3-28 Football Practice Notebook

The Pony Stampede staff was out at SMU football practice today. Hear from Coach Morris, Chauncey Briggs and Mason Gentry plus get your notes here!

SMU head coach Chad Morris

SMU OL Chauncey Briggs

SMU DL Mason Gentry



Matt Davis settled down after a shaky start early to make some real nice passes, especially down the field to Courtland Sutton and Jeremiah Gaines. The depth chart currently looks like it’s all Matt Davis with Darrel Colbert and Ben Hicks battling it out behind him. Jordan Severt looks like he’s the odd man out of this race even though he delivered a few nice balls. The quarterbacks worked on getting the ball out quicker during individual drills, with Joe Craddock having them drop back, move around and then throw as quick as possible when he said to. Craddock also worked on Davis keeping two hands on the ball when outside of the pocket.

Davis did a nice job of taking what the defense gave him early in practice, completing some short crossing routes to Darius Durall before he started to open it up deep to Gaines and Sutton. Hicks on the other hand, pressed too much and threw a few interceptions including two to Jordan Wyatt that had been forced while he was rolling out. Darrel Colbert had a good day, but also made some bad decisions. It’s a big plus for Colbert, who took second-team snaps most of the day, that his ability to take off is there. Hicks is still rushing his delivery and forcing too many balls. At this point, the separation is clear between Davis and the rest.

Offensive Line

Overall the group improved from last week, but there's still a long way to go. The entire group struggled when the DL ran stunts. A Number of times they had to hold to keep the DL out of the backfield. Taylor Reich can hold his own against a bull rush, but any movement by the DL makes him look like a chicken with his head cut off. Daniel McCarty held his own against Zelt Minor. Chauncey Briggs was the best OL out there and looks like he's adjusting to the speed of the game well. The second unit struggled more so than the first unit. Taylor Lasecki really needs to improve against the inside pass rush from bigger linemen like Nick Reed and Spencer Hollie.

Wide Receivers

It appears Sutton, Darius Joseph, Ryheem Malone and Gaines are getting the most reps with the starters on offense. Jeremiah Gaines caught about everything in his vicinity today. Sutton had three touchdown catches during red zone drills and had a couple catches in tight double coverage. Gaines missed a diving one-handed catch going out of bounds. Shelby Walker made a catch against the edge of the sideline. Anthony Buffini caught a deep pass from Ben Hicks. Joseph caught a 50-yard catch with one hand while drawing pass interference. Gaines caught two touchdown passes from Matt Davis, one from 25 yards, and one from 30 yards and caught a Matt Davis catch that was going behind him. The connection between Davis and Gaines appears to be building as spring goes on.

Defensive Line

Coach Buddy Wyatt had the defensive line working on everything before the scrimmage started. He ran the linemen through drills that worked on getting off the line and recognizing a hard count. He told the linemen to stay low and gain ground with the first step off the line of scrimmage. The team did goal-line work too before the scrimmage started. During the scrimmage, Zelt Minor played inside in the four-man front, as did Mason Gentry. SMU ran some three-man fronts during scrimmage, and Minor, Gentry and Spencer Hollie rotated at nose tackle. The defensive line had a solid day in the scrimmage. The offensive line created a couple big holes on some run plays, but the DL won its share of plays. Hollie powered through William Barns to break down a play. Nick Reed shot through and made a stuff on the goal line. The defense ran some stunts that the OL couldn't handle.

Defensive Backs

The biggest news of the day might have been Shakiel Randolph going down with a left knee injury. The training staff had it iced up, but it did not look good. Nothing official about what happened, but that could be a huge loss for the secondary. A.J. Justice worked in when Randolph went down. Secondary began practice today by working on intercepting balls, and returning them downfield. During one of the drills, the secondary spent time working on different types of catches they may have to make as well as recovering fumbles. The secondary definitely has a much more aggressive nature to it with William Jeanlys and James Richardson standing out as two of the more physical players in the secondary. When the defense saw time against the offense during the scrimmage it was a mix of some good coverage including a couple coverage sacks and interceptions but also did give up some big plays. Jordan Wyatt had 2 picks on the day, including one over the middle where he cut in front of the receiver.

Practice Quick Hits

— There were plenty of former SMU players out at practice including DB Chris Banjo, QB J.J. McDermott, LB Randall Joyner, OL Blake McJunkin and others.

— Right after J.R. Richardson had great coverage down the field on Sutton, Davis hit Sutton for a deep touchdown and began really working that matchup later.

— Morris’ son took a few reps during the individual period with the quarterbacks too.

— There was about a couple hundred people in the stands to watch practice along with the big group of recruits and high school coaches.

— Davis hit Prescott Line for a nice seam route with Line coming out of the slot.

— William Jeanlys is playing bigger than his size and being physical at corner with the second-team.

Kyran Mitchell made a nice breakup, running with Darius Joseph down the sideline from his rover position.

— Christian Holloway dropped an easy pass over the middle from his tight end spot.

Jerry Saena is running with the offensive line now and Holloway is fully transitioned to tight end and has trimmed down.

— Chase Schultz is listed as a quarterback, but was working at receiver today and had a nice deep catch down the field.

Daniel Gresham was in a no-contact jersey as well as Nick Horton.

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