Marshall will practice on live kicking and special teams this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. and spend some time polishing the starting offense and defense for the scrimmage. Coach Bobby Pruett expects to be on the field for about one and one-half hours this afternoon, on the turf for a better video shooting angle, where it promises to be the hottest day of practice yet with temperature expected near 90-degrees.
Charlie Tynes came out on the field from his summer class, with a big smile on his face. Soon, Purett was smiling too, but reminded Tynes that there was still an hour of practice so to go get dressed. Tynes will apparently be eligible for the 2003 season.
Michael West, a red-shirt freshman running back from nearby Louisa, Kentucky, got the bulk of the reps this morning, along with Tank Tunstalle and Will Albin. Earl Charles was dressed but held out of contact while Butchie Wallace was in shorts with no pads. Wallace led a group of players sitting the morning out including Dennis Thorton (ankle, but had a shoe on today and was putting some weight on it), Dwayne Robinson (knee), Toriano Brown (toe), Joe Diefel (ankle), Maurice McKinney, Ryan Wykoff, Renaldo Williams, Roberto Terrell and Jamall Saunders. None appear serious except Robinson. The trainers and strength staff put the players on the injured list through a two-hour workout that might make practice seem easier. Leaving the team was junior walkon Marquis Huggins.
Back on the field was Tunstalle, Marcus Hairston, Darius Watts and Gladstone Coke, although Watts is still not in contact. Kevin Atkins had to have shoulder rewrapped in practice but continued to work with first team. On the offensive side, Jesse Saito took snaps at left guard along with Nathan Leslie and at center on the second team. He was sharing time on the twos with starting center Joey Stepp to prevent exhaustion in the humid conditions. Nate Griffin, Nate McPeek and Luke Salmons are the rest of the ones on the offensive line and on the second team are Seth Cook, Toby Bullock, Saito, Ryan Baynes and Josh Blakey.
Vocal leaders in the morning practice included Stan Hill ("It's your job as quarterback to make sure they know their jobs. It's tough and you have to push to make us tougher" when questioned about yelling at Hargrove on a pass play) and Damarcus Thomas (who after tipping a pass was very vocal in letting team mates know about "learn your position. You make me look bad, all of us look bac when you don't know what to do."). Coaches also cranked up the volume. Defensive coordinator Bill Wilt, "We're gonna set the depth chart and some of you guys are going to be stuck on second or third team. It will not be the same old, same old around here;" and coach George Darlington, to Chris Royal who was very plainly held on a screen play by tight end Brian Shope, "Hey, grip it and rip it. Officials are not going to call holding, they just come to watch the games."
Final notes from media side: Mel Kiper called SID Ricky Hazel yesterday. Ricky ask if they were not friends any more since that Leftwich guy was gone. "I guess you are not quite as busy this year," said Kiper of the media crush Hazel handled for the Heisman candidate. Also, Mike Golic of "Mike and Mike in the Morning", heard locally on ESPN Radio, WCMI 1340 AM in the Tri-State, will do his show from the studios of Kindred Communications (our parent company) on the morning of September 12. Golic will be the color man on ESPN broadcast that night of MU-Toledo, at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN.