East Gets Right Down to Business

SAN ANTONIO - When it was the East's turn to hit the field Wednesday morning, there wasn't much position stuff, they pretty much got right into scrimmaging. The team was much more up-tempo than the West, and the hitting was a notch up from the team beforehand.

Notre Dame commits, 6-foot-3 205-pound receiver Greg Little, 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end Justin Trattou, and 5-foot-11, 165-pound cornerback Gary Gray were running with the first team. Irish recruits, 6-foot-5, 340-pound right tackle Chris Little, defensive end 6-foot-5, 225-pound Ben Martin, 6-foot-2, 221-pound strongside linebacker Lorenzo Edwards and 6-foot-1, 204-pound defensive back Major Wright also started. Wright moved around on the defense, giving the East the ability to go from a 4-3 formation to a nickel package without substituting.

Irish recruit, Robert Hughes was the second running back in behind Florida commit Chris Rainey. He normally made the first guy miss, and teammate Joseph Barksdale called the 5-foot-11, 228-pound runner a "Jamal Lewis with moves." He gained around 15 yards on five carries, and picked up the free blitzer well in pass protection. That's something very important in the Notre Dame offense.

Martin was a beast again. He was in the backfield several times, getting his hands on the quarterback, and on one play, he blocked a wide receiver screen pass.

Gray covered every receiver the East had, and did a nice job of sticking in the guy's back pocket. He dropped one interception. He did a good job of covering future teammate Duval Kamara, on a down-field pass. A coach had to encourage Gray to get excited after the play. Gray hasn't shown much emotion all week.

Greg Little is doing nothing to hurt his case as the best receiver here. He ran his routes well, and when the quarterback was flushed from the pocket, he instinctively ran with the signal-caller and hauled in a first-down pass near the sideline. He also caught the longest pass of both scrimmages, getting down field for about a 40-yard reception, then making two guys miss and gaining an additional 10 yards after the catch. He also hauled in a nice post route, showing again, his versatility.

Trattou tipped one pass that was intercepted. He did a good job of disrupting several pass plays. The East's defensive line is very good, and should bother Jimmy Clausen and the other West quarterbacks.

Chris Donald and Aaron Nagel ran with the second unit. Only one good job Nages from coaches today as he sniffed out a running play.

Rainey had a nice 40-yard touchdown run, going right up the middle on an inside draw untouched.

Martez Wilson blocked three extra points and a field goal.

Wright's hamstring was a little tight at the end of practice.

Chris Little looked really good attacking defensive ends, but again in pass protection, guys like Martin, Trattou and Martez Wilson were able to beat the big fella into the backfield. Little ran well on stretch plays showing good athleticism in that department.

Kamara, came out with the second group of receivers. He had a few catches on short and intermediate routes. Nothing flashy, just consistent.

Edwards ate up his hole side of the field, limiting the action in his area. He did a good job of covering tight end Aaron Hernandez in the flat.

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