The Tigers began two-a-days Wednesday at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. As was the case on Monday, the “Big Cat Drill” got practice started.
Once again, the media was not allowed inside the circle for video, but here are a couple of results to share:
Ryan Baker drove Daniel Graff a good four yards.
Kevin Minter bested freshman running back Spencer Ware.
Karnell Hatcher continued an impressive camp by winning a battle with wide receiver Terrance Toliver.
And in two possible upsets, Russell Shepard popped Craig Loston and true freshman James Wright showed some physicality by outmuscling fifth-year man Jai Eugene.
Offensively there were no noticeable absentees on Wednesday morning. After he missed the first few practices with pneumonia, starting left guard Josh Dworacyzk looks to be back for good. Coach Greg Studrawa continued to work him with the first group. Unfortunately all we’re really able to do is take role as coach Stud often doesn’t force the line – or tight ends for that matter – to break a sweat during the media portion of the practice. Both Studrawa and Steve Ensminger continue to preach the importance of footwork and blocking schemes.
The running backs finally worked on some longer routes today, and all of them showed a nice set of hands. I didn’t see a single drop from the group. As coach Miles mentioned on Tuesday, walk-on James Stampley was taking the first reps at fullback ahead of Richard Dugas, Kellen Theriot and Travis Dickson. Fullback may just be the most open position on the team right now.
The passing drills were much improved from Monday, which proved to be a bad opening day in full-pads. Coach Crowton spoke yesterday on the impact first-year wide receivers coach Billy Gonzalez should have in terms of yards after the catch. All of the routes today were short, high-percentage passes with the expectation of some substantial yards after the catch. There were only three drops by scholarship receivers during the media session, all by true freshman. Jarrett Fobbs, Kadron Boone and Armand Williams each dropped one.
Jakhari Gore looked much better today at receiver. His breaks were quick, and he still hasn’t dropped a well-thrown ball while working with the wide outs. On the slants and bubble screens, Jordan Jefferson did a great job hitting his receivers in stride, allowing them to continue moving at full speed. Jarrett Lee wasn’t quite as sharp, but his balls were always catchable.
Head baseball coach Paul Mainieri made an appearance at practice Wednesday morning. He and coach Miles only have to sweat for four more days until two-sport star Zach Lee’s status with the Dodgers becomes concrete.
The Tigers are back at it Wednesday afternoon. Check back for a full report.