and you don't want to get embarrassed by the scout team."

"They keep us on our toes to be sure," admired Hall about the defensive scout team. "It's not like we can just come out and run our stuff. Every week they come out strong and aggressive and they really do present a challenge, a bigger challenge than we've seen or at least what I've seen in my three years practicing against them."

Every scout team includes its standouts. For Jorgensen, the question regarding who stood out to him the most this year was a simple one.

"It's definitely the wide receivers," he said. "Those guys, wow, they're going to be incredible. Stilts [Mitch Mathews], he's always making plays. Cody [Hoffman], he's the same way, just a phenomenal athlete who is definitely going to be a player here soon. J.D. Falsev gives us all sorts of problems with how quick and shifty he is. Richard Wilson is awesome too. I mean, it's impressive watching those guys. They're going to get their chances in games real soon coming up and they're all going to be outstanding players."

Jorgensen also had glowing comments about running back Anthony Heimuli, noting him as someone who will be starring on the field of play sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, Hall has been impressed with the secondary he's seen out there every day, which includes young talent such as Jray Galea'i and Trevor Bateman.

"During some years I'm not sure you could say that the guys you're going against will end up starting or even playing, but I don't feel that way at all with this year's group," he noted. "The secondary especially has practiced much better and you have some real talent there this year. They're athletic, quick to the ball and they're really a challenge. I could definitely see a lot of those guys starting in the years to come."

It's not just the freshmen that have contributed, as at least a couple of veterans have swallowed their egos and contributed very well on the scout team this season.

"You have guys like Jeff Bell and Dan Van Sweden in the middle that are guys that have been here a while and yet they're out there giving it their all," said Hall. "They're guys that don't see the field much at all, which is tough when you're a senior. But it doesn't seem to affect them, as they're giving it their all and really presenting a tough challenge for us every week. I can't say enough about guys like that and what they've done to help the team."

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