Practice Report: August 13th

The Hurricanes got after it today especially the secondary recording interceptions and breaking up a number of passes. The team will have their first practice in pads on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

HEAD COACH LARRY COKER

Practice was moved up 30 minutes to avoid possible rain and the team practiced for a little more than two hours today.

"I am glad we got this in," Coker said. "We had no idea what the weather was going to be like. Obviously we had a good day for everything. I thought the secondary did a nice job of making plays and interceptions. It is one thing to knock the ball down and it is another thing to make an interception because now we are on offense."

WEATHER REPORT

Temperature: 89°F
Humidity: 59%
Heat Index: 97°F
Wind: 21 mph
Cloud Cover: Cloudy

QUARTERBACKS

As a unit the quarterbacks struggled a bit throwing a number of interceptions during seven-on-seven drills. It wasn't a terrible day for them as they were able to complete some nice passes spread amongst a number of players. Kyle Wright ended the day with a bullet pass in the middle of the field to a leaping Ryan Moore.

There was a lot of time spent on offense with the running game and the quarterbacks did a good job with their handoffs to the running backs.

Coach Coker addressed the backup quarterback situation with Wright and Derrick Crudup.

"Kyle and Derrick are both getting the same amount of work with the second team," Coker said. "We haven't got either one working with the first, but I want to do that before it is all over also."

RUNNING BACKS

Frank Gore and Tyrone Moss were out with injuries today thus giving time to the three freshmen backs and Quadtrine Hill.

Once again Hill fought hard for yards and continues to play hard on every snap—a good example for the younger players.

Charlie Jones had quite a few nice runs up the middle showing great vision and elusiveness. It is good for a young player to see the hole and hit it without hesitation. The holes close a lot faster at the college game and Jones is making a good adjustment. His best quality is his combination of speed and power especially for his size.

"I thought Charlie was a little bit more like Tyrone Moss with the inside running style," Coker said. "Since he is healthy he has a lot more speed than I anticipated. He has excellent speed, but he is very powerful."

Andrew Johnson also had a very strong day today running up the middle on dives set-up in the I-formation with no receivers. He also has shown good speed in the hole.

"I believe as a sophomore was the state 100-meter champion running a 10.5 in the state of Pennsylvania," Coker said. "He has great speed and running ability."

Derron Thomas is more of a shifty back, but is working on cutting out unnecessary movements during his carries.

"Derron is just a great talent," said Coker.

The general consensus is that one or two will redshirt while the others will play behind Moss, Gore, and Hill.

"I really like all three of them," Coker said. "I see some things from each of them. All three show good promise. They seem to be having a lot of fun with it and do not seem to be intimidated."

WIDE RECEIVERS

Other than Roscoe Parrish, all of the receivers were back practicing today after four of them dealt with muscle cramps yesterday. Not only were they back, but they were making plays. Ryan Moore had the most receptions of the day including a nice leaping catch to end practice.

Sinorice Moss had a nice catch in which he eluded the defense and bounced outside for a big gain. His knee appeared to look good and it will be something to watch throughout fall practices. Although he lacks the cat-like quickness of Parrish he brings good hands and the ability to run great routes. Getting in the mix is something he is working hard to do.

Darnell Jenkins was relatively quiet today after recording a number of receptions the first three days of practice. He is still playing extremely hard and showing off his football toughness his teammates praise him for.

Khalil Jones from Northwestern High School took a big hit from Carol City rival Willie Williams today. Jones is struggling to get open at times against fellow freshman cornerbacks.

TIGHT ENDS

Brandon Sebald and Buck Ortega were the two most used today and showed good speed after catching the ball. Their ability to head up field after the catch gives the team an added bonus. Sebald in particular runs well for a big tight end.

Sebald and Kevin Everett are both playing with banged up shoulders. It is nothing serious and hopefully it does not become a nagging injury especially before the season begins.

Greg Olsen made a nice catch today up the sidelines showing the four tight ends could be an effective unit this season for the Hurricanes.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Rashad Butler did not practice today due to a sprained ankle. Cyrim Wimbs filled in for Butler as the right tackle with the first unit. Wimbs has learned a lot from redshirting last year and is continually trying to learn.

"I am just trying to take in the offense," Wimbs said. "I learned a little bit last year, but there are so many parts to learn. I am just trying to take it all in."

According to Wimbs the upperclassmen, especially Butler, are doing a good job of teaching him various things in the offense.

"They pretty much have a better grasp of it than I do, but I am just trying to take it all in," said Wimbs.

He was happy to play the first unit today and could be counted to do the same over the next few days with Butler recovering.

"I just tried to step in there and get in there to help," Wimbs said. "I am just trying to do my best."

Last year Wimbs had a hard time adjusting to the college game and the conditioning during fall practices. Losing weight was something he wanted to do to become a better player.

"I am feeling better now because I am in better shape," Wimbs said. "That was a major thing for me."

