The coaches gathered everyone together at midfield after the players stretched and then broke them up into positions with special teams getting the main emphasis. They were split up pretty easily where the coach simply asked who was the best punt returner, kick returner, etc... and the ones that responded first will get the first look.
After doing individual drills for a little over an hour they split the squad into a quarterback, running backs and offensive linemen working against the defensive linemen and linebackers, and then on the other side of the field is was the other two signal callers and the receivers going against the defensive backs.
Beau Sweeney was taking snaps with the running backs and all three backs looked very good. Sausan Shakerin looks as quick and fast as advertised but maybe a little lighter in the pants than his profile states. Cyrus Gray was a late addition to the squad and looked very smooth, showing good vision and good cut-back ability. Jamal Womble also had a couple of nice runs but we should get a better gauge on him when they go full pads. One issue was after a few dropped passes, coach Terry Kirby stressed the importance of backs being capable of catching the ball because at the next level they will be sitting if they can't.
Ta'amu is a fireplug coming off the line, stays low and has good feet and lateral movement. He is committed to Washington but sources informed us that new UCLA head coach Rick Nueheisel has inquired about how strong his commitment is and if the Bruins could get into the picture. Word is that his parents would like to keep him close to home.
The defensive line looked very good and broke into the backfield several times with Armond Armstead and Datone Jones causing some problems for the o-line. Jones is very athletic and has room to grow into a big rusher coming off the edge. He really took to the coaching as well as did Armstead, who at times shot through the line along with Everrette Thompson.
Thompson is committed to Washington but from the look of his body he could easily grow into a defensive tackle once he gets to Seattle. We were told by a couple of high school coaches from Washington he played linebacker during the season.
The only injury of the day was to 4-star defensive end Chase Clement, who had a little ice on his knee, but it did not look serious. Clement's athleticism jumps out at you but playing linebacker most of his prep career has put him back some regarding technique and coming out of his stance with his hand off the ground. When asked by the DL coach if he'd ever done a certain move, Chase shook his head no then made the adjustment and picked it up on the next snap.
The quarterbacks and receivers threw against the defensive backs for a little more than 30 minutes and Jeffrey Fuller, Keonte Bateman and Marvin Jones all lived up to the hype as all three caught the ball well and looked good coming off the line. Fuller looked sharp in the beginning but unlike most of the others, he seemed to taper off some as the morning progressed. Each uses their hands and didn't allow the ball to get into the body.
Matt Scott (Arizona commit) got better as the day went throwing the ball with a little more zip but his release is something that needs a little work and as the morning went it was Stanley getting a few more reps than the other two guys.
The defensive backs held their own against a pretty good receiving corps led by Cal commit Marc Anthony. He was one of the few DB's that stayed square on the receivers and he used his hands real well. He was also the quickest on his backpedal and broke on the ball very well. This kid was well coached in high school and has total control of his body.
Aaron Hester (UCLA verbal) saw the majority of the snaps opposite of Anthony and he plays a little more loose and is not afraid to gamble. That paid off some but also hurt him on a couple of routes. This kid has a chance to be a big-time playmaker at the next level with his size and athletic ability.
Just as in college, a kicker's life is spent alone and today Quinn Sharp used that time to kick balls to his dad. He shows a strong leg off the tee and he nailed a few field goals from 50 yards out off the kicking tee. He's also a punter and could be a major weapon if Friday's game comes down to special teams.
The West will return to the practice field around 1 p.m. so be sure and check the afternoon Live Update Blog for more news and notes.
Related Links to Offense/Defense Practices