It was another very hot afternoon at Nippert Stadium as the same 105 Bearcat players that practiced yesterday returned to the sweltering Field Turf for another late afternoon practice. Once again, the players wore helmets but no other pads.
-Here's how the offensive units lined up Saturday. The #1 offensive unit going from left to right on the O-line was Digger Bujnoch, Trevor Canfield, Chris Flores, Ken Rodriguez, and Jeff Linkenbach with Doug Jones at tight end. Dustin Grutza looks to be the comfortable leader at quarterback right now with veteran targets Dominick Goodman, Jared Martin, and Antwuan Giddens. Butler Benton is getting the most snaps at running back with this group.
-The #2 offensive group was Khalil El-Amin, Jason Kelce, Chris Jurek, Mario Duenas and Jeremy Bolton with Connor Barwin at tight end. The quarterback spot saw Carey getting reps, but Ben Mauk was getting some reps with the #1 group. Bradley Glatthaar was the running back to go with receivers Marty Gilyard, Marcus Barnett, and Mike Daniels.
-The #3 offense has a number of players substituting in and out, but these guys started the day together. Along the front were Taylor Porter, C. J. Cobb, Frank Becker, Blake McCroskey and Craig Parmenter with Ben Guidugli at tight end. David Wess, Charley Howard and Kurt Shoemaker lined up at receiver with Greg Moore as the running back and Tony Pike as the quarterback.
-When the players went with their position coaches, Coach Quinn had his O-linemen in the cage for a drive block drill. Quinn is a demanding guy, and Digger Bujnoch, who led off the drill, had to take four reps before Quinn was satisfied and moved to the next player. When Coach Quinn wasn't happy, the entire unit did 10 up/downs together.
-Of the six freshmen offensive linemen, Sam Griffen is easily the smallest. At one point late in practice, five of the true freshman offensive linemen lined up together. Here's where they played-Craig Parmenter (T), T. J. Franklin (G), Frank Becker (C), Blake McCroskey (G), and Alex Hoffman (T).
-One new walk-on that I noticed today was Steve Hancock, a 6' 4"/230
pound defensive end from
-The Bearcats had some kickoffs today, and Brandon Yingling looked the best sending 3 of his handful of kicks to the goalline. Remember that kickoffs in 2007 will take place at the 30-yard-line and not the 35 as in past years. Jake Rogers had excellent height on most of his kicks and sent one to the goalline, but the others were fielded between the 5 and 10-yard-lines.
-The #1 defensive unit appeared to be the same as yesterday with Angelo Craig and Anthony Hoke at the ends, Terrill Byrd and Adam Hoppel at the tackles, and Corey Smith, Ryan Manalac, and Leo Morgan playing linebacker. Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith were at the corners with Cedric Tolbert and Haruki Nakamura playing the safeties.
-I'm not as sure about the #2 defensive line, but I saw a lot of Jon Newton and Ricardo Mathews at the tackles and Lamonte Nelms and Torry Cornett at D-end. Delbert Ferguson, Andre Revels and Jon Carpenter played linebacker with Brad Jones and Jason Whitehead at cornerback. Aaron Webster and Evan Sparks manned the safeties.
-There were a lot of guys rotating through the #3 defensive line, but Collin McCafferty, Obadiah Cheatham and Robbie Armstrong spent time at linebacker with Justin Moore and Martez Williams at cornerback and Drew Frey and Anthony Wiiliams at safety.
-I really don't expect any of the true freshmen to pass the veterans until the coaches see what they can do with pads on.
-One guy that started to show what he can do as a receiver is Marty Gilyard. The Floridian didn't finish yesterday's practice but showed his extra gear today after catching a few passes. Before summer practice is over, this kid will make a strong push to be a starter.
-With the staff moving Earnest Jackson (6' 3"/220) from wide receiver to tight end in the spring, it's hard to believe Doug Jones (6' 4"/275) is what they physically want in the future at that position, but Doug made some plays again today and continues to catch the ball very well.
-Mike Daniels looks to have completely healed from his knee surgery last year. He really climbed the ladder to pull in a Tony Pike pass today and has shown excellent quickness after catching the ball.
-I did not see any of the quarterbacks throw an interception today.
Occasionally, we like to run our "no-huddle interview" where the questions come fast and the answers even faster. Today offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Jeff Quinn participated, and we asked Coach to make a quick comment about his offensive linemen.
Chris Jurek-"Great snapper."
Chris Flores-"Solid, strong."
Ken Rodriguez-"Great technician."
Digger Bujnoch- "Great leader."
Jeff Linkenbach-"Tremendous potential."
Jeremy Bolton-"Big and powerful."
Khalil El-Amin-"Got a lot of potential."
Mario Duenas-"His shoulder is holding him back a little bit."
Taylor Porter-"He moves well and is gaining confidence in his play."
Frank Becker-"Learning the game as a snapper but great leverage guy."
Blake McCroskey-"Need to improve his quickness, speed and agility."
C. J. Cobb-"Has worked hard and really trimmed down. He's much lighter on his feet, and his speed and quickness have improved."
Craig Parmenter-"Great potential to be a great player."
Sam Griffin-"I love him. He's got great speed, but a little light right now. As time goes by, we'll have the size that we need."
Alex Hoffman-"Big kid and shows good punch, good strike."
T. J. Franklin-"Inside guy that runs well. We just have to get him more comfortable with the fundamentals and techniques that we do."