Greg Little Has Nice Morning Practice

SAN ANTONIO - First and second strings started to form at the East's second day of practice in preparation for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and a few Notre Dame commits have found themselves taking most of the first-team reps. Receiver Greg Little and defensive end Justin Trattou look like starters early in the week, as does linebacker Aaron Nagel.

Some people thought Nagel might have been in over his head here in San Antonio. But from all over the field at Gustafson Stadium you could hear, "yeah Nages, good job Nages!"

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Lemont, Ill., product showed good sideline-to-sideline speed from his weakside linebacker spot. He is also pretty physical. On two straight plays, Nagel came from the weakside of the field and stopped the running back. The first time, the quarterback optioned to keep as Nagel took away the back as an option. The second time, the running back was stopped after gaining a couple yards.

Nagel also looked better in 11-on-11 pass coverage.

When Little was lined up, the ball normally came his way. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder does a nice job of using his size to dominate corners on short routes. He's not afraid to go over the middle and reach up for the ball. Little can also stretch the field proving that he is the total package.

It didn't matter who was covering him, whether it was Eric Berry or Marcus Gilchrist, Little could create enough space to get open on possession-type receptions. Little did a fine job of catching the ball in traffic. He was the best offensive player of the morning practice, and it showed when he caught an over-the-shoulder pass with Gilchrist nipping at his heals for a long gain.

The book on Trattou seems to be that he is much better at pinning his ears back and rushing the passer than playing against the run. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Trattou had problems pushing off 6-foot-5, 330-pound Anthony Davis and getting to the ball carrier. In Trattou's defense, run blocking is Davis' strength.

Ben Martin, a potential Notre Dame commit was very disruptive to the passing game, and took most of his reps with the first team opposite Trattou. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound defensive end looked better than he did Monday and earned praise from a coach. He is very quick coming off the edge. Big Chris Little had a tough time getting a hand on him.

Lorenzo Edwards ran with the first team most of the morning. He didn't stand out as much as yesterday, but he is still the best linebacker on the East.

Robert Hughes was the running back that spent the most time with the first team. The 5-foot-11, 228-pound Chicago product is quick and shifty. If nothing is available inside, he did a nice job of popping out to the edge, even with all the good speed around him. Something was bothering him during the first practice, but it didn‘t appear to affect his play. I couldn't quite hear what it was.

Duval Kamara saw most of his action with the second team. His hands weren't as sure as they were Monday, but he still looked good running routes, and getting open. The ball didn't come his way much.

Gary Gray was also mostly with the second team. He looks about the same size as Darrin Walls in his pads. He is going to have to get stronger, as the bigger receivers like 6-foot-2, 205-pound Arrelious Benn have no problems pushing him off when he is trying to jam. Gray has shown good speed though. On one play, he fell down while trying to jam Benn at the line of scrimmage, but caught back up with the blue-chip receiver down the field.

Linebacker Chris Donald saw most of his reps with the second team.

Chris Little, who was starting at right tackle, is much better at run blocking than pass protection at this point. He is slow in his back step and struggles to get a hand on quick defensive ends. But if the 6-foot-5, 340-pounder does get his hands on you, you're out of the play.

Wright and Berry just fly around at corner and make plays. Wright even got into it with quarterback Matt Simms about not throwing in his direction. However, on that same play Simms hit Little for that long gain over Gilchrist.

Marvin Austin continues to be a load in the middle of the defensive line. One of the coaches is calling the big 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle, Super Marvin.

While Greg Little had quite a good morning practice at receiver, Deonte Thompson was the most electric. The 5-foot-11, 186 pound speedster is a very tough match-up in the open field. He is a smooth route runner, and changes directions very quickly.

The East team was in helmets and shells in the morning and will be in full pads for the afternoon practice. Top Stories