"We had some good contact in middle drills and one-on-one drills, but we backed off some in team drills. We've got a big scrimmage tomorrow and I want them to be fresh. I could tell being off yesterday helped them get their energy back," said Nutt. "We expect some things to sort out with some of our personnel decisions after tomorrow, so I want their best in the scrimmage."
Friday's workout pleased the Rebel mentor.
"We had a really good practice. It started out really hot, but we got some cloud cover during team drills and had a really good workout," said Nutt. "The defense is doing up-downs in the background because they took a couple of back angles, but I love the effort they have give the entire camp. They have chased the ball extremely well and it starts with the leadership up front, which has been excellent.
(CB) Marcus Temple had a real good day. He played the ball extremely well. Overall, we got better today."
Houston will be looking for specific things in Saturday's "80-100" play scrimmage.
"We'll be looking for guys who know what to do. There are still some positions where we will be looking for depth to emerge - safety, corner. Execution, knowing their assignments and guys making plays are what we'll be looking the hardest at," he explained. "We're also looking hard for another punt returner behind Jesse Grandy. He's got a lot on his plate right now - punt return, kickoff return, wide receiver, reverse guy, slip screen guy. That's a lot. We are looking at Brandon Bolden, Markeith Summers and Derrrick Herman as likely candidates to spell him in punt return."
The format will be the same as last Saturday's - putting the ball down in different places on the field and seeing what transpires.
"We'll have one difference - we'll have a group of plays coming from the -1 - the offense starting with their backs to the wall," he said.
Next week, after Monday's off day to start classes, Nutt said the Rebs will start making depth chart/scout team decisions.
OLB Joel Kight continues to hold down the starting spot on the weak side. He believes he's ready to go.
"I'm excited. I've gotten more in the playbook. The more knowledge you have, the faster you can play and that's been my fall camp goal," said Kight. "I'm playing pretty fast, but I want to keep getting better so I can do everything I can to help the team. I never want to be considered the weak link."
Joel is an extremely intense individual and it's reflected in his play.
"My brother was very intense and he was kind of my guide. Again, it's all about helping the team and being a player they can count on. That takes intensity," he noted.
Kight isn't very tall, but he says that's not a detriment.
"As long as you know your plays and execute, height does not matter," he said.
Kight is only a sophomore, but already he's helping to mentor some of the younger linebackers, like Clarence Jackson, Ralph Williams and even Mike Marry.
"I tell them they are going to make mistakes, but just to listen to the coaches and correct as you go. I encourage them that they will get it," Kight stated. "I just tried to get better game-by-game last year and that's what I tell them to do.
"We've got a good mix of veterans and younger guys. Jonathan Cornell and Allen (Walker) help us a lot. D.T. (Shackelford) is also someone the younger guys can lean on. It's a real good situation. Some of those younger guys are further along right now than I was after my first two weeks," he closed.
DE Wayne Dorsey is the "new guy" on an extremely experienced defensive line, but he's not playing like a new guy now.
"I feel at home. Thanks to Coach (Don) Decker getting me stronger and Coach (Terry) Price coaching me up, I feel better each day," said Dorsey. "I'm a little nicked up, but that's to be expected in camp. Other than that, the best thing I can say is that I feel at home. I have a really good comfort level with everything and there's really nothing they can throw at me now that I don't have a good idea on."
Wayne's goal in fall camp was to get more physical against the run game. He feels he is doing that as each day ticks by.
"I attack that every day. I don't want to be known just as a pass rusher. I want to be a complete player and be able to do whatever the coaches ask me to do from the DE slot at a high level," he explained. "There's a lot more to being a good run stopper than meets the eye. We have gap responsibility, but we also have keys we have to pick up quickly - tackle movement, fullback movement, formations, run reads. A lot goes into it. It's not easy. If anyone could do it, everyone would be a DE.
"You look at our freshman, Carlos Thompson. He's going to get it, but he's finding out it takes time. You have to work it and study it and live it."
* Nutt and his staff took the team bowling Thursday night. Who was the best bowler? "Gerald Rivers was real good. Ted Laurent has a different style - he rolls it without putting his fingers in the holes," he laughed. "They had a lot of fun."
* A "relaxed and confident" Bryson Rose, who is leading the race to be the Rebel placekicker, had another good day Friday. With a light crosswind, the kickers let fly from 40-yards plus and Rose was perfect on all his limited attempts. Andrew Ritter, who has been a kickoff specialist thus far in his career, but is vying to be a placekicker as well, also had a good day.
* The very important "gunners" on the punt team were Cassius Vaughn and Lionel Breaux last year. With Vaughn now gone, who will team up with Breaux? It appears starting CB Marcus Temple will get the nod. The gunners, for those who don't know, are the outside coverage guys, the first ones down the field responsible for containment, on the punt coverage team.
* Breaux missed Wednesday's practice with an eye infection, but he practiced Friday in full gear. . . WR Markeith Summers (hamstring) didn't dress out in full pads, but he participated in some non-contact drills, which is a good sign the hammy is healing. . . OLB Mike Marry (hamstring, hyperextended knee) still is not participating in contact drills, but it's pretty apparent he's improving. He's doing a little more each day in non-contact drills. . . CB Cliff Coleman (farctured foot) is out for several weeks.
* Transfer Jarius Williams is looking for a home. Early this week he was moved from wide receiver to cornerback. Today, he was also working some at safety.
* A week after freshman Evan Swindall took over the top spot at center, nothing has changed. He's still number one, for now, ahead of sophomore A.J. Hawkins, but the word from camp is there is not much differential in the two and the battle rages on.
* One-on-one trench drills - the defensive line versus the offensive line - was extremely heated and physical Friday. OL Coach Mike Markuson and DL Coach Terry Price, as they always are, were into it and pushing their troops hard. There were some interesting battles that took place. A few players who stuck out were freshman DT Bryon Bennett, who appears quick off the ball and strong for a freshman; DT Justin Smith, on the comeback trail and getting some notice from Price; DT Corey Gaines, who was on the good end of some Price praise, "the best I've ever seen you" stuff; freshman OL Terrence Hackney, who showed his physical side on two or three reps; freshman DT Carlton Martin and freshman OG Jared Duke fighting to a stalemate in a tough matach; and RT Matt Hall, who also showed his physical presence. Not surprisingly, DT Ted Laurent blew up whoever got in front of him and it's quite apparent LaMark Armour is going to be hard to displace as the fourth DT in the rotation.
* As the second week of fall camp rushes to a close, the prevailing thought from our observation remains the good depth that is being developed as some younger players begin to mature and emerge. While some of them still have work to do, it does not take a keen football eye to see the coaches are gaining trust in more and more young players on a daily basis and that's what it is all about. It won't be long, in our estimation, before quality depth starts to surface in the games.
* Tomorrow's scrimmage is set for 5:30 p.m. in the stadium. It is open to the public.