Tuesday, August 7-Practice Report

Today was media day, and it sure looked like all the television and newspaper organizations were represented. Later the Bearcats had their usual afternoon practice in the sweltering heat.

-Fifth year senior Jeremy Bolton from Connor High School in Northern Kentucky quit the team this weekend.  Coach Kelly said he never tries to talk players out of quitting since he wants players that are totally committed to the cause.  Jeremy apparently had second thoughts about his decision, but Coach Kelly wouldn't entertain ideas of Bolton's return.  I really hate to see Jeremy end his career like this but understand coach Kelly's policy.  The young man showed a lot of guts last year at Higher Ground when he was sick and vomiting but also refusing to leave the practice field.  I wish things had ended differently.


-We reported last week that Bearcat tight end Reggie Fugett had transferred.  His apparent destination is Amherst College, a Division III school in Massachusetts.  His father Jean played at Amherst and later in the NFL.


-Taking Jeremy Bolton's spot on the roster will apparently be walk-on Caleb Lipsey, a 6' 2"/285 pound defensive tackle from Sycamore High School.  In February, Lipsey signed a letter of intent to play his college ball at Murray State.  Earlier this summer, Caleb was the first player from Sycamore to be invited to play in the Big 33 game.  He has asked Murray State for a release, and it was denied.  He's in the appeal process.  Since he'll be  paying his own way, I'm not sure what all this means, but if he's not permitted to join the Bearcats for whatever reason, there is a list of 6 to 10 players waiting for their opportunity to become a Bearcat.


-In today's press conference, Coach Kelly said John Hughes is the only true freshman to penetrate the 2 deep depth chart.  He said Adrien Robinson was physically ready, but he wasn't sure Adrien would fully grasp the offense in such a short time to be able to contribute this year.  Coach Kelly also said he would like to redshirt as many players in the freshman class as possible.  He didn't want to waste a year of their eligibility by using them sparingly.  This thinking could also enter the picture regarding sophomore running backs John Goebel and Jacob Ramsey.  After being used only on selected special teams in 2006, Kelly would hate to burn another year of their eligibility if his three senior running backs are going to get the bulk of the work.  It sounded as if John Goebel is the more likely to be redshirted, but Coach Kelly also emphasized that both these sophomores are excellent runners.


-Senior safety Evan Sparks from Edgewood High School earned the respect of the new staff and was awarded a scholarship for 2007.


-Today was the first day in full gear, and it was another very hot afternoon.


-Ben Mauk wore a sleeve on his throwing arm today.  Once again, he was held out of drills, but he did connect with Marcus Barnett on a 35 yard pass that was beautifully thrown to the sideline.  I hope it is a harbinger of better days for Ben.


-Two offensive linemen were a couple minutes late today so the entire offensive line had to run up and back the length of the field doing up/downs every five yards.  It was a brutal way to begin practice on such a hot afternoon.  I'm betting no one's late tomorrow.


-Ben Guidugli had a case of the dropsies in the one-on-one drill.


-Jason Kelce was with the #1 O-line at center, and Khalil El-Amin got reps at right tackle.  Chris Jurek played LG with the #2 group.


-Andre Revels got some praise again today from coaches for his play in the 11 on 11.  He filled nicely and met Glatthaar in the hole on one of the plays and scraped down the line to make a play near the sideline on another.


-The staff is really preaching the need for mental toughness to the squad. 


-Absolutely no fighting is permitted in practice.  A redshirt freshman and true freshman squared off today and both were immediately admonished.  If a player can't keep his composure in practice with a teammate, he probably won't keep it in a game against an opponent.


-Grutza and Antwuan Giddens were really on the same page in the 7-on7 drill.  Dustin hit Antwuan for three straight completions at one point.  Eventually, the heat seemed to wear Giddens down as he dropped a couple of balls and spent the rest of the practice on the sideline trying to keep his water down.


-Today we saw the first live scrimmage.  Here's how things went offensively.

*Grutza to Barnett +2. Goodman carried +2. Grutza to Jackson +8 and 1st down.


*Carey keeper +2.  Carey incomplete.  Carey intercepted-A. Craig batted the ball and T. Byrd intercepted.


*Mauk screen to Glatthaar +12.  Glatthaar ran over Webster at sideline.  Mike Daniels run +2.  A. Robinson dropped pass.  Mauk incomplete on tipped ball.


*Grutza to Barnett incomplete.  Grutza to Barnett dropped.  Grutza to B. Jones +4.  Grutza to Barwin +35.


*Carey to A. Robinson +11.  Carey to Daniels 60 yard TD.  Carey to Robinson incomplete.


*Pike bad snap from Becker.  Pike to C. Howard +12.  Pike bad snap from Becker.  Pike to Binns +8.  Collin McCafferty TFL (-7) of Ramsey.


Today's "no huddle" interview was with tight end and special team coach, Mike Elston.  First Mike gave quick comments about his tight ends.


Connor Barwin-"Very athletic, fast."


Doug Jones-"Very big, physical, great blocker."


Ben Guidugli- "Tireless worker.  Doing a great job of improving."


Kazeem Alli-"Way ahead of schedule."  (Alli had knee surgery in the spring.)


Nick DeFilippo- "Nick's improving."


Earnest Jackson-"He's been a great asset to the tight end position.  He brings speed and athleticism."


Coach Elston also handles all special teams.  Jake Rogers and Brandon Yingling are the place kickers.  Rogers went on scholarship this year, but that doesn't necessarily assure him of a job according to Coach Elston.  "There is a competition every single day they take the field whether it be kickoffs, field goals or on-side kicks.  It's a competition between those two guys."  Theoretically, one could win the job for field goals and the other could kick off?  "Absolutely, the best person for the spot will play."


Coach Elston also talked about Caleb Lipsey and his chances of joining the team.  "We're waiting on him to be released by Murray State.  He had an appeal, and Murray State has denied his appeal.  He's now going through a hearing.  When he gets released, we're going to bring him in."  Coach Elston went on to say that if Lipsey didn't get cleared, they will add another player from a list of walk-on candidates.  The other preferred walk-ons (about 8) will be added to the roster when school starts in late September.  We know J. C. Casper, Josh Canafax and Joe Homan are on that list.  

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