The team practiced in full pads on Tuesday, which meant the chance for players to show off a little more physicality. Frogs head coach Gary Patterson said like every other practice he's seen in the early stages there are some good signs and bad signs.
Patterson said his team is still in the "teaching" phase of camp and that he and his coaches will learn more about his team after their first scrimmage which is scheduled for Wednesday night. He acknowledged that a few changes could be made position wise, but some have already taken place on special teams.
"We've moved some people around special teams wise; Ty Slanina is having a great camp special team's wise and he's probably one of our best receivers," Patterson said of Slanina. "He's had a great camp."
The head coach said it's common to see incoming freshmen hit a wall around this stage of fall camp, but it appears many from his 2013 class are continuing to impress him. Two of which have impressed him nearly every practice. He attributes the younger player's success on his team to the guidance from veteran players.
"Cyndey Calvin moved up and ran with the two's some (at cornerback). Sammy (Douglas) and Paul Whitmill have both run with the two's at linebacker. They're really athletic and all of a sudden they're starting to catch on a little bit. They can both run to go along with the other guys. Everyday we're improving. One thing I really like is our older players do a great job of coaching our young players. We're not happy with everything we've got going on but the one thing we are happy with is I think we have great chemistry in the house. We're still a young football team."
PATTERSON WISHES HASLEY THE BEST
News hit on Monday that senior linebacker Joel Hasley had left the team because of his lack of desire to continue playing football. Hasley, who started ten games in 2012 and was named Big 12 Player of the Week for his 12-tackle performance against Kansas looks to pursue his degree as a geologist. He has already received his degree in communication studies.
Patterson said he wasn't caught completely off-guard by Hasley's departure.
"He's three hours from graduation and I think he thought about it in the spring. He was a guy that we wanted to get on scholarship and because of the numbers we couldn't do it in the spring but I was able to put him on it in the summer and then he would've been on one all this fall," Patterson said. "I told him that he had earned the right for that to happen. I love his family, I like him. If you're not having fun anymore and you want to move on with your life, he's a geologists and he wants to get his second degree I fully understand all of it."
The departure of Hasley left a void in an already light linebacker corp. Patterson said all of the remaining linebackers will compete for the open void.
"There's six of them; you've got Paul Dawson, Mallet, Jonathan Anderson, Alex Adewunmi, Paul (Whitmill) and Sammy (Douglas)," he said. "They just keep making leaps and bounds. Sammy made an unbelievable play in middle drill today. Every day is a new day for them and we just keep growing them up."
"The key will be were not the biggest linebackers so how do we play the run, that's more of my concern right now especially in the first ball game," Patterson said.
Jonathan Anderson is one of the bigger backers on the roster at 6-foot-3, 227-pounds. Patterson said it's too early to anoint the junior as a frontrunner for a starting spot.
"Obviously he can run to the ball because he runs like a safety," he said. "He weighs 227. Kenny Cain played at 203 last year."
Michael Thompson FINISHED WITH FOOTBALL
Patterson told the media on Tuesday that junior guard Michael Thompson was giving up football due to continued knee problems. Thompson is the second offensive lineman the Frogs have lost, joining Tayo Fabuluje, who left the program prior to two-a-days.
"We found out today that medically he just can't do it," Patterson said of Thompson. "He's going to have to bow out; he just can't push off of it. He's been doing it two years and he just needs to move on and we need to move on."
The good news for the offensive line is Thompson hadn't yet broken into the two-deep. Patterson says with Thompson's loss that there's a possibility a tackle could be moved to guard. He also knows that with the losses, it will bring out better competition.
"We still have a long way to go, there's going to be some movement there," he said. "But, they understand there's a competition, I think there's a since of urgency of knowing that we don't have two guys."
NO LSU-STYLE VOTE FOR FIELDS
Patterson announced a few months ago that sophomore All-American defensive end Devonte Fields would miss the first two games of the 2013 season which includes their first game against LSU. On Monday, LSU head coach Les Miles reinstated runningback Jeremy Hill, who was put on probation after a bar fight in April. Miles said in various reports that the decision on Hill's return was left to his team, who voted to bring the sophomore sensation back.
"We have a leadership council but to be honest with you with that my whole team would vote for Devonte to back on the team too to play because they all want to win," he said. "But, that doesn't teach life lessons."
According to Patterson, since Fields' two-game suspension was announced the defensive end has done everything asked of him. However, that doesn't necessarily mean Fields will see the field before the Frogs battle Texas Tech in the third game of the season.
"I don't know, I don't think so," Patterson answered when asked if Fields could play against LSU. "He's doing everything he has and he's been embarrassed quite a bit for three months and that's one of the reasons I did it so I could change him."
Fields continues to work with the first team defense and Patterson noted that Matt Anderson, Josh Carraway and Mike Tuaua have been preparing behind Fields. Patterson is excited about Tuaua's potential.
"Tuaua has been a great surprise, he's got things to learn but he's very strong and he can run," he said.
FRESHMAN WR ANSWERING THE CALL
Patterson has said since spring that he has a very talented group of receivers, but was waiting for one to step up and become a leader. He says he's seen a few step up, but it's not a name many would've thought just a few days into camp. Especially, considering he's just a true freshman.
"Ty Slanina is the one guy. (LaDarius) Brown shows glimpses and Brandon can," he said. "But really probably Ty has been the guy right off the bat that I'd say is the guy. Cam (White) has shown some stuff."
Patterson said Terrell Lathan was banged up on Tuesday but will soon be back at practice. In Lathan's absence, it was another true freshman's turn to shine; Tevin Lawson. Patterson said the freshman looked good on Tuesday.
"Tevin Lawson had a good day because Terrell Lathan got dinged up but he'll be back," he said. "But he (Dawson) got a chance to go against the two's and one's quite a bit today which is great."
As previously mentioned, the Frogs will hold their first scrimmage tomorrow. Patterson said all the runningbacks have had good camps but the scrimmage will give his staff a better idea of who is standing out. He also mentioned that just as a precaution, Waymon James won't get as many carries.
"It will be tomorrow night and we'll find out a little more about them," he said of the runnigbacks. "Waymon will get some but he won't get a lot, as far as carries. He benched almost 500 and squatted almost 700 in testing."