Aggie Websider Practice Report #1

The Texas Aggie football team finally hit the practice fields for the official kick-off of the 2011 season. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop will be in attendance every day filing daily practice reports. Here's his first installment, looking at the initial rotations at each position along with a few players that stood out on day one

Well, another year and another start to a very hot fall camp. The first day is completely in shorts and no pads, and the players are just getting their feet wet so you can't look too closely to these first 2-3 practices. The most you can do as an observer is give the eyeball test and look at the initial rotations. Let's start there. There are some different rotations and two units working simultaneously so I'm sure I may have missed a spot or two.

QB

1. Tannehill
2. Showers
3. Joeckel
4. Manziel

RB

Gray tweaked his hammy and was held out for precautionary purposes. There were some different rotations with Malena getting some reps with the first team.

1. Christine Michael
2. Jones/Malena
3. Tolliver
4. Randolph

WR

1. Fuller, Nwachukwu, Swope
2. Askew, McNeal, Kennedy
3. Evans, Nelson, Jackson
4. Others

OL

1. Matthews, Klinke, Lewis, Thomas, Joeckel
2. Baker, Harrison, Compton, Eike, Ogbuehi

DL

1. Jerod-Eddie, Brown, Mathis
2. Bass, Ennis, Nealy
3. Stansbury, Barrera, Scales
4. Robinson, Hatten, Wolridge

LB

There was a lot of rotation here and for some reason they wanted to look at Williams and Thomas with the second team which won't last.

1. Russell, Baggs, Stewart, Porter
2. Moore, Williams, Thomas, Ward
3. Alexander, Jenkins, Washington, Taylor
4. Patterson, Mangan, others

DB

1. Judie, Frederick, Hunter, Campbell
2. Smith, Terrell, Franklin, Harris
3. Hurd, Honeycutt, Matthews, Raven
4. others

Overall Thoughts

Each year you can see the entire roster get better and better just by looking at the caliber of athletes on the field. Two years ago, there were 30-40 quality athletes on the practice field. That number is up to 50-60. There's plenty of depth at WR, OL, QB, and DB.

Veterans That Caught My Eye

Strictly from the eye ball test, I thought several veterans looked like they made big strides in the offseason:

1. Christine Michael

Man, the guy is completely ripped. He has muscle on muscle, but what impressed me the most was his acceleration through the line of scrimmage...the guy looked like he was shot out of a cannon...literally.

2. Kirby Ennis

I thought he made the biggest move in terms of his body and frame. He's very thick now, but not a lot of body fat. He looks like a 25 year-old man. If he plays with good intensity, I think he can have a breakout year backing up Eddie Brown, and I think he sets up to have a very nice senior year as a starter.

3. Jameill Showers

I'm really liking what Showers is showing after one practice. He has a great looking physique and he's throwing bullets out there. He seems more comfortable in the pocket and he's making great throws. He hit Askew on a 40-yard strike down the sideline that was a thing of beauty. I think the QB position is in good hands for the future. I think all three back-ups are very capable of moving this offense, but if you ask me, Showers has that x-factor.

4. Cedric Ogbuehi

I could probably put several OL's in this spot, but I'll give it to Ogbuehi who has now shed his "under-sized" tag and is a legitimate Big 12 OL. I have no doubt now that A&M could lose a tackle and they will hardly miss a beat.

5. Nate Askew

Not only did he make several big catches in 11-on-11 drills, but in drills he looked quicker off the line and quicker coming out of his cuts. Last year he looked like a TE/WR tweener. Today, he looked like a big receiver.

Newcomers That Caught My Eye

1. Howard Matthews

I'm not sure if his speed with be a limitation at safety, but he's just a good looking, smooth athlete with great size for a safety. If he can show closing speed with pads on, then I think he can be a very good collegiate player.

2. Ben Compton

It should tell you something when a true freshman can impress the staff in the offseason so much that they insert him as the #2 center with a lot of returning veterans like Danny Baker who has shifted to tackle. When I asked Luke Joeckel which OL's will surprise observers this year, he said Shep Klinke and Compton.

3. Shayvion Hatten

He'll need to lose a little body fat and replace it with muscle over the next year, but I like his frame. He has the chance to be a big, big kid in the middle.

4. Donnie Baggs

I'm cheating here since Baggs showed up in the spring, but he's a true freshman and he simply looks good. I really liked his acceleration and gets where he needs to go quickly. I think he has a chance to be a starter at some point in 2011.

5. Floyd Raven

Ah, a big corner that has the quickness of a 5-foot-10 cover corner. When he was working against the third team, he was pretty dominant. They threw him in there against Jeff Fuller a few times, and the senior won those battles, but Raven was scrapping and made Fuller work for the catch.


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