Spring Practice Notes 3/21/2013

The Texas Aggie football team resumed spring practice with a Thursday afternoon workout in front of Texas high school coaches in town for a coaching clinic on the Texas A&M campus. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop has this summary report of the action on the practice fields.

At practice today, there were a bunch of high school coaches in attendance with the high school coaches clinic in progress. Manvel's coach was there along with his son 2014 OL Koda Martin. He was in a warm-up so it was difficult to judge his body, but overall I thought he was fairly thin for an OL prospect. Martin was definitely getting the red carpet treatment and at one point Luke Joeckel was in his ear discussing the OL drills and giving him the inside skinny. FYI, Martin is roughly the same height as Joeckel...possibly a half-inch shorter but pretty close to the same height. He has a lot of filling out to do before he gets to college, but every major college coach seems he'll do it.

The other big development at practice was Kimo Tipoti moving over to the defensive line. Frankly, this was inevitable. He doesn't have a classic OL body. He's more of a big, stocky three-technique DL in the middle clogging up space. He helps some with depth in the spring, but to speculate whether he can actually help in the fall at this point is way too premature.

Maybe I missed him, but I don't recall seeing Kenneth Marshall the past two sessions. It happens in this environment when there are so many players, coaches, and student managers running around, so I"ll make a note to look for him on Saturday but to my knowledge I haven't seen him since the team returned from spring break.

Malcolme Kennedy had his left leg in a boot/cast and was stretching with the injured players. He was putting weight on it and did not have crutches, so my first thought is the boot is a precaution as this point but I will look to find out for sure his status.

We observed two more live 11-on-11 sessions (no hitting). The first unit defense completely shut out the first unit offense and I don;t think they gave up a completion in the 4-5 plays we watched. On the first play, Tyrone Taylor was credited with sacking Johnny Manziel on the first play. The defense was in what I think was a 3-3-5 package (it's hard to see the other side of the field with so many coaches and student trainers/managers on the field blocking our view) with Alonzo Williams in the middle flanked by Gavin Stansbury and the younger Taylor. Nate Askew was playing in a two point stance as a rush (joker) linebacker. He did a pretty good job over getting pressure on the outside.

The rest of the LB's were Donnie Baggs and Tommy Sanders. The corners were Deshazor EVerett and Devante Harris with Howard Matthews and Floyd Raven at safety with Toney Hurd as the nickel back. They all did a good job in coverage shutting down the passing game. Raven was licking his chops and could have taken Derel Walker's head off over the middle but he held up and simply broke up the play. He was pretty pumped about making yet another big play in the live session.

In the special teams session near the beginning of practice, Coach Banks did a drill I'd never seen an A&M team do. They brought out basketballs and volleyballs, and for about 10 minutes worked on the proper technique to block a punt which is to come from the side and use the outstretched arms to "pick" the ball off the foot versus using the body coming up the middle to block the punt which is risky for getting a roughing penalty if the ball is missed.

In some one-on-one drills with DB's versus WR's, Devante Harris stepped in front of the WR and intercepted a pass and broke up another one. Ed Pope was easily knocked to the ground by a DB on his cut. He's going to really struggle with any physical DB's in the SEC. He simply has ZERO lower body weight...none. Surprisingly, I thought Sabian Holmes did a good job gaining separation with some very nice cuts in these drills.

A reminder....the Saturday scrimmage at Kyle is open to the public and it will begin at noon.

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