A First Glance At Summer Workouts

This is always a tough thing to do as you are watching players work out for the first time. Some are incoming freshmen and others transfers, but you are watching them in shorts and t-shirt and not in helmets and pads. I can tell you the numbers are awesome. In the past you might have a few guys taking some time off but as Rob Glass reminds me, "It's not voluntary anymore, it is mandatory now."

The numbers are excellent. When the only player late is defensive tackle James Castleman and his reason for being late was he stopped to help a woman that was in a traffic accident and had two children in the back seat, well, that is what you want to see out of your players.

By the way, Castleman looks like he is in very good shape. The defensive linemen as a group, including Ofa Hautau, Vincent Taylor, Ben Hughes as tackles and ends Jimmy Bean, Emmanuel Ogbah, Sam Wren, Vili Levini, Trace Clark, etc., look like they have been putting in the work. There is a difference between the veterans and the young defensive linemen, but there should be. I do really like Jarrell Owens.

While we are on linemen, I really like what I saw with the offensive linemen. First, Daniel Koenig has continued with his progress in being a vocal leader as a senior for the offensive line group. He is taking that responsibility very serious and is serious about the workouts being done right, proper technique, maximum effort, and the group working together.

I also like what I see with most of the players. Zach Crabtree is the example you want of a younger player that is busting his tail to get ready to contribute. Crabtree is even stronger than a year ago and up to a very solid 300 pounds. I am also impressed with the upper body of Brandon Garrett, who is bigger and stronger than a year ago out of junior college. He is making real progress coming off the broken leg in the Cotton Bowl.

I saw all the newcomers and I like the young defensive linemen. The young offensive linemen will need time. I think Matthew Mucha is really the right frame and could develop into a good player. Lem Galeai is also a good looking young player and I like the effort I see out of him. Deionte Noel and walk-on Brad Lundblade of Liberty Christian in Texas are also good young linemen. It just takes time to develop linemen at this level. It is rare for a player to come in and have a chance in those position groups.

I liked what I saw of the quarterbacks throwing the football. It was pitch and catch stuff with J.W. Walsh, Mason Rudolph and Daxx Garman throwing with good velocity.

Although I did not get to see everybody that I wanted, I will throw out a couple of young skill players because I know that is what you are thirsting for. There is always that great curiosity on the new guys. Just remember that Jhajuan Seales, Austin Hays, Brandon Sheperd, Blake Webb, and more all look like they are working very hard. Hays you can tell is really in good shape.

Tyreek Hill is doing exactly what the strength staff wants him to and he is still as exciting to think about as he was in the spring.

A few new guys that catch your attention are ...

James Washington is a worker and he has the explosion you expected based on his high school career. He has impressed his new teammates. Remember, he was even a state champion in tennis.

The hope on signing day was that running back Sione Palelei from Gonzales (East Ascension), La., would come in having successfully rehabbed his knee injury from his senior season and be ready. He has also impressed and is a hard worker with some fire in his legs. The hope may be answered.

Remember, these are workouts in shorts and t-shirts. Nothing counts until fall camp begins and the pads come on and we see where veterans have come to hold positions or challenge teammates and we see which young players are capable and prepared to contribute early in their careers.

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