Spring Practice Notes: Day 6

The coaching staff had been considering it. The quarterbacks had been pleading for it. So, on Friday morning in meetings prior to the afternoon scrimmage the offensive coaches announced that the quarterbacks would be live and could be tackled and hit when they were playing behind the first team offensive line. With the second team line the quarterbacks pulled on a green target vest to mark them hands off to the defense.

"We've been trying to get the coaches to do that," said quarterback Bobby Reid. "Coach (Mike) Gundy told us this morning, and we were excited because we wanted to bang around a little bit."

None of the quarterbacks took any big blows during the scrimmage. Tthe biggest pop was a hit by defensive end Victor DeGrate on quarterback Zac Robinson on a six-yard sack early in the scrimmage. Several defenders tried to draw a bead on Reid on a scramble later in the scrimmage, but Reid pulled a couple of escapes on the way to an eight-yard loss.

Injured and Mostly Held Out
Transfer Clint Coe sat out with the torn ACL in his left knee that he will soon have surgically repaired. The only other players that sat out the scrimmage with injuries were offensive tackle Chris Simon and freshman linebacker Donnell Williams. Williams participates in practice but is held out of contact following shoulder surgery after the end of his high school season at Houston Madison.

Gundy admitted several players were held out of much of the scrimmage just because the coaching staff knows what they can do,

"I don't need to see D'Juan Woods. I know what he can do," said Gundy. "We didn't use Adarius Bowman much because he can make plays and we know that. I'd like to hold out (running back) Michael Hamilton more but I don't have enough bodies there, so I have to play him."

Special Teams Work
The Cowboys worked extra points, field goals, punts, and punt returns in practice and within the scrimmage on Friday. Kickers Jason Ricks and Bruce "Sunshine" Redden took turns before the scrimmage banging in an extra point and field goals from 32, 42, and 48 yards - and all eight tries were good.

During the scrimmage, Ricks hit a 27-yard field goal on the west end of the field and later Redden converted an extra point on the same end. At the end of practice Ricks hit a 19-yard field goal on the east end of the stadium. They finished up with Redden hitting a 44-yard field goal on that same end, while Ricks had a 44-yard attempt blocked from the left side and then Ricks missed on a 53-yard attempt.

"We're excited about Tommy (Devereaux), (Jeromie) Tucker, and (Anthony) Parks and what they can do in returns," said Gundy. "I was pleased with the operation time on the punts. The PAT, field goal operation was good, but we had a protection flaw at the end (blocked field goal). The good news is Ricks is healthy and you still have Sunshine here. Last year we were concerned about one (kicker), and now we have two and they can kick all summer.W hoever is kicking best can start out the season."

In the punting, Matt Fodge averaged 46.2 yards a punt on five kicks, including an 80-yard punt that covered nearly 60 yards in the air and bounced the final 20 yards into the end zone. Backup Cole Reynolds was also strong on his three punts, averaging 44.7 yards. Later the Cowboys worked punt returns with four players trying their hand at it. Tommy Devereaux up first returned the ball 18 yards. Walk-on redshirt freshman Zac Ross took his up the middle and did the zig zag for 33 yards. Junior college transfer Anthony Parks had a 17-yard return down the right sideline.

Trio of Recruits on Hand
There were three recruits on hand to watch the scrimmage - oensive lineman Jason Hannon of Waxahachie, Texas, tight end/defensive end D.J. Williams of Little Rock, Ark., and defensive back Ryan Broyles of Norman, Okla. Oklahoma State has offered all three prospects scholarships prior to their senior seasons.

Also, linebacker Dominique Buchanan of Gilmer, Texas, did not attend the scrimmage and will not be visiting this weekend as reported earlier. Buchanan is scheduled to come visit the Cowboys unofficially on April 22 for the Spring Game. The 6-2, 235-pound Buchanan has said he is close to giving Oklahoma State a verbal commitment.

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