Trattou and Martin Set Up Shop In Backfield

SAN ANTONIO - The players were in full pads and the hitting was fierce during the second East practice, Tuesday at Gustafson Stadium. Defensive ends Justin Trattou and Ben Martin made themselves very noticeable during the afternoon segment.

There was a lot of 11-on-11 work, and Martin and Trattou were a tough assignment for whoever was trying to block them. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Trattou tipped a couple passes at the line of scrimmage and got to the quarterback several times. Martin was in the backfield quite a bit, and he was also tough to contain on running plays. He showed great quickness and awareness of where the ball was and flew to the area.

On one play, Martin forced the only fumble of the day, jarring the ball loose from running back Robert Hughes, and then recovering it. The Irish are still in the running for the 6-foot-5, 225-pound LaSalle, Ohio product.

Duval Kamara looked much better during the second practice, and in the first three-receiver formation, he was lined up wide right. He got open a few times and made some nice grabs down the field. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver and Irish commit still didn't see that many balls come his way.

Greg Little continued to see a lot of balls come his direction the second practice. After being the steadiest offense player of the first practice, Little continued the consistency in the afternoon. He looked shifty on a bubble screen and sharp coming out of his breaks. Little also worked out of the slot and wide positions. He was even going in motion showing a clear understanding of the spread offense.

While Martin and Trattou were excelling as pass rushers, Chris Little continued to struggle in pass blocking. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound tackle couldn't get a hand on the speedy pass rushers.

Hughes tweaked his knee at practice on Monday. The Notre Dame recruit just had to work out some stiffness during the morning practice. He continued to look like a shifty running back in the afternoon. Even on the fumble, he looked good gaining six or seven yards before Martin stripped him.

Linebacker Lorenzo Edwards, another player the Irish are hoping for, has good speed, showing that in the flat by running down tight end Aaron Hernandez from behind. On another play he made a diving attempt to intercept one of the balls Trattou tipped.

Major Wright was lining up at cornerback, safety and linebacker in the afternoon. The Notre Dame recruit looks bigger in person. He is listed at 6-foot-1, 204 pounds. He is good enough to play at all three spots in Saturday's game.

Aaron Nagel continued to earn praise from his inside/weak side linebacker spot.

Chris Donald was lining up as an outside linebacker and made a tackle on the final play of practice. He has been consistent but nothing has jumped out in two days of watching him.

Gary Gray held his own in the second practice. Irish head coach Charlie Weis always says the best cornerback is one that doesn't get noticed. Gray never really got beat in the afternoon, matching up against every receiver on the East.


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