Herd Completes Spring Practice Number 6

Blake Frohnapfel was finally able to throw the football a little bit today. During semi live 11 on 11 drills later on in practice, he was leading the second team unit in short field situations. More to come a little later on his performance. It was another great weather day in Huntington, high sunny skies, and cool breezy low 60 degree temperatures.

Continuing on with a theme that has carried on all spring, it was a very good crisp practice. As I watched practice with a couple herdhaven.com regulars, one of them said it best, "they sure do talk and communicate a lot more than in past springs." The team almost seems to be maturing before our eyes. Today, that maturing took place in front of a couple hundred sun drenched Herd fans.

The blue and red jersey wearing injured Herd players were fewer today. There were only four players in red jerseys. Tron Martinez and Travon Van, then one player that I could not recognize, and I am pretty sure the fourth player was projected starting offensive lineman Garrett Scott. Scott, however, was working out on the sidelines hard and did not seem to have any serious injury. Starting safety D.J. Hunter continued to nurse his broken fingers, and spent the day in shorts coaching up fellow safeties, Donald Brown, Evan McKelvey, and Zach Dunston. One particular play excited Hunter. During 9 on 9 drills, featuring running plays, Donald Brown moved around to make a spectacular tackle in the backfield, Hunter enjoyed it tremendously and let Brown, and the running back know all about it.

Back to Frohnapfel, and his first few live attempts of the spring. He completed his first two passes, one to Demetrius Evans, and one to Tommy Shuler, before the drive ended. Rakeem Cato ran the first unit as usual, and led the team to a TD on the first live drive. Multiple passes led the Herd into the redzone, before Martin Ward ripped off a strong TD run. Justin Haig came in after the score and kicked two FG's one from 31 yards, and one from 36 years. Haig drilled both kicks through the tilted upright.

I did not see any punting today. I did watch Haig and freshman kicker Trent Martin continually drill kickoffs into and out of the back of the endzone.

Remi Watson is working out at both kick returner and punt returner.

The starting defense, today at least, was Jermiah Taylor and Alex Bazzie at DE, Brandon Sparrow and James Rouse at DT, Billy Mitchell, Devin Arrington and Jermaine Holmes at LB,Monterius Lovett and Darryl Roberts at DB, and Evan McKelvey and Dunston at Safety.

The starting offense was the same at all skill positions, Aaron Dobson, Antavious Wilson, Andre Booker at WR, Gator Hoskins at TE, and Rakeem Cato at QB. Running back is irrelevant at this time as we know that Martinez and Van will man that spot. Along the line it continued to change. From right to left, Corey Tenney, Sebastian Johansson, Channing Smith, Josh Lovell and Jordan Jeffries.

Two other offensive players in blue jerseys were freshman center Anthony Spano, and sixth year senior guard John Bruhin.

The center position is interesting. Freshman Channing Smith, a 5'11" 276 pound redshirt freshman continues to get the first team reps ahead of returning starter Chris Jasperse.

One thing I did notice, but may not be a permanent change, freshman Stefone Grace worked out some mid practice with the defensive ends. Grace stands 6'3" right now, but only weighs 200 pounds. If you remember, two years ago when Grace first committed to the Herd, before going to prep school, he was tall skinny, wide receiver.

The play of the day happened during seven on seven drills when TE Eric Frohnapfel hauled in a one handed grab over the middle. He followed that up two plays later with a catch in the back of the endzone in which he was able to get both feet in bounds.

Keith Baxter is one of the defensive backs in blue jerseys. He did get some reps today in 7 on 7 drills. Phillip Warren, also in blue, got some first team reps at the nickel position. Lovett is also in blue.

Marshall hits the field for practice number 7 next Tuesday at 330pm.

Stay tuned to herdhaven.com and the herdhaven.com message boards for more updates.

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