Midway Point of Spring Camp

The halfway point of spring practice has come and now gone. Practice number 8 got under way, and concluded under clear skies, and temperatures that remind football fanatics of perfect October football weather.

As usual, I will start out with a quick run down of the kicking game. Tyler Williams again ran with the first unit at punter. He had exactly zero poor kicks. Every punt was deep and had excellent hang time. The snaps also seemed to be quicker and on point each time. His last kick was his best and drew several ooh's and ahh's from the stands and from the sidelines. He booted the ball 68 yards in the air, and angled it down to the two yard line.

The team then broke into several unit stations. However, the running backs and linebackers, and the wideouts and defensive backs converged on the four cones on the sideline for their tackling drill. I focused more today on the wide receivers and defensive backs. The drills started out with three straight impressive runs by Aaron Dobson, Antavious Wilson and Demetrius Evans. After Evans destroyed his defender, a coach was heard muttering, "that's just not fair, just not fair."

In the aforementioned drill, several defensive backs did stand out. Donald Brown, Zach Dunston, and Darryl Roberts to name a few. Brown continues to show that he has kicked off a lot of rust. Roberts is bigger, stronger and more aggressive than the past two years, which should be expected. One of the knocks this past season from fans was his poor tackling. That appears to be something that Roberts has really taken to heart and worked on this spring camp.

The third member of that group, Dunston, has been put on the back burner by myself and others this spring. At the safety position, most of the attention has been centered on the highly touted and highly talented DJ Hunter, the little brother of all CUSA player Omar Brown, Evan McKelvey, and the aforementioned Brown. The junior from Virginia has really looked good this spring. He moved ahead of Derek Mitchell to the first unit at safety two weeks ago and hasn't looked back. He is a bigger safety, a little like Devin Arrington, but much faster and quicker side to side than Arrington.

One thing that was noted from other sources after Tuesday's practice was the poor play from the wide receivers. They were held after by Coach Parker to run for their misdeeds. Today was a different story. Upon leaving practice, I had saw two drops all day long. One was on a difficult attempt by Tight End Rakim Reed, and the second came when Jermaine Kelson come up hobbling over the middle and was unable to reach for the ball. All in all, a solid practice. Aaron Dobson, continues to look bigger and faster as well.

The starting offensive line was, from left to right, Gage Niemeyer, Josh Lovell, Channing Smith, Sebastian Johansson, and Alex Schooler. Schooler was running at right tackle in place of expected starter, and currently injured Garrett Scott.

The starting front 7 on the defense was across the line, Jeremiah Taylor, Brandon Sparrow, James Rouse, and Alex Bazzie. The linebackers were Billy Mitchell, Devin Arrington and Jermaine Holmes. The two safeties were Dunston and McKelvey.

Jermaine Holmes continues to improve and seems to be taking hold at middle linebacker. He is a tackling machine. If he squares up on a running back, or any other ball carrier, they have not been getting away.

Jazz King joined Davonte Allen as wide receivers on the sidelines working out due to injury. King was wearing a red jersey.

Mike Hamrick, as usual, attended practice.

Practice number 9 will be the Herd's first scrimmage of the spring session. That will take place Saturday morning at 930am.

A special note for the scrimmage, per Herdzone.com, only Big Green members and Season ticket holders will be able to watch the scrimmage. Make sure you have some form of that identification with you as you arrive, and enter via Gate A, on the West side of the stadium.

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