And not only was the squad finally fully assembled, the team went in full pads for the first time. And on top of all of this, the team worked outdoors under sunny skies.
For the first time, we got a chance to see all three quarterbacks in action – together – as JaMarcus Russell, Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux all took reps. Fourth string quarterback James Welker was also taking part in the drills.
Russell struggled a bit on his first few pass attempts on deep routes. Flynn hooked up with his wideouts on the deeper, touch passes. However, Russell quickly regained his composure and put on one heck of a passing exhibition.
On a variety of routes, including crossing, fade and a mix of 5, 10, 20 and 30 yard out routes, Russell was on the mark. The 6-4, 255-pound junior no doubt outshined his competitors delivering one lazerbeam after another. One pass he did throw off the mark was slightly behind wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
But that didn't stop the senior standout receiver.
Bowe cut off his route, did a half-spin, toward the sideline diving as he made an amazing catch just before hitting the ground. The amazing display of athleticism got an array of ooohs and aaahs from the sideline and a raucous round of cheers from his teammates.
Flynn wasn't too shabby himself delivering each pass with equal efficiency. But the touch on his pass in evident and on more than a few occasions receivers had to slow down their routes and wait for passes.
Perrilloux is still in third place, but he is more of a 2A. The redshirt freshman quarterback could start for almost any school in the SEC right now, and he has the poise and swagger of a seasoned veteran, but he wasn't as sharp as the other two quarterbacks. There is plenty of zip on his passes and he has all the makings of a great quarterback, but it is still Russell, Flynn, then Perrilloux.
It definitely put some perspective on just how deep the Tigers' running back and receiving corps actually are seeing them all together. And to think the running backs have that much talent and Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy have yet to arrive. Yikes!
Offensive lineman Herman Johnson on Friday morning. (Photo by Sam Frake)
Coach Les Miles again got into the mix coaching the offensive linemen as he got vocal more than a few times with the big men.
On the defensive side of the ball, coach Bo Pelini run full drills, which provided the opportunity to see who was running with the ones on defense.
On the defensive line, the first teamers included (from left to right) Rickey Jean-Francois, Marlon Favorite, Glenn Dorsey and Chase Pittman.
At linebacker, Darry Beckwith, Luke Sanders (still wearing a green jersey) and Ali Highsmith lined up with the first group.
And finally in the secondary, it was Chevis Jackson and Jonathan Zenon at the corners while (big surprise here) LaRon Landry and Jessie Daniels lined up at the safeties.
Check back later for coach Les Miles' post-practice comments.
PRACTICE REPORT: Friday, First Full Squad
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