Starting with the quarterbacks, Jarrett Lee was back at practice after being absent yesterday. He looked to not miss a beat with his intermediate accuracy, even though he was wearing a knee brace.
Jordan Jefferson continues to gain confidence and his leadership role really shows during every drill. Russell Shepard was wearing a clear visor – a precaution after he was poked in the eye at the scrimmage on Saturday.
The running backs looked to be in the same order of Charles Scott, Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy. The group worked on catching screen passes for the majority of 20 minutes that media were allotted. The fullbacks worked on their low motion and isolation blocking.
The offensive line was missing some of the backup Tigers as Clay Spencer, Josh Williford, Carneal Ainsworth and Alex Hurst were not in attendance. Ciron Black was back practicing with the first team, and he looked to be going at full speed.
The wide receiver position was missing R.J. Jackson, but they did not miss a beat in their agility drills. Terrance Toliver looks quicker than ever and Brandon Lafell – who was absent Monday afternoon - was back at practice and performing great as usual.
Chris Mitchell and Jhyryn Taylor look to be in a battle for the slot position, and both appear fast enough to receive serious playing time this season. The only green jersey was John Williams, but he still managed to catch everything thrown at him. There was no news to report from the tight ends as they were all in attendance and working on release drills and blocking down.
The defensive line suffered a minor setback as Akiem Hicks twisted or pulled something in his leg at the beginning of practice, but it was not serious enough to have the trainers come out as he watched his teammates run through drills. One can tell that Hicks is a serious competitor, as he looked eager and distraught that he was missing out on competing for a spot on the line.
Josh Downs continues to give maximum effort in every drill and has made a case for the backup defensive tackle spot. Overall, Brick Haley has this group working very hard for the duration of our observation and its quite noticeable through the decibel levels.
The defensive backs worked on interceptions – catching deep balls thrown by graduate assistant Slade Nagle. While Patrick Peterson and Chad Jones appear to be the only cemented starters, Jai Eugene and Karnell Hatcher are making strong cases for playing time. Morris Claiborne and Brandon Taylor continue to look impressive as well and have adjusted nicely to their new roles.
The linebacker squad welcomed a new player today in Stefoin Francois, and it appears John Chavis is experimenting and trying to find another hybrid linebacker for the future after Harry Coleman. Francois has always been on the physical side of the defensive backs, and he looked to fit in quite well. Jacob Cutrera was not at practice and Perry Riley continued to work in a green jersey.