Wimbs and high school teammate Andrew Bain have a good friendship and he thinks very highly of him.

"Andrew and I get along great," Wimbs said. "He is a great athlete--he is strong, quick, and fast. He is progressing real well and he is getting used to playing tackle after playing guard in high school and last year."

Tyler McMeans had an extra fire under his belly today getting into it with a couple players throughout practice. It could have been one of those days or it could be the case of a guy wanting to seize an opportunity for playing time. Regardless of the reason it will be something to monitor over the next week.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Bryan Pata dealt with ankle injuries last season and again in spring practices. It was frustrating for the former Central star as he was slated to work with the first team. Now at 275 pounds he is trying to earn his spot back and get his game at the high level he is striving for.

Freshman Chris Zellner from Sarasota Booker appears to be learning the defensive techniques and schemes the best over talented prep stars Rhyan Anderson and Dwayne Hendricks. All three players are expected to redshirt this season along with Calais Campbell and Eric Moncur.

The defensive line did a good job in practice today applying interior pressure on the running game and showed good power through the line. Santonio Thomas had a couple real nice run stuffing plays including one for a big loss.

Orien Harris tweaked his knee and took his time getting to his feet after the play was over. He got under the pile and it was not determined what happened, but the good news is he returned soon after.

LINEBACKERS

Willie Williams once again is making hits out there even though they are not at full contact. Wait and see how things go when they put on the pads tomorrow. Williams along with the rest of the linebackers will be tough to go up against.

All three of the starting linebackers had a good day today. Leon Williams was in on a number of runs and the outside guys, Roger McIntosh and Tavares Gooden, showed good run-stopping ability as well as guarding the tight ends during seven-on-seven drills.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

The story of today's practice was the play of the defensive backs. Devin Hester, Brandon Meriweather, and Glenn Sharpe all recorded interceptions.

Sharpe has been guarded this week, but got some time today during seven-on-seven drills.

"This week I have been taking it pretty slow," Sharpe said. "They want to take a lot of caution with me and I am just taking my time. Today I felt pretty good and I did a little bit more including a little seven-on-seven. I am not up to 100% in conditioning because I felt a little tired today."

He is enjoying just being out on the field after a suffering a serious knee injury last November.

"I have been out for a long time and it just felt good to be able to be out there and make plays," said Sharpe. "I am having a lot of fun out here. There are a lot of talented guys out here and a lot of competition. Any time you have good competition it helps you get better. All of our guys has talent and everyone is pushing each other to work hard."

The off-season was tough for Sharpe and it shows a lot about his character and work ethic to be ready to practice now.

"Anybody who has had a knee injury with reconstructive surgery will tell you that it is a lot of hard work," Sharpe said. "You have to have dedication with rehab and you have to put time into it."

He is not quite where he wants to be, but he is getting there.

"I don't feel like I have all of my strength back, but I feel I have my speed back," Sharpe said. "It is a continuous process—I have been in rehab for 8-9 months and I am still rehabbing. I am just trying to get better every day."

Coker has been impressed with Sharpe's progress.

"He made a great interception out here today," Coker said. "I am going to say he is fully back—he ran a 4.3 40 in the off-season which is extremely fast. Now he has to be able to take that to the game, but he is really doing a good job."

Hester was getting beat on a number of plays during seven-on-seven drills including coverage assignments and man-on-man coverage. He sat out for a bit and talked with coach Walton as he watched plays unfold in front of him. When he got back in there he made a nice interception showing good instincts to leave his man running deep and step in front of the short route. A few moments later he almost came up with another interception. If he keeps making plays he will unlikely move from the corner position. Another encouraging sign is how physical he is. Coming over from the offensive side of the ball it could be a tough transition, but he is doing a good job of initiating contact at the line.

Brandon Meriweather was sitting back at the free safety position when he made a great jump on a hard, low ball in the middle of the field that he dove after to come up with the interception.

Anthony Reddick and Greg Threat nearly came up with interceptions also.

INJURY REPORT

RB Frank Gore did not practice today due to a sore knee—the same knee in which he tore his ACL last October.
Status: Day-to-day

RB Tyrone Moss was held out of today's practice with a sore shoulder after taking a hit in pass protection on Thursday. It does not appear to be serious.
Status: Unknown

WR Roscoe Parrish was held out of practice today with a sore knee—the same knee he had a knee scope on last season. He will be kept out of practices periodically throughout the fall.
Status: Out one week

OL Rashad Butler sprained his left ankle on Thursday and did not practice today. It does not appear to be serious, but there was no immediate prognosis after practice.
Status: Out 4-10 days

CB Terrell Walden did not practice due to a torn ACL he suffered during spring practices. He will not practice anytime soon and is a long shot to play this season.
Status: Out two to five months

NEXT PRACTICE

Saturday, August 14th, 3:30 p.m. – It is open to the public and is the first day in full pads.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com.

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