Another breezy practice afternoon with a slight chill… Well until the popping started! Yes, POPPING! The Lobo football team was wearing shoulder pads, helmets, and shorts. So it wasn't full speed but it was darn close…
Today the Lobo football team was armored in their helmets and shoulder pads and while they still weren't supposed to knock each other to the ground, there were plenty of collisions, jarring hits, and somewhat controlled mayhem. I say somewhat controlled mayhem as the bodies were hitting the floor. The fellas were amped and the viciousness that is football was there.
When it comes to vicious and physical play I think you need not look any further then The Hitmen aka the offensive line, and when I think of two of the meanest, nastiest, and flat out knock you on your ass players two come to mind immediately. #63 Sr. C Ryan Cook and #59 Jr. OG Ryan Turner. Dom and I were trying to decide who was the meanest, nastiest, and one player that you didn't want to cross and we just couldn't decide so we will take a little poll and see what you think…
#63 Sr. Ryan Cook 6-7 316 #59 Jr. Robert Turner 6-4 328
Dom sums Ryan Cook up as a guy that would "Crush your skull just to see the pus leak out of your ears."
When I watch Robert Turner on the field I think of a guy that just likes to inflict pain. Yes, he likes to make plays, but he always has a little something extra for his opponent an extra "Hi, I'm Robert Turner and I just busted you in the mouth." The whole time grinning and enjoying it, Turner LOVES to inflict pain! I can't remember a football practice when Turner isn't in a fight, scrum, squabble or whatever word you want to use, and true to form today… There's Turner mixing it up with Adam Garday (or so my spotter told me.)
I asked Robert about the fighting and physical play and here is what he had to say.
Today was the first day of pads and I noticed you like to get mean out there.
(Laughing) Yeah I like getting mean out there. That's part of football. That's why we put pads and helmets on. So we can come out, hit, and make it a physical game.
Is your mean streak something you want to instill in your teammates?
Definitely. People think that me getting into a fight or squabble in practice is me disliking somebody. The reason I play hard and mean is that the other team isn't going to play nice with you. They aren't going to sit there and watch you make a play. They are going to come out and knock your head off. That's the kind of mentality you have to bring to the field every day and that is what our team has been about for the last 4-5 years and that is what it is going to continue to be about.
So you take it upon yourself to bring that kind of intensity?
Yeah I do think I take that upon myself to be the instigator as far as hitting and stuff.
I was going to interview Ryan Cook but as he walked up I kept hearing "crush your skull just to see the pus run out your ears… and he was kind of laughing with the guys about his skirmish today with Marcus Parker. I have to say Marcus has some guts as well. Not many guys go after Cook but Parker is the first I've ever seen step up to the big man.
I'm going to do some things a little different tonight, as I didn't get off work till late so it is all quick hitters.
Offensive quick hits
Paul Baker has is explosive. Baker took a handoff looked to go up the gut, saw a crease to the left, exploded through the hole and 40 yards and a blink later was in the end zone.
I think the offensive line has to get some credit tonight as not only did they spring Baker for a nice touchdown, but also Daniel Ramirez took one in over the right side, and there were some excellent runs by Martelius Epps, and Adrian Byrd as well.
JUCO Tr. Chris Nelson showed his wheels today as he had a couple of really nice runs when he had no receivers to throw to. He is a big guy with some escapability.
Marcus Smith running the option is going to be nice. This guy is just getting better and better and his confidence just keeps growing.
#85 TE Chris Mark is a big guy 6-5 250 and gives a nice target to any quarterback the Lobos put out.
Another TE that is looking good. JC Transfer John Mulchrone
Defensive Quick Hits
Evroy Thompson is going to have a huge year. The guy is so quick and tenacious to the ball.
CB Jerrell Malone has put on some weight and looks to be ready for a breakout year. He has quietly had a nice couple of days in spring. He nearly had a TD but dropped it.
DeAndre Wright also had a touchdown slip out of his hands. Oh those Lobo safeties.
I wish there was more for the defense but in my opinion… they were shoved around today. The offensive play of the Lobos was flat out better. It may have something to do with the fact they couldn't drill the offensive players completely as they had to stay standing…
I will end it with some words of wisdom from Robert Turner about the guys in the white jerseys (defensive practice jerseys.)
They better strap it up tighter tomorrow because I'm just getting my pad level back and into the swing of things.
Offensive player of Practice
#87 WR Anthony Carter
AC consistently made the tough diving catches, the receptions that moved the chains, and I don't think he dropped a single pass.
Defensive Player of Practice
#28 Safety Darvin Peterson
Yet another Lobo safety that has been stepping up and making plays. Today on successive plays Darvin nailed two running backs with the kind of hits that make you go OUCH!
Saturday the Lobos will be in full pads. Make sure and come to TheRedMenace.com for all the latest stories and VIDEOS from Lobo spring practice!