Practice Number 5

I entered the Joan yesterday excited for another day of football practice. The team was again in full pads, and I had a bunch of different positions I was hoping to watch. Walking into the stadium, it was a cooler day, breezy, and very cloudy, in other words, perfect.

The first thing I noticed was the increase in red jerseys. By my count, 7 players were in red jerseys. I know that two of them were Tron Martinez and Travon Van, who, will be out all spring resting injuries. I know that one other one was on defense, as I could tell by the green pants, and another one was wide receiver Jermaine Kelson. Unsure of Kelson's issue, but it did not seem bad at all. There were also a few players in blue jerseys, three were defensive lineman, with one being Marques Aiken, and another being wide receiver Davonte Allen.

As I sat there enjoying the afternoon and enjoying the pleasant temperatures and the fact the sun was not out. Which meant, no need to squint or wear a hat. I began to smell something. Those of you that grew up playing baseball know what smell I am talking about. Remember those days in spring, when you waited all day long at school, looking forward to your evening Little League game. After getting home, and getting dressed, then waiting around, you walk outside to get ready to leave. There was the smell, you look around and the leaves in the trees are all flipped upside down. At that time you realize rain is coming, and it isn't going to rain long, but it will rain just long enough to ruin your evening. Sure enough, the rains came, practice was suspended.

Practice later resumed, but I was already gone. However, I did get to watch some things, which at this time of year, is better than nothing.

First off, the punters, pressure was amped up on them today, and freshman Tyler Williams was up for the test. He continued to boom punts long and with excellent hang time. He is still not as consistent as Kase Whitehead was, but he seems to have stronger leg.

I also got to watch a good session of one on one drills, in which it is the goal of the offensive player to score. Basically, for those who have not been there yet, they place two cones about 5 yards apart, forming the goal line, then they do the same thing ten yards away. So a ten yard long field, that is about 5 yards wide. The offensive player gets the ball either by handoff, if a running back, or by throw if they are a wide receiver or tight end. The running backs and tight ends go against the linebackers, the wide receivers go against the defensive backs and safeties.

The drill can get pretty heated. What I learned from today's session.

- We have some talented players on offense. A lot of speed, and the ability to beat good defenders in the open field. Andre Booker is one of these, as is Aaron Dobson
- Antavious Wilson seems to have regained some of his speed.
- Gator Hoskins may be one of the most athletic players on our team, he seems to be noticeably faster.
- Remi Watson can run, and he will hit you.
- If Jermaine Holmes squares you up in the open field, you are not getting away from him. He seems to have shed a few pounds, and is going to be very good.
- Donald Brown is still a solid football player.
- Craig Wilkins, Chris Alston and Demetrius Evans will have to play, they are doing too well to be kept off of the field.

Unfortunately that is about all that I got to see today. After they finished this up, they split up and continued on with practice. I did get to see Rakeem Cato throw to the receivers. Again, for the fourth time this season, I continued to see wide receivers catch the football. That is a welcome change to the last few seasons.

One player who I have noticed is beginning to step up and be a leader is sophomore wide out Tommy Shuler. Two straight days he has showed the ability to step in and help other receivers, not just younger ones.

Practice will resume Friday at 245pm. Please note, there is no practice on Saturday.

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