Monday, April 9-Practice #8

It was another cool afternoon in Nippert Stadium as the Bearcats came out for practice #8 in full gear. Bearcat Insider was there for all the action.

With the start of a new week, I expected more changes than I got.  Also, there were very few recruits today.  That may have been due to fact that today's practice was originally scheduled to be an off day.  There is no practice tomorrow instead.


-John Goebel returned to running back from receiver today.  I was told that this was all part of the master plan.  John was to get two weeks at receiver, and then return to running back for two weeks.  At that time, a final decision will be made about John's position in the fall.  I'm betting Goebel ends up at running back, and I really believe that's the best spot for him.


-Nick DeFilippo moved from middle linebacker to tight end.  Nick has played a number of spots at UC, but he took to tight end like a duck takes to the desert.  He really struggled to catch the football while I watched.


-Robbie Armstrong is now at linebacker.  Robbie started out last year at running back and played safety up until today.


-We got some questions about depth charts.  Here's the way the #1 defense looked today at the beginning of practice.  Hoke, Byrd, Hoppel and Anderson across the front.  C. Smith, Cornett and Manalac at linebacker.  D. Smith and Mickens were the corners and Nakamura, and Tolbert remained at safety.


-The #2 group was Nelms, Matthews, Newton and Craig on the D-front.  Carpenter, Revels and Ferguson were the linebackers while Martez Williams and Brad Jones were the corners.  Jason Whitehead and Evan Sparks were the safties.  Newton got a lot work with the #1 defense later in practice in place of Hoppel. 


-The #1 offense was Bujnoch, Rodriquez, Jurek, Canfield, and El-Amin across the front.  Martin, Goodman and Stewart are probably the top three wideouts although Goodman and Stewart flipflopped with Goodman in the slot.  Craig Carey took the majority of snaps with the #1 offense today.  Glatthaar probably got the bulk of snaps at running back although Ramsey also worked in.  Guidugli, D. Jones and E. Jackson all saw considerable time at tight end.  Jason Kelce also got snaps until a series of four consecutive fumbles/bad snaps.  That pretty much ended his day and gave Chris Jurek an opportunity. 


-The #2 O-line was Taylor Porter, Bolton, Flores, Duenas and Linkenbach.


-Tony Pike was not at practice today so Grutza and Carey got a real workout.  Pike should be back Wednesday.  I think he had a class.


-Coach Kelly was as vocal as I've heard him, and most of the time he was not pleased.  I do notice Kelly spending considerable time with Craig Carey on fundamentals.


-Marcus Barnett made a number of nice catches today, and it was noticed by his position coach, Charley Molnar (as you'll read later).


-Andre Revels had two interceptions today.  He picked Carey in a team drill by just taking the ball from Ben Guidugli.  Later he intercepted Carey again on a batted ball in the red zone.


-DeAngelo Smith had an interception in the end zone on a Grutza toss, but I really think interference would have been called.


-Grutza had two very nice throws in the red zone drill today.  One was a nice toss to the corner to Jared Martin, and the other was zipped into Goodman through tight coverage.


-Coach Molnar talked about switching Stewart and Goodman today.  "We're constantly trying to move guys around and find the best location for them.  We have an idea where each guy fits in our offense, and we want to validate that by putting them in different positions."  I really think Goodman projects as the better slot receiver even though Derrick is faster.  Goodman, as an ex-option quarterback, is the better runner in traffic, and he won't fumble as much.


-How many of the freshmen will come in and push for playing time?  Coach Molnar responded, "The guys here right now should have the upper hand in winning the spots.  Nevertheless, we're excited about our rookie class coming in, and if they surpass one of the veterans, we'll make that move."  It sounds as if Drew Frey will begin his Bearcat career on defense.  "I think the defense has their hooks in him right now, but things can change over the summer."  I'll be very surprised if Drew stays on defense.


-Here are Coach Molnar's no huddle responses about some of the receivers other than Stewart and Goodman, who everyone has seen quite often.


Jared Martin- "He had his best day of the spring today.  He made a couple catches today that he hasn't made previously this spring-some acrobatic things.  I was pleased to see him step up his game.  We've been waiting for him to make that next move."


Antwuan Giddens- "He got moved up to #2 today, and he really deserved it.  I know he's been there in the past, but I wasn't here for that.  He's been fairly consistent every day in practice, and we thought we needed to get a better look at him with the twos."


Marcus Barnett- "I think he had his best day of the spring.  He and Jared really pushed each other today.  It's up to Marcus Barnett how good he wants to be because he's got a world of potential.  He just needs to really push himself every day."


Mike Daniels- "He's been steady.  I think he had more reps today than what he's had.  I think his knee is coming around from his injury, and I'm pleased with his progress."


David Wess- "He's surprisingly physical for a guy that was a quarterback.  He shows good hands, and I think Dave Wess will have a chance to get into the rotation before it's all said and done."


-Recruits present were Ryan Nathan and Darius Thomas of Lima Senior High School.  Nathan is a 5' 8"/187 pound running back with 4.5 speed, although some schools are recruiting him as a cornerback.  Nathan ran for over a 1,000 yards as a junior.  Thomas is a 6' 3"/305 pound offensive lineman.  Neither has any offers yet.  Brian Hehl of Sylvania Northview High School watched practice with his parents.  Brian is a 6' 3"/250 pound linebacker being recruited as a defensive end.  Brian doesn't hold any offers at this time.


-Bearcat signee Tahree McQueen has already run a 10.9 one hundred meters this spring.  As the weather gets warmer, look for Tahree to do even better.  He looks like he may end up being a bigger, faster version of Mike Daniels.


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