The offensive linemen are as advertised. Adrien Clarke must have shed 70 pounds from last year at this time. The rest of the guys are also in the best shape of their OSU careers. … The starting O-line lined up like this today: LT Rob Sims, LG: Clarke, C: Alex Stepanovich, RG: Bryce Bishop, RT: Shane Olivea. … The second-string line went like this: LT: T.J. Downing, LG: Adam Olds, C: Nick Mangold, RG: R.J. Coleman, RT: Mike Kne.
Chris Gamble wore a white jersey for the entire practice. He did not get any reps at receiver during the one-on-one WR/DB drills. … Gamble did get several reps on punt returns and looked good. … Santonio Holmes is the backup punt returner and Ashton Youboty also got some looks back there. Holmes looks especially smooth and explosive in that role.
B.J. Sander had a good day punting. The Bucks always begin the day with special teams drills and Sander was booming long punts consistently. He also seems to be getting his kicks of much faster than when he was a redshirt freshman in 2000. Sander also looked good during the directional punting drills.
Josh Huston is the backup kicker and punter. He didn't get many opportunities at field goals today and didn't look good as a punter. He had a couple decent ones, but most were shanks.
Dustin Fox looked great today. Fox seems to have added some strength, but still comes equipped with that great speed and leaping ability. Fox did not give up a catch all practice until Jenkins caught one over him for a TD during the goalline drills.
By far the most exciting play of practice came late in the day during the full-contact goalline drills. Louis Irizarry hauled in a swing pass and seemed to be heading for paydirt, but when he stretched out the ball near the endzone, he was stripped by Thomas Matthews. Matthews scooped up the ball and headed down the sidelines for what looked to be a sure touchdown. However, at about midfield, he decided to cut back in front of the chasing Drew Carter. Bad idea. Matthews had a good five yards on Carter, but Carter finally caught up to him and dragged him down around the two yard-line. … Needless to say, Matthews took some serious ribbing from his teammates and coaches. Tovar commented that he thought Florida guys were supposed to be fast. How could an Ohio guy like Carter chase him down from behind? Assistant strength and conditioning coach Bernardo Amerson also got in some digs at Matthews' expense.
By the way, Matthews got some snaps with the first-team defense at OLB and looked pretty good. You can bet he will see the field this year in passing situations.
With D'Andrea out, Rob Reynolds, Fred Pagac, A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter took turns switching back and forth from various LB positions… Carpenter is huge. … Jason Bond (as well as Matthews) also got a long look with the first-team 'backers.
During gassers, Jay Richardson, Alex Stepanovich and Nick Mangold were consistently the fastest of the big guys.
Looking at the backup defensive linemen, it is hard to say who will end up getting the most playing time. Tackles Marcus Green and Quinn Pitcock are both looking good, as are ends Mike Kudla, Joel Penton and Richardson. Actually, Penton appeared to be getting snaps at DT and DE today.
As for the new crop of freshmen, defensive linemen David Patterson and Brandon Maupin really stood out. These two are going to be good players. … Darrion Scott mentioned at media day - after just one day of practice - that he could already tell that Patterson was a force.