SMU Fall Camp Notebook: Day 15

Come inside for stories and notes from today's football practice!

Nlemchi Has Team Mentality

Not everybody can sit in the front seat.

Sophomore K.C. Nlemchi has sat patiently in the back waiting for his turn at shotgun, but the time has not yet come.

Nlemchi has had the unfortunate pleasure of sharing the same field with former SMU star Zach Line and now ranks behind projected starter Traylon Shead on the depth chart.

Alongside Nlemchi is a stable of young running backs highlighted by Line's younger brother Prescott and pass-catching threat Collin Lagasse, who has impressed in fall camp thus far, as well as scat back Ronnell Sims.

But Nlemchi does not show feelings of envy towards his teammates nor malcontent to his coaches, instead he keeps his nose to the grindstone and plays his role the best he can.

"It all goes back to the saying don't count the reps, make the reps count," Nlemchi said. "This camp is all about being mentally prepared, and I feel like I've progressed. So I just have to continue to gain the trust of the coaches and be ready when my number is called."

Nlemchi struggled to get a solid grasp of the playbook in his earlier years on the Hilltop but now the former three-star recruit out of Katy Cinco Ranch feels confident in his abilities to execute his assignments to the tee.

"I'm on point," Nlemchi said. "Coach can ask me anything from that running back position, and I really feel confident that I know it. I feel like a veteran at the position."

With this being his third year in the system, Nlemchi is no longer focused on just himself. Taking on a leadership role and helping his younger teammates in the system is something he believes will make the team better.

"As a veteran you have to influence the guys around you and encourage them to be the best that they can be," Nlemchi said.

As far as getting playing time on the field this year, Nlemchi believes the coaching staff will do what they feel is best for the team. Whether that means him seeing a bulk of the carries behind Traylon Shead or only a few touches a game, Nlemchi's sole focus is doing what he can to make the team stronger. Everything else will sort itself out.

"It's all about maintaining that positive energy," Nlemchi said. "Although we're competing, although we're all striving to be the best, if you think about it it's making the team better because everybody wants to eat. It's a team deal, and it's a blessing to be with those guys.

"We're trying to take things to the next level here at SMU man, and I truly believe that as a family we can turn this thing into something great, and that's all I want to do. It's all love over here."

VIDEO: QB Coach Dan Morrison

Practice Notes

- Big teaching day for the coaching staff. June Jones spent a good deal of time talking to the offensive line about various blocking schemes and situations. Tom Mason did the same on defense.

- Kevin Pope was a little more vocal than usual today

-Lincoln Richard is relentless when he's fresh. Sideline to sideline kind of guy. He can get a little fatigued though during longer drives, but that's not unlike anyone else.

- Great touch on a ball from Garret Gilbert to Cedric Lancaster, who burnt Jonathan Yenga. Usually Gilbert has heat on his balls but this one had that touch that you like to see on some of those in the corner of the end zone type of balls.

- Defensive line did a really good job of bringing pressure today.

- Derek Longiria made a nice play vs. Collin Lagasse downfield. He's having a really great camp.

- This year it looks like the D-Line will benefit from good coverage on the back end more so than the other way around.

- Lagasse made Brian Cramer fall with the shake and bake.

- Ryan Walker dropped a perfectly placed ball by Gilbert in the end zone. Way too many dropped balls today.

- Neal Burcham looked good in practice. He moved the offense well today quickly and with efficiency. He and Gilbert both gave the defense a lot of problems.

- Jeremy Johnson and Jay Scott have a vendetta on the field. They always want to outdo each other.

- Elie Nabushosi is the truth. Guy will be a beast for SMU in the future.

- Kenneth Acker and Randall Joyner fired up Darrian Wright because he wasn't on the field for a play. Those two were not happy campers today.

- Marcus Holyfield had been having a great day until he fumbled 30 yards down field. That was the only turnover the defense forced today.

- Burcham threw a beautiful pass between three defenders to Jeremiah Gaines who almost made a fingertip grab but he dropped it.

- Beau Barnes looked really good. Got great penetration today.

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