We'll start with another quick rundown of who was at the afternoon practice. Again, the list is in the order in which the players participated in drills for the most part:
**One quick note about the above list. There were a lot of walk-ons at the afternoon session and I did my best to include all of them, but there may be some I overlooked. Also, in the morning update, I included Jeremy Bunting in the list of QBs, and that was incorrect. Bunting has been move to WR for this season. The QB for the morning session that I mistook for Bunting was walk-on Andrew Hatch.
The media was again only allowed to observe practice for about 20 minutes, though it seemed like it was shorter than the morning session. And again like the morning session, the players were going through position drills for the duration of the observation period. Here again are some observations from what we were allowed to watch:
OL: Again, they are listed in order from right to left. I was surprised to see Josh Dworaczyk working out in drills at RG. I think most people were anticipating him coming in as an OT, but he and Jarvis Jones were anchoring the right side of the line this afternoon. Both will need to put on quite a few pounds before they are ready to see the field.
DL: The whole time we were there the DL was doing sled drills, and there were only 3 pads on the sled, so they couldn't even lineup together as a full unit. Blackwell, Aubrey, and Corley would take a turn, then Nevis would go by himself, then the walk-ons would go.
LB: The 3 mentioned above were the only ones at practice, and they were mostly working on pre-snap positions and then immediate movements when the ball is snapped. Derrick Odom still needs to add more weight before he's ready to see the field.
DB: I know it's not official for 11 more days, but as of this point it looks like its safe to say it: Thank God Chad Jones decided to play football. While he may not be as ripped up as Landry was last year or Taylor is now, he is equally as big. And his athletic ability for someone his size stands out, even in position drills. One drill they were working on making breaks on the ball in the air, with the coaches throwing balls to them. The coach threw the ball so far in front on Jones I didn't think there was any way he would get to it. But somehow he got his hands out there and the ball stuck in them. Another player that kind of caught me off guard with the position they were playing was Shomari Clemons. When he re-signed last year most people thought he was going to play LB, and if you saw him walking around on the field you'd think he was a LB. But today he was practicing at S. Ron Brooks and John Williams both looked kind of small out there, but that is probably because they were standing next to Jones and Clemons. Phelon Jones was no runt either, he has very nice size for a CB.
RB: As we were first walking onto the practice fields, the RBs were jogging over in our direction. Richard Murphy was out in front, and right behind him was Stevan Ridley, who has apparently done extremely well in following Tommy Moffitt's workouts. Of all the freshman, the 3 that stood out the most from just a physical appearance standpoint were Chad Jones, Clemons, and Ridley, and out of those 3 Ridley stood out the most. If I didn't know who he was at first I would've sworn he was a junior or senior that's been in Moffitt's program for years.
QB: Yes, Ryan Perrilloux was at practice, and yes, he was at the front of the QB line in front of Jarrett Lee. It was pretty obvious that he didn't just sit around during his suspension either. He looked very sharp on all his throws,(granted they were pretty much all short passes, but still) and looked like he had been working out with the team all summer. He also looked to be in perfectly fine physical condition as well. Lee's delivery is kind of funky looking, almost too over the top. But as long as he puts the ball where it needs to be, that doesn't really matter.
WR: They worked on pretty much the same things as this morning. This is where you could see the obvious differences between the guys that have been here and the incoming freshman. When Jared Mitchell would do drills, they were so much more precise, his cuts were much sharper, and his feet work was much quicker. That's not saying the young guys were doing things bad or wrong, just stating the difference even a year in college ball makes. Demetrius Byrd was out there going through drills with everyone but it was obvious he hadn't been there all summer as he appeared fatigued more than the others guys during drills. He'll need a little time to get to the conditioning level the rest of the team is at. Toliver is unbelievably quick for someone as tall as he is. Of all the receivers he was the closest to Mitchell in terms of how precise and quickly he did the drills. Everyone knows he has to put on some weight, but you don't really understand how much until you see him out there compared to other guys on the team. I'm not saying he needs it to play this year, but he still needs to add another 20 lbs at least. And there is probably nobody out there that can do it quicker or better than Coach Moffitt. Josh McManus is a guy a lot of people don't mention when talking about WRs this year because he is a walk-on. But he played in most of the games last year and was the 4th WR at times when Lafell was hurt. He catches the ball extremely well and does everything right. He may not get to play much this year with the development of the Mitchells and Dixon and the arrival of Toliver, but I'm just saying if you watched him and didn't know who he was, you wouldn't think he was a walk-on player.
That's all for today's afternoon session. Check back tomorrow morning around the same time as this morning for an update on tomorrow's morning session.