WX: Sunshine and Warm
Temp: upper mid-40's
Facility: Faurot Field
Uni's: Full Pads
Spring practice, Day 3, and with the improved weather came improved play, particularly from the defense which is really stepping up.
POP GOES THE WR: Today looked like a "high thud" practice (no official word, so you'll have to go along with my guess), and nobody made a higher thud than Quicny Wade. Not once, not twice, but three times he popped a WR after a catch, that sent the player to the turf.
An unidentified DB warms up next to #29, Lareno Seymour
THE OTHER (De) QUINCY: The word on the street is that the staff finally feels like the light has been turned on for DQ. I mentioned yesterday that DeQuincy Howard is definitely in the best TE shape he has been in since his arrival on campus (I'll qualify that a little, I thought he could have started as a WR as a freshman.. assuming he was able to master the blocking and learning the routes). He made several very good catches today including one as he fell to his back on the sidelines, and continues to shine along with Rucker at the split TE. It'll be interesting to see how much this team (without the BIG blocking TE) lines up with a tight TE. They did so a few times today, and that was the first I had noticed it this spring.
LEVELING THE FIELD: While Marcus Woods is still the man to beat, my perception of the "step" he had on Tony and Jimmy was not as big today. JJ, Temple, and Woods all had their moments today. Kevin Duncan also had his best catch and run of the spring.
ROLL THE TAPE: JUCO transfer DeMarcus Scott had to get his left ankle taped midway through the practice. It did not seem to hamper him the rest of the day. He is probably 5-9-1/2" but is very strong.
THE SALES PITCH: Saw quite a bit of straight option today. Brandon Coleman is struggling a little bit with his pitchout, and it lead to a couple of balls on the carpet. Brad looked pretty comfortable with the option. Chase Patton is much improved over last fall in all areas. He is probably the best QB we have at looking off the receiver he is going to throw to. Chase threw a pick on his first ball in 11-on-11 drill today (first time we've seen the two squads really hook-up), when he underthrew an open Brian Barmann on a deep seam route. He then threw two 20-yard strikes, one to Barmann (who let it bounce of his chest on a curl route), and the other to Tommy Saunders. Woodley had a nice INT of an underthrown ball by Coleman, and later a really nice pop. Franklin had a wide-open drop, and also lost a fumble after the catch (one of those each day so far).
HE HAS THE LEAD: For the first time this spring the Tigers practiced a short-yardage set. John Ruth, the Jeff Citian, and two reserve linebackers (i.e. no-names) took the lead back in the formation. On one play Temple took the option left and scored. On the very next play, Woods followed a FB lead to the right to score.
ON HAND: Former MU players Attiyah Ellsion, CJ Mosley, Hank Sweat, and Nino Williams all watched from the sideline. Another player joining that group was former MU All-American Devin West. Was the interest more than casual for Devin? More on that later. Watching from a distance were two high school recruits. One was Adrian Clayborn, the other I didn't recognize, but was definitely a d-lineman. Also, about 80-100 uninvited guests showed up to watch the Tigers practice at Faurot.
NOTE: Thursday's short scrimmage should be interesting. We'll be there to provide our feedback and analysis.