Much has been made about the poor offensive performance in Friday's scrimmage. Well that is what offenses do early in camp where they almost always are behind the defense. While it is never "good" to be turning the ball over, it is "good" that it was our defense doing it. We have no concerns about the offense going forward, it should be one of the most productive units in the country.
Best unit thus far from camp? It just might be the much maligned defensive line. They have been ready from the first day of practice and consistently dominant. Freshmen Bjorn Werner has been outstanding along with redshirt Dan Hicks; they have made a much deeper depth chart at DE. The interior has perhaps been better behind Jacobbi McDaniel and Demonte McAllister. There was plenty of concern here pre-season, but this area is quickly going to a strength.
Coach Hudson has been very happy with the linebacker play. Mister Alexander, Vincent Williams, Christian Jones, and Jeff Luc have all stepped up in the absence of Nigel Carr. Alexander continues to be the front-runner and he is the Noles best pass rusher from the LB spot.
The walking wounded on the offensive line has three starters. Ryan McMahon, Andrew Datko, and David Spurlock have all spent time on the sideline with minor injuries. Garrett Faircloth has filled in at RT with Zebrie Sanders moving to LT, Blake Snider was in for Spurlock, and Rhonne Sanderson for McMahon.
It is still too early to tell at the running back spot, but a heated battle is being waged by Jermaine Thomas, Chris Thompson, Ty Jones, Lonnie Pryor, and DeBrale Smiley for playing time. Our best guess is that everyone will get a shot at some point, but Thomas appears to be the Vegas favorite for most carries.
While it is very early, it appears that the freshmen have exceeded expectations. Werner, Greg Dent, Kenny Shaw, Holmes Onwukaife, Christian Jones, Lamarcus Joyner, and Willie Tye have all been singled out for their consistently solid performances.
The team continues to consistently show that they are a "team" both on and off the field. This might be the biggest news of camp thus far, these guys have really bought into what Coach Fisher is selling. That alone should be worth some extra wins.
Not much new to report on the recruiting front. We expect James Wilder to pick FSU this Wednesday. Should he do that(pick FSU), we expect this class to close like a freight train. Wilder is very respected by other prospects and clearly more than a few are going to want to jump on board. Huge pull if it happens.
Tyler Hunter may be the next great Valdosta product. He made plays on Friday as a WR which was interesting news. He continues to work his way back from injury. Both Greg Reid and Terrance Parks are expected to start in 2010.
Recruiting might be slow for awhile as the high school season gets started in earnest. Look for a few new 2011 names to emerge, but clearly we will be keeping an eye on 2012 as well.