Practice Report 7 - Newcomers Get A Break

You could say head coach Les Miles was feeling charitable, but personnel may have also dictated and early end to the final separate workout for the Cowboys newcomers. The freshman combined with some of the younger veterans on the OSU squad went through a two hour workout.

Missing from the morning workout was tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The 6-5, 230 pound freshman out of Tyler (lee), Texas was moved to the afternoon workout confirming that he has been as impressive to the coaching staff as he has been to the beat media members that have seen practice. That left the newcomers with just one tight end in Ponca City product Justin Waller, eliminating anything other than one tight end or no tight end personnel groups.

The workout was rather basic as it included an inside drill, seven on seven (outside) drill, and a short team period with just about six or seven plays sprinkled with individual periods.

Offensively, Prentiss Elliott continued to play well at wide receiver making a number of catches and continuing to show his speed. Florida native and tailback Michael Hamilton played well for the second day in a row causing offensive coordinator Mike Gundy to single him out as a guy that "makes plays" and could help as early as later this season. Gundy also complimented quarterback Al Pena for the work he's done at quarterback with the newcomers in the morning.

"I think that Pena has continued to get better," said Gundy of his evaluation. "It's the most reps he's had since he's been here. He's getting better and better each practice. We like where he is and we look forward to him working with the older guys. I think that because of Prentiss Elliott's speed and ability to make plays that if he picks up on the system and stays healthy for the next 10 days then he can contribute some. We may have one of those young offensive linemen, you have Palmoore, Chatham, Chris Simon, and Washington, those guys are coming along. We throw so much at them it's hard to tell where they're at. They are in a state of confusion about this time. It will be interesting to see how Michael Hamilton comes along at tailback because he's show signs of being able to make plays. He has good hands. It's just a matter of what he can pick up in the next 10 days because that's really when you can tell whether a guy can help.

On defense, tackle Walter Thomas is a real deal prospect that will start getting a solid look when the newcomers join the varsity on Friday in full pads. Thomas does everything hard including the running at the end. He is still not in 100 percent playing shape, but he is getting very close.

Head coach Les Miles loves the group overall.

"I think they are awfully talented," said Miles of the class following their final workout before joining the rest of the squad. "They are awfully young and they are green. They will come of age sooner rather than later. It's been great newcomer practices. We had the chance to look at them very specifically and get some intensive coaching with them and move them along. Now that they have to join with the veteran players I think they will be very responsive."

Early afternoon rain has moved the final varsity workout to Boone Pickens Stadium this afternoon at 4:10 p.m. The entire squad will go through meetings and lift and then practice together in full pads at 3:30 p.m. All Cowboy practices are closed to the public.

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