Matt Visinsky

SMU Spring Football Practice Notebook 3/4

SMU was back on the practice field on Saturday and Pony Stampede was there to grab notes and interviews.

Quarterback competition notes

There really isn't too much to report as SMU's quarterback battle saw its first day in pads. DJ Gillins is still limited so didn't work in with 11-on-11 drills. That being said, Gillins throws a nice ball with smooth delivery, but is still adjusting to timing with his new teammates. Rafe Peavey threw some nice balls as well and while he worked behind Ben Hicks, he's clearly got some experience operating the offense, which will help him as Gillins still adjusts. Ben Hicks threw with more confidence than we saw at times last season, but saw some balls sail on him and his spiral still isn't great. Peavey did throw a dart to tight end Ryan Becker in the back of the endzone for a touchdown.

Trey Quinn pushing for 1st team reps

"He's exactly the player I thought he was when I was recruiting him at Clemson," Chad Morris said of Trey Quinn. Quinn worked with the second team, but did land a couple first team reps during practice behind Shelby Walker. Quinn moved well in practice and caught a few touchdowns in 1-on-1s and pass skeleton. Quinn also showed his blocking skills, working over a few players in the Mustang Drill.He'll be one to watch as someone who can take Walker's reps more and more.

Offensive Line Shaping Up

First team LT to RT: Nick Natour, Braylon Hyder, Evan Brown, Jerry Saena and Jacob Todora. 

Second team LT to RT: Kadarius Smith, Rex Printz, Harrison Barton, Jalen Lynch and Braxton Webb. 

The highlight of the offensive line was Jacob Todora working in at right tackle  Todora was very good in pass protection, matching up against Delontae Scott and Michael Badejo and doing a good job. Former defensive tackle Jalen Lynch is working in as well with Bryce Wilds sidelined and depth being an issue. He's a mammoth out there at right guard.

Defensive Notes

Freshman early enrollee Elijah McQueen playing linebacker with the second team, made a goal line stand and a nice pass breakup over the middle. Christian Davis got some first team reps at cornerback across from Jordan Wyatt. Demerick Gary was getting to the quarterback almost at will. Gary was moved around from defensive end to inside at defensive tackle too in a way to create mismatches.

Other Notes:

  • Some of the notable players that were limited were Noah Spears, Bryce Wilds, DJ Gillins, Corey Rau, Xavier Castille.
  • Jordan Severt has made the official transition from quarterback to tight end, moving well and catching passes.
  • There wasn't a quarterback that was standing out yesterday for the most part. All were even, but Ben Hicks has taken a noticeable leadership role, urging his teammates on when making plays. 
  • Tight end Raymond Epps destroyed K. Mitchell with blocks and had a nasty stiff arm on Lancaster.
  • Xavier Jones said after practice that the running backs groups has a chance to be special this year. "We're going to be the best position group. We're going to carry the load."

Chad Morris Press Conference

RB Xavier Jones 

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