Shannon: 3/9 practice recap

Read on to see what head coach Randy Shannon was saying after Tuesday's practice.

On today:
I was played with the way the defensive line played, especially how active the ends were. If they played about 40 plays and they had 7-8 good plays, they make a sack, cause a fumble or something. I was pleased with how Spence and McCarthy responded. Telemaque did a good job, Van Dyke. On the offense, we got Figs and Orlando and those guys out up front but they kept going. We had a lot of mentals but they responded. The running backs came around. They have a chance to do something and they did. The quarterbacks were consistent.

On A.J. Highsmith:
He moved the ball down there. It was a redzone scrimmage. He executed. Thearon Collier caught one, Byrd, Hankerson, those guys caught touchdowns in the redzone. We gotta get those guys in 1 on 1 situations. We still got a ways to go but it was good to see the intensity. There were no loafs, they kept fighting and playing hard and I was excited about that.

On guys separating themselves:
It really don't because it's not the season. It gets guys reps and you build on that. They make calls, checks. The more reps you get and the better you will become. You see the improvement from day one until now.

On the guards:
Harland Gunn and Jared Wheeler, Cory White. They're doing a good job. Those guys are competing and that's what you want.

On Shane McDermott:
Not bad. Palm Beach kid. He's still a young guy, still learning. The physical part is tough, not used to going against 300 pounders all the time. That really gets you, then the speed. He responded well but he's looking to get better all the time.

On how he can improve:
Just grow, some pounds and strength, And get him in the film room. Strength room will put on weight but it's more about the knowledge and not losing focus.

On the interior DL:
Curtis and Regis right now, as far as inside guys, they're big and hard to move. Watching the scrimmage, they were hard to move. They gotta keep going. Regis took that next step with his mentality. He plays harder than he ever did. Porter has to come around. He showed something last season, now he's gotta pour it on. Those guys can be dominating guys inside. It's just about maturing. Coach Petris's done a great job getting them where they are.

On Thearon Collier:
Just getting better. One thing is when you have competition its easy to set standards. If guys don't wanna pick football game up, there's always someone behind him. It puts a lot of pressure on you. he knows it. You hope they all pick it up. He's playing all positions. Early you can't do that to guys. Hank was a vet to do it. Now Thearon is playing 2. Hank is playing 3 now, Trav is playing 2. Most are playing 2 or 3 now. Competition is the greatest thing going. If guys don't do what you want, you go to the next guy.

On today's corners:
Brandon (McGee), Ryan, Van Dyke, and Nate Gholston. Only guy sat out was Brandon. You only got two teams. You need to get reps in. It's different than going into a game and having a 12 play drive. It's kinda different but it's easy for them.

On Travis Benjamin:
He did. Watching his freshman year, I go back to Virginia game, he made a mistake. This spring will be vital to all receivers. They all gotta take next step, separate themselves. They gotta have this mentality on football field. You can't have great practice 1 or 2 days and then not. Great players will practice good all the time. Good players will be satisfied. We have the ability to have some great ones. They have to perform and get it done. Coach Hill has done a great job demanding it. That's how Hankerson made that jump. Laron Byrd made that jump first couple days now we'll see if they can keep improving.

On Benjamin:
He got physical today in a drill, 1 on 1 coverage. Usually he uses his speed. He used his strength. He's a strong guy in weight room, his frame doesn't look strong but it was good see him do that besides just run around and pass a guy.

On Tyrone Cornileus:
OK. Freshman, learning, not gonna go out and excite the world but his progress is going well.

On his role:
Too early. He's just trying to learn the defense. Once he learns the defense, the better he'll get.

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