We know a lot will change from the first spring practice to the first game, but here's how it looked at today's practice without pads.
First team offense: LT-Digger Bujnoch, LG-Jeff Reinstatler, C-Matt Webster, RG-Ryan Brown, RT-Steve Eastlake, TE-Brent Celek, FB-Doug Jones, QB-Dustin Grutza, TB-Bradley Glatthaar, WR-Bill Poland, Derick Ross, and Earnest Jackson
* I included 3 receivers because all three saw plenty of action with the 1st team. Antwuan Giddens could also be included in the mix.
First team defense: DE-Anthony Hoke, DT-Jon Newton, DT-Jamie Wimmer, DE-Adam Roberts, OLB-Lamonte Nelms, MLB-Leo Morgan, OLB-Jon Carpenter, CB-Antoine Horton, SS-Dominic Ross, FS-Haruki Nakamura, CB-K.L. Smith
-The first practice was at least 3 hours in length.
-Dominick Goodman was in attendance and on the field soaking up as much
information as he could.
-Pat Narduzzi (DC) expends a lot of energy on the practice field. He's right with his defensive guys running to the football at the end of every play. He's loud, enthusiastic, and encouraging. Guys have to love playing for him.
-Minnesota transfer, David Wess (QB), attended practice but isn't permitted to participate.
-Carlos Simpson impressed me with his speed and quickness as a receiver.
-Delbert Ferguson (RB) showed a few bursts but was being coached up by Tim Hinton pretty regularly.
RECRUITING CLASS 2004
Coming back from an injury from his senior year of high school. Was given a look at linebacker last season, but has been put back into the mix at a deep running back group. Great athlete that will find his way to the field in 2005.
-Brent Celek (TE) may have the best hands on the team. I saw him catching balls that were high, low and behind him.
-I thought Dustin Grutza was the most consistent thrower of the quarterbacks. There has been some concern about his height, but he's as tall as his position coach, Dan Enos, and Enos played in the Big 10.
-Todd Spitzer (QB) was running with the second group, and Nick Davilla looked to be #3 at this point.
-Last season's replay board will be twice as large next season.
-Gino Guidugli was in attendance for a short time as was George Murray.
-Lamonte Nelms, despite wearing #10, really looks like a linebacker. He was redshirted last year.
Bearcat Insider also got the chance to talk to Coach Dantonio after practice.
Coach Dantonio was very upbeat about his squad's first practice of the spring. He addressed a number of topics including his incoming freshmen. Coach Dantonio again emphasized that there is an open competition for every position. He pointed out that the Bearcats used eight true freshmen last year, and he expected to again use the newcomers. He identified Terrill Byrd, Thomas Claggett, and Curtis Smith as prime candidates to see action next year.
Coach Dantonio felt running back was the deepest position on the team. He was asked about the experiment last year where prize recruit, Delbert Ferguson, was moved from running back to linebacker. He admitted that the staff had looked at Delbert as a linebacker and said that experiment may not be over. "Delbert is a very good athlete with speed, and he's tough. He'll hit you in the mouth. If he's not one of the top two or three at running back, we'll look at getting him on the field elsewhere. Running back is probably our deepest position. In
addition to Bradley (Glatthaar) and Butler (Benton), who's injured, we have Carl Jones. Carl has probably been the forgotten man, but he rushed for over 500 yards a couple years ago. We're so deep at that position that we moved Terry Arnold to safety. We also have Marshawn Gilyard coming in. We recruited him as a multi-purpose back."
We also talked about the QB position. "I was talking to Dan Enos (QB coach) the other day about this. Do you realize we don't have a QB that's thrown a pass in a (Division IA) college game? Not one. But next year at this time we'll probably have a guy that's thrown for a couple thousand yards with maybe 20 other returning starters."
With so many competitors for the QB position, Coach Dantonio was asked what he'd do with some of the guys that didn't finish in the top two or three at that position. He said there are some very good athletes in the bunch including Goodman and David Wess. "We're going to give David a chance to play QB, but he's probably one of the top ten athletes on the team."
We also talked about incoming freshman quarterback, Craig Carey. Coach Dantonio is very impressed with Carey's talents. He mentioned that Craig not only had a great arm, but he could run very well too. We asked him to compare Carey to Robbie Schoenhoft of St. Xavier who's going to Ohio State. His reply, "I'm not getting into that."
BearcatInsider.com will be at most, if not all, the spring practices this year and will have a number of video interviews to view.
Tim Adams is more than a writer for Bearcat Insider. He's a true Bearcat football fan who's held season tickets for 25 years. Look for more stories from Tim on the web and also in "Bearcat" the Magazine.