Practice Number 4

The string of unbelievably nice weather continued this week as the Herd hit the field for practice number four of fifteen allowable spring practices. The number of blue and red no contact jerseys are reducing each day. I did say red no contact as well due to their being one non quarterback wearing red the past two weeks. Unsure of his name at this time.

I only got to spend about 75 minutes at practice today, so I focused on just a few positions. First off, the tight ends. We are loaded at this position. Gator Hoskins, and C.J. Crawford are clearly the top two players at this position. Hoskins seems to be pulling away ever so slowly from Crawford both both players are catching everything thrown their way. Eric Frohnapfel should be another option and will play this year, as a true sophomore. Rakim Reed is coming along quicker than I thought. He looks much bigger and stronger in pads, and actually seems to move better. The final tight end is actually in blue, but he is an incredible physical specimen. Walkon Joe Woodrum from Bluefield, WV. He is 6'5", 230 pounds, he is long, fast, and has excellent hands. He very well could earn playing time at some point in his career.

I also watched the wide receivers closely. For the first time in a few years, there were very few drops. Wide Receivers like Demetrius Evans, Craig Wilkins, Andre Booker and Tommy Shuler are catching everything thrown their way. Another wideout that is playing well is Jazz King. King looks much quicker and explosive than he has the past two years.

I arrived right in time for the spirited one on one contact drills. Right out of the chute, freshman Joe Massaquoi and JUCO offensive lineman Gage Niemeyer got into a spirited scuffle. Immediately after the squabble, the coaches put them right back in the middle to line up and go at it again. They went at it harder than the first time, with neither player getting the upper hand. I will add that I am very impressed with Massaquoi. He very well could see some playing time.

Now to Rakeem Cato. This was my first time seeing the team in full pads this spring as I missed this past Saturday. Cato looks not only bigger, but he also looks an inch or so taller. His arm is stronger, and he looked much faster getting to the outside. He is making all the throws, long, short, outs, over the middle, all of them. He also has really improved on hitting his backs out of the back field.

The depth chart is still all over the place. Today, it appeared that the starting linebacking corp was Billy Mitchell, Jermaine Holmes and senior Devin Arrington. Defensive line remains Jeremiah Taylor, Alex Bazzie, Brandon Sparrow and James Rouse, but there are multiple changes throughout practice. The offensive line is the same way as most of the guys are getting reps along side different teammates throughout practice.

One thing I noted is that freshman Chris Alston is lining up in the slot with Booker, Shuler and Jermaine Kelson.

Armonze Daniel is a big guy, and he is strong, him and Remi Watson battled in the one on one blocking drills and both looked to be hungry.

It was nice to see the team back in pads. I am amazed at where this team is at this point in spring camp. If I didn't know any better, I would guess that it was mid August, and not early April.

Donald Brown, as long as he makes it all the way back which I see no reason why he wouldn't, simply has to start, he is just too good. He makes plays all over the field, and is a much better tackler than he was.

NOTE: The practice schedule for the rest of the week is as follows:
Wednesday – 2:45pm Friday – 2:45pm

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