Practice Report #5 - Newcomers Add Shoulder Pads

Freshmen Walter Thomas, Stephen James and Brandon Pettigrew impress during morning workout. Prentiss Elliott and Seth Newton also look good catching the ball.

Mother Nature again caused a change in the sechedule this morning as the mixture of Cowboy newcomers and selected veterans had to wait almost two hours before going through their morning workout. Head coach Les Miles and his staff adjusted the schedule early this morning following heavy rain overnight and early in the morning in the Stillwater area. Originally scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., the practice started at 10:40 a.m.

The addition of shoulder pads to the practice wardrobe really didn't produce that much of a change. The offensive and defensive linemen got into some contact work with a modified inside drill and a separate one-on-one pass rush period. No surprise, the coaching staff was very impressed. Miles, in particular, was singing the praises of 6-6, 320-pound defensive tackle Walter Thomas. Thomas may not be in tip-top condition, but his effort reminds everyone of Brad Girtman. Thomas went hard in all the drills this morning and really couldn't be contained.

The same names seem to continue to pop up in the newcomer practices, but a new name showed up in the secondary as Galena Park North Shore safety Stephen James made several plays in the secondary that were noticed - including an interception in the seven-on-seven (outside) drill. James, who arrived in Stillwater with five other newcomers last January and were at OSU for the spring semester, missed most of spring practice with an injury. The 5-11, 195-pounder was flying around pretty good, and also showed an eagerness to get physical.

On offense it was familiar names as Brandon Pettigrew caught several passes and turned them into big gains. The 6-5, 230-pound tight end out of Tyler (Lee), Texas, runs like a wide receiver. Pettigrew is in with a talented crowd at tight end, but may be too good not to play.

Pettigrew wasn't alone at catching passes as wide receivers Prentiss Elliott and Seth Newton continued to make catches and plays. The major question with Elliott will be how much of the offense he can pick up and be confident in running. The coaching staff has already said they are looking for ways to get him involved. Newton is another who will be watched closely as the newcomers blend in with the veterans on Friday.

Tailback Mike Hamilton out of Melbourne, Fla., had a good morning running the football. Hamilton is another player who is at a loaded position and it appears he probably won't be needed during the upcoming season, but the 6-1, 230-pound tailback has excellent speed and is a big, physical runner.

The newcomers were to spend the afternoon in their second session of orientation with Dr. Marilyn Middlebrook and her staff in the academic support area. The players also were to hear from OSU police, athletic compliance and athletic ticket office officials. The program is both academic and behavior oriented.

The varsity will go through its regularly scheduled workout Wednesday afternoon at 4:10 p.m. The newcomers will go through their final workout before joining the returning players on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. All practices are closed to the public.

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