Tuesday, April 17, Practice #13

As things start to wind down for spring practice, Bearcat Insider has the latest.

Beautiful day today as the Bearcats hit the field. There were a number of the recent signees getting physicals.

-Blake McCroskey (OL), Ricardo Thompson (LB), and Montez Patterson (RB) visited practice today. I know at least one of them was there for a physical.

-Goebel and Ramsey remain at running back so it looks like they will start summer practice carrying the football. I think this is a really good decision.

-Travis Kelce, the brother of Jason Kelce (C), was at today's practice with his father. Travis is a 6' 6"/225 pound quarterback from Cleveland Heights High School. Travis said he runs a 4.6 forty and is getting interest from a number of Big Ten and Big East schools. Unlike some other quarterbacks, he's open to playing any position in college.

-David Fleming, the quarterback from Centerville High School, watched practice today. David is being recruited as an athlete by most schools but plays quarterback for the Elks. He is 5' 11"/192 pounds with a 4.6 forty. Schools showing interest are Vandy, Illinois, Ohio, and E. Michigan.

-Our "Quote of the Day" comes from Coach Kelly. "You don't know where to line up, and you can't catch. That doesn't make for a good receiver."

- Several sources informed me that Trotwood quarterback Domonick Britt has/or will soon receive a Cincinnati offer. Britt is the guy that is liked and respected by his teammates, and I've been waiting for Domonick to get this offer. Three Trotwood players now have Cincinnati offers, and Roy Roundtree (WR) and Jamiihr Williams (LB) could be next. Britt is expected to attend Saturday's spring game. If he becomes a Bearcat, I've been told other Trotwood players may follow his lead.

Trotwood will play a game against Highlands High School (KY) in the Herbstreit event on week two of the high school season at Nippert Stadium.

-Dustin Grutza looked to be back at the #1 quarterback spot with Carey #2 and Pike #3.

-One major difference between a Dantonio practice and a Kelly practice is the amount of hitting. Coach Kelly and his staff do a lot of "tagging off." The idea is to practice without causing needless injuries. Even when the squad was in shells, a Dantonio practice had a lot of hitting, and its share of fights. There have been very few, if any, fights this spring and few serious injuries.

-Delbert Ferguson got reps at Manalac's OLB spot as Mano didn't finish practice. I don't report much on injuries, but this one looked like a pulled groin to me.

In keeping with the no-huddle attack. I spoke with Coach Coombs after today's practice and had him make quick comments about a number of his guys.

-Haruki Nakamura- "He's a very intelligent kid that works very hard. He plays every play a hundred miles an hour."

-Cedric Tolbert-"A greatly improved player, maybe the most improved player in spring ball. He's doing a super job picking up all the coverages and tackling very well."

-Mike Mickens-"Great cover kid. He takes it very personally if anyone catches the ball in his zone. He's going to have a great season." -DeAngelo Smith-"Another kid that's been a bright spot playing the field corner. Taking on a lot of responsibility and tries to improve every day. Takes coaching very well."

-Evan Sparks-"One of those kids you rely on to be in the right spot on every down. He's a little banged up right now, but he provides great stability back there."

-Jason Whitehead- "He's had a good spring moving from corner to safety. I think in the last week he's starting to figure out where he fits in every coverage. I expect him to have a good spring game on Saturday."

-Brad Jones- "A great cover corner for a kid with great size. He's done a super job as the boundary corner and the nickel. He's going to compete for playing time."

-Martez Williams-"Martez gives you 100 mile per hour effort every single day. I'm proud of the way he practices. We need to get him a little more under control. I think he can be a very good player for us."

When I look at the 2007 defense, I see depth everywhere but at cornerback. Coach Coombs agrees. "We're thin in the secondary. There's no doubt about it. It's going to be a place where kids will need to stay healthy, and the young kids will need to be ready to play. If we stay healthy, we're great. If we get banged up, we're thin real fast.

Next we spoke about the signees expected to start their careers in the secondary.

-Drew Frey (S)-"All I've seen is high school film on those freshmen kids. He's a tall, rangy kid with great speed. It seemed to me that he ran downhill very well from the film we saw. I wish I had him all spring to find out, but I think Drew can be a very competitive player for us."

-Tahree McQueen (CB)-"We'll start him at the corner. He has great speed. We'll see how his hips are."

-Scott Johnson (?)-"We don't really know if he'll be on defense or offense. He's run a 10.6 hundred meters, one of the fastest kids in the country. Great straight ahead speed. I like him from everything I've seen, and I've seen him run track several times in the GMC. I think Scott can provide a lot of things on either side of the ball."

-Deon Reed (CB)-"He's another kid that came kind of late to us. Great speed and we're going to see his hips and give him a try at the corner position."

Lastly, I got an update on Marshwan Gilyard. "I got to coach him in a bowl game. What I know about Marshwan Gilyard is he's as good as it gets as a cover corner. He'll make us a better football team. He needs to take care of his business. I talk with him on a weekly basis, and we're looking forward to his return." Marshwan is expected to rejoin the team in the fall.

In the next day or two, we'll have a more in depth story about Coach Coombs himself.

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