Spring Practice (Halfway Point)
With the halfway point of spring practice already here, we get some insight as to how some key battles and players are looking so far this spring. There a lot of young players vying for quality reps and potentially starting spots. (Offensive Notes) --Running back Stedman Mayberry is getting a lot of reps. At 5'10", nearly 190lbs, he could be the next version of Terrance Franks to compliment Rob Lowe. He's bigger, but not quite as fast. --At split end, sophomores Brice Gunter and Demun Mercer are the front runners to step in for departed senior Ben Ijah. Both have similar size being 6'3" and 6'2", but Mercer is the faster of the two. --Probably the biggest departure to fill on offense is that of Bradley Miller at tight end. Getting back a healthy Ryan Carden is huge, but so has been the addition of mid year signee Chris French. One coach referred to his performance this spring as "Solid." Throw in youngster Gabe Schrade and senior Lawrence White, the tight end spot could be very deep for the 'Cats. --In the trenches, the offensive line could be the best position of all the offense. The 1st team rotation has been Ryan Melton at left tackle, Felix Romero at left guard, Brandon Sarabia at right guard stepping in for Charlie Tuttle, and Adrian Bellard manning the right tackle spot. At center it's been a rotation of three players: Tryston Mizerak, Kannon Mackey, and Jackson Hoskins, with no clear leader at this point. A source went on to say that Mizerak can play all 5 spots on the line and he's just really football smart. (Defensive Notes) --At linebacker, Trey McGowan has slid into the Sam spot. He showed as a junior he can be a beast at the position. At the Mike spot, Jerrid Jeter-Gilmon, Stephen Smith or Teron Fitzgerald could prevail as the starter. Just like French, coaches feel Fitzgerald has been a solid performer this spring. His 6'4" 227lb frame, with sub 4.6 speed make him a physical freak of talent. --Defensive line has been interesting, as D-End Karee Berry sits out the spring rehabbing from a shoulder injury. Teammate Jeff Banks is arguably having the best spring of all the d-lineman. As he showed last year, he has a quick first step off the edge and has been making plays. On the interior, Mershad Dillon and Dallas McClarty are anchoring the middle with the 1st team. --With the departure of Germod Williams at safety, that leaves 3 spots to fill in the secondary. Javante O'Roy is really impressing and looks to have the other corner spot on lock. Three names to keep an eye on as a 3rd corner are Brandon McDowell, red shirt freshman Andrew Aneke, and sophomore Clarence Guidry. When asked, BI was told those three should see significant reps this coming fall. --Originally, the graduation of Colby Targun was big enough, but now the up and coming junior to be (Williams) is gone. Since the Bobcats deploy a 4-2-5 as the base defense, the three safeties are a key to making this type of defense successful. At Free Safety, Damani Alexcee and Easy Anyama are getting reps. Strong safety has been Dila Rosemond and Stephan Johnson, while the "Wolf" safety has been a battle between Aaron Shaw and Demetrius Woodard. Shaw did start the majority of last season. Once spring practice resumes, we'll look to have more updates on position battles and the overall flow the team.
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