Practice Report: Aug. 7

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Today was the first day of fall practices.

"This was a good first day. You hope to have a lot of energy and we had that. Heat was not a problem today, but as the days wear on it could be. I told our guys that (the practices) all count as one day and today was on e good day. Let's make tomorrow another good day."

TOP POSITION BATTLES

· Right Cornerback
Contenders: Randy Phillips, Bruce Johnson, Carlos Armour, Ryan Hill
Favorite: Phillips, coaches like his toughness

· Strong Safety
Contenders: Kenny Phillips, Anthony Reddick
Favorite: Phillips, returning starter will tough to beat out after his 88-tackle freshman campaign

· Strongside Linebacker
Contenders: Romeo Davis, Tavares Gooden
Favorite: Gooden, back from injury and has big-time playmaking ability

· Middle Linebacker
Contenders: Glenn Cook, Darryl Sharpton
Favorite: Sharpton, needs a strong fall camp, but coaches love his potential

· Running Back
Contenders: Tyrone Moss, Charlie Jones, Andrew Johnson, Derron Thomas
Favorite: Moss, although being out the first game could make this battle interesting

· Right Tackle
Contenders: Tyrone Byrd, Cyrim Wimbs, Chris Rutledge, Alex Pou
Favorite: Byrd, a lot of athletic ability and seems comfortable at tackle

RESERVE POSITION BATTLES

· Third Defensive Tackle
Contenders: Antonio Dixon, Luqman Abdallah, Joe Joseph
Favorite: Abdallah, strong player who needs an impressive fall to get in the DT rotation

· Back-up Tight End Contenders: Chris Zellner, DajLeon Farr, Richard Gordon, Dedrick Epps
Favorite: Gordon, he has the best skill set of the group, but will need to learn the playbook

· Number 4 Receiver
Contenders: Khalil Jones, Terrell Walden, Rashaun Jones, Sam Shields, George Robinson
Favorite: Shields, has big-time potential as a freshman and very polished

PLAYER NOTES

· DL Bryan Pata was the first team defensive tackle next to Kareem Brown with Teraz McCray still bothered by a knee injury. Calais Campbell and Baraka Atkins were the first-team defensive ends on the right and left side respectively.

· CB Randy Phillips opened fall camp as a starter at right cornerback. He will be in a battle with fellow sophomores Bruce Johnson and Carlos Armour. Junior Glenn Sharpe is starting at left cornerback.

· The following players practiced at punt returner: Darnell Jenkins, Terrell Walden, Rashaun Jones, Bruce Johnson, Ryan Hill, and Sam Shields

· The offensive line top two units were as follows:
1st: LT Reggie Youngblood, LG Andrew Bain, C Anthony Wollschlager, RG Derrick Morse, RT Tyrone Byrd
2nd: LT Chris Rutledge, LG Chris Barney, C A.J. Trump, RG Matt Pipho, RT Cyrim Wimbs

· QB Kyle Wright was pleased with the first day of practice. "It is very exciting to have the offense together at the same time. We are competitive day in and day out."

· LB Willie Williams did not report to the team yesterday. "I really hadn't thought about it," Coker responded when asked if Williams was still on the team. "Willie has already made that decision."

· WR Sam Shields caught touchdown close to 80 yards from Kirby Freeman. Freeman threw the deep ball to Shields who went up to get it over Ryan Hill.

· WR Darnell Jenkins is up to 194 pounds after playing at 178 last season. "It is my turn and it is up to me to make the most of it."

· OL Alex Pou has an arm injury that had him in a cast yesterday

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com


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