Crab Bowl DC Notebook: Wednesday

The D.C. team played inspired football in their first day of practice. Several Penn State recruits shined as did several future Maryland Terrapins. Check out the notebook for more.

Running back Devon Smith (Westlake) lived up to the hype and showed why he's going to Penn State. The team ran mostly shotgun sets with Smith lined up as a sidecar to the quarterback. Smith also lined up at wingback and went in motion, setting up the option game. Smith is a very shifty runner, and while he may not be that big, listed at 5'7" 155lbs, he hides behind his line well and when he sees a hole he is gone. Smith also took advantage of his one-on-one matchups with linebackers trying to cover him out of the backfield. He caught a few deep balls, as he used his speed to quickly separate from the bigger, slower defenders trying to cover him.

Caleb Porzel (Good Counsel), also a running back, rotated with Devon Smith, sometimes lining up on either side of the quarterback, and also spent time as the wingback coming in motion for the option attack. Porzel, who ran two sub (4.3) 40-yard dashes at Scout.com's combine in Baltimore, flashed his speed all over the field. Caleb embarrassed every linebacker who tried to cover him one on one out of the backfield. During the teams 11 on 11 scrimmage, he caught a pair of touchdown passes on deep balls. At the end of practice, coaches were asked to choose one running back and one linebacker to compete against one another. Porzel easily won that battle as he ran a post-corner route and easily scored, showboating for the final 15 yards with the defender not even close.

The highlight of the D.C. practice came from linebacker Jelani Jenkins. As his Good Counsel teammate, Caleb Porzel, came out of the backfield and caught a swing pass he fumbled the ball. When Porzel picked it up his teammate, Jenkins, gave him a little wake up call, blasting him, delivering a bone crushing hit that sent the entire D.C. squad and coaching staff into a frenzy. Jenkins recently narrowed his list down to fourteen schools, with Florida, Boston College, Penn State, Stanford and USC being amongst the most talked about.

Quarterback Tom Chroniger, an Eastern Michigan commit, showed off his left arm and delivered lasers all over the field. Chroniger showed a quick release and delivered his short passes with excellent timing. His deep balls were consistently on target, as he dropped pass after pass right into his receiver's laps. Chroniger also showed impressive athleticism as he used quick feet to move away from defenders out of the pocket. When he was forced out, he still kept his eyes up field and delivered the ball with touch.

Penn State commit Darrell Givens is head and shoulders above every other defensive back on the DC team. In one on ones with the wide outs, Givens dominated. His press coverage is incredible, not one receiver on the team could get off the line of scrimmage. When asked by coaches not to jam anymore, Givens consistently batted balls and intercepted a laser thrown his way. Givens is yet another standout on the D.C. side headed to Penn State.

Linebacker John Darr was a little less hyped coming into the Crab Bowl, however if he plays anything like he practiced on Wednesday night, he will certainly make a name for himself. Darr showed good speed and filled the running lanes nicely when he was on the field. He is a bit undersized at 6-feet-0, 215-pounds, but a little time in the weight room could turn him into a special player.

On the offensive line, DeMatha Catholic offensive tackle Pete Desouza was head and shoulders above his teammates, literally. Standing 6-feet-7 and weighing over 300-pounds, Desouza engulfed defensive linemen and should open up plenty of holes for the talented running backs behind him. Desouza, a Maryland commit, lined up against Penn State commit Sean Stanley for a lot of practice, and the two went at it hard. Desouza won some times and Stanley won some times, and it was nice seeing two future Division one players go at it with such high tempo at the teams first practice.

Defensive tackle Terrence Stephens (Quince Orchard) was called upon at the end of practice, when coaches chose one player on each side of the ball to compete in a one on one drill. At the snap Stephens exploded off the ball and used an underneath rip move, he might have seen more resistance from a strong gust of wind because the offensive lineman in front of him did not do much to get in his way. Because of his dominance, Stephens, who is headed to Stanford, did not have to carry his helmet or shoulder pads off the field back to the locker room.


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