The Tigers came out on a beautiful morning for practice fired up to get busy working and get better during camp.
Nothing drew as much attention as the arrival of DT Sheldon Richardson, who fans and media a like have been waiting to see for years now. I must say the Sheldon did not disappoint.
The big defensive lineman looked in pretty good shape for being away from football for a good amount of time. He wore full pads and looked very comfortable in linemen drills, walk through and tackling drills showing how athletic he can be and his potential that people have been waiting for.
However, it was one on one's against the offensive line where he showed how explosive he can be even with a lay off. He worked the the 1's and 2's in the drill, and in his first match-up against Mark Hill he lost the the battle as Hill got a wide base and used his long arms to prevent Sheldon from reaching the bag in time. When Sheldon went back in line he received some instruction from teammate Dominique Hamilton which did the trick, and as Sheldon blew by Hill to reach the bag, Hamilton could be heard saying, "See, I told you".
Sheldon's second match-up was against Austin Wuebbels, which surprisingly Sheldon won pretty easily showing a combination of speed and power. In his second go round with Wuebbels, Richardson simply bull-rushed him for the simulated sack beating him twice on the day. That was something you don't see on a regular basis and was very impressive.
Also during the one on one's the other DTs Hamilton and Resonno both won their match-ups.
The offensive tackles had the better of things against the DEs as Fisher and Hoch kept Smith and Madison at bay.
Kony Ealy had success during the drill among the DEs.
On the day as a whole the defense really stood out. This defense has a ton of promise and continues to make life rough for the offensive unit.
In 11 on 11 Brad Madison and Dominique Hamilton are spending a lot of time in the backfield and making plays at the line of scrimmage.
Ealy seems to be able to turn it on whenever he wants to. After coach Steckel hollered at him to run harder after a particular play, Ealy simply blew by the OT and got the QB.
Lucas Vincent continued to look good in 11 on 11.
Terrell Resonno has continued to raise his level of play as well.
The first team linebackers are looking very strong.
The Lambert v Ebner battle continues. Ebner had another strong day both against the run and the pass.
Kentrell Brothers looks like he will rise on the depth chart by the end of camp.
Freshman cornerback David Johnson is looking very impressive. Other defensive backs mention him when asked about who is catching their eye.
Robert Steeples had a nice interception and looks good.
Besides Gaines and Edwards, Xavier Smith continues his solid play.
Offensively, the Tigers worked a lot on the running game.
Kendial Lawrence continues to separate himself with his play. He is bigger,stronger, faster and runs strong between the tackles. He still has great cutting ability and can stop and accelerate on a dime from 0 to 60 in a blink, but he is showing better after first contact at making positive yardage.
Greg White continues to impress me every day. He is just such a tough runner and could wear down an opposing defense with enough carries.
Henry Josey was also impressive with his speed and outside running on the day. I really like Josey as a kick returner. More on that in a minute.
Seeing some different things in the running game that lead me to believe they will be more diverse this season.
Marcus Lucas had a really strong day making some tough catches. Same with TJ. Moe, Jimmie Hunt, Bud Sasser and Jerrell Jackson. I think those receivers will see the field this season and battle in the rotation for playing time.
Kerwin Stricker is another receiver worth mentioning. He is having a great camp and catching everything.
You have Moe, Sasser, Hunt and Stricker all bunched together at the same spot. And that is without McGaffie being there because of injury. Something has to give and some movement will be needed.
The QBs looked alright. The defense made things tough.
James was under a lot of pressure most of the time.
Corbin had a bit of an off day and was hard on himself.
Ashton had some moments.
Jimmy Costello still seems rusty.
I really like Jimmie Hunt as a punt returner. Moe is solid and won't muff many punts, but Hunt looks like he can do something positive after the catch.
Henry Josey looks like the guy who could make a big play as kick off returner. Moe is also back receiving kick as is Kip Edwards.
A full report is on the way.