It was another warm day at Bearcat boot camp, and
-The team upgraded to shells (shoulder pads and helmets) today so contact was more prevalent although this group of coaches really tries to keep a lid on that sort of thing.
-On a lighter note, John Goebel and Jason Kelce looked a lot better with their helmets on. Goebel looks to have shaved the sides of his head but kept his long hair everywhere else. It's not a flattering look at all. John called it a mullet, but even that's a reach. In fact, he could easily have been an extra for a backwoodsman in the movie "Deliverance." Kelce's new look includes a "UC" carved into the side of his head. Once again, I'd be demanding my money back if a barber actually did the deed, which I seriously doubt.
-Chris Jurek (C) moved up with the #1 offense and was accompanied by Earnest Jackson (TE). Craig Carey and Ben Mauk also got some reps with the first unit although Dustin Grutza again got the lion's share of work. Jason Kelce moved from OG to C with the #2 group but struggled with several snaps. Chris Flores moved to Kelce's spot at offensive guard.
-Coach Kelly was much more vocal today with the quarterbacks. He loudly coached up Dustin Grutza once for holding onto the ball too long during the 11-on-11 drill.
-Armon Binns (WR) of the freshmen has impressed me during drills. I haven't seen him drop very many balls, and he's made some tough catches. At 6' 4", he can get to a lot of balls.
-The only interception I saw was Haruki Nakamura picking off Craig Carey in the 7-on-7 drill. There was a portion of that 7-on-7 drill where the defense really dominated, and in my opinion that is tough to do since there isn't a pass rush or an offensive line for the quarterback to have to see over.
-I watched most of the one-on-one pass blocking/pass rushing drill. I thought the freshmen offensive linemen struggled as a group although Sam Griffin seemed to do pretty well. John Hughes was the most impressive of the freshmen defensive linemen although I saw Rob Trigg holding his own too. Marcus Waugh did a very nice job. He may be able to supply some good pressure opposite Byrd in passing situations. One time I saw Waugh beat Trevor Canfield, which isn't too shabby. Angelo Craig and Lamonte Nelms both looked good for the defense.
-Andre Revels got some repeated praise from both Coach Coombs and Coach Hinton for his play today.
-For the first time this summer, I noticed Marcus Waugh rotating through with the #2 group in the 11-on-11 drill. I'm starting to think of Tony Carvitti when I think of Waugh.
Bearcat defensive line coach, Keith Gilmore, shared his expert opinions about each of his guys in today's "no huddle" interview.
Anthony Hoke-"He's having a great senior season to this point. He's playing with a lot of speed and quickness. He's a little undersized, but he makes up for it with quickness and strength."
Adam Hopple-"He's a journeyman type guy. He's a plugger and technician. He's one of the quiet leaders of our group. He leads by example."
Angelo Craig-"He might be one of the biggest surprises for us at this point. He's getting the opportunity to be a starter, and he's playing with a lot of energy right now."
Terrill Byrd-"Byrd speaks for himself. You're talking about a returning All-Big East player, and there aren't many players that can block him. He's giving a good, steady performance so far."
Lamonte Nelms-"Another surprise. As you know, he came here as a safety, and now he's playing defensive end. He's starting to feel comfortable, and you see him getting better with each practice."
Ricardo Mathews-"He's a big, young kid with a great body type. I just need to get him to play with more consistency. His future is bright. You can look at the kid and see an NFL body type. I just have to get him to play."
Torry Cornett-"It's a new position for him, and the learning curve is keeping him from playing fast right now. We feel he's got all the athleticism to play the position and be a help to us this season."
Rob Trigg-"He's a freshman, but I see some athleticism. He may be a guy that we put in a down inside position, a tackle. At this point I see enough athleticism and quickness to keep him at end."
John Hughes-"Could be a good one. At his size of 290 pounds, he moves as well as any of these guys. He showed today as well as anyone and showed some explosiveness. I'm looking for him to have a great career here."
Chris Harrison-"He's another large individual. I just have to get Chris in a little better physical condition. He knows the techniques and can play the game. I just have to get him to focus more and get himself into shape to play Division I football."
Steve Hancock-"He's got a good body type. We haven't seen a whole lot of him yet to really be able to evaluate. For a walk-on, he's a good get."
Randy Martinez-"He's another freshman who's still learning. As he learns more, he'll be able to show what he can do, but I like him so far."
Marcus Waugh-"He has shown me that he's a football player. I'm not going to get caught up in the size issue. He's a strong kid who squats over 600 pounds. He's going to give you everything he's got. Once he learns what he's doing out there, he's going to fight for some playing time."
Thomas Claggett-"He's a bit of a journeyman. He went on the offensive side of the ball for a while, but I'm familiar with his abilities because I had him before the bowl game. He could plug in at the three technique or the one and give you some minutes."
Ralston Reeves-"Ralston emerged a bit this summer too. We had him in the spring. He had been out of football for a year or so, but he's rehabbed his injury and starting to look like the player he was coming out of high school."
Coach Gilmore believes Angelo Craig, at this stage of his career, is a good replacement for Trevor Anderson and could still be playing football after this season. "Angelo is 6' 5" and 245 pounds and runs a 4.6 forty. His vertical is 36 inches so he has all the physical traits they look for. Now he just needs to show he can play the game. He will be an intriguing guy to NFL scouts." Remember that Antwan Peek (6' 3"/255) of the Cleveland Browns is heading into his 5th NFL season with 23 starts and 51 game appearances.