We'll take a quick look at the QBs again. Today, it seemed that Harrell and Hodges maintained the distance between them. Harrell didn't really do anything to close the gap between himself and Hodges. Vice-versa, Hodges didn't exactly widen the gap either. The interesting thing is that each of the top two (Hodges and Harrell) resemble past Tech gunslingers. Hodges exudes an air confidence and cockiness, much like BJ Symons. He has the stronger arm of the two and is a little quicker. Harrell is more reminiscent of Kliff Kingsbury. While he is not the most athletic or strong passer, he is smart and can dissect the defense.
8/14 Practice Report: Running Back
The running backs looked as strong as usual. Both Woods and Rawls are looking good, which is setting up a hard fight for who will take the second slot. Woods is the big back that Leach and Co. always looks for. He continues to look strong and still looks like the front-runner to hold on to the #2 slot. One thing that really stood out today was Ed Britton's ability to catch out of the backfield. Britton catches well with his hands, in perfect form. Britton isn't the only one with good hands. All the backs also had great form catching out of the backfield. That seemed to be the focus of today's position drills for the backs. Pete Richardson had some drops and that can be remedied, but even after losing Mack, the ability to catch out of the backfield won't fall off at all. As a matter of fact, it looks stronger than ever.
8/14 Practice Notes & Evals: Wide Receivers
I like to keep the order that we looked at yesterday. Hicks will definitely be #1 at X and Douglas remains as his primary back up. ROJO continues to log the reps at Y with Reed also getting a lot of time at Y as well. Filani is looking to firm his grip on Z, but Marquis Johnson looks like he could make a hard push for either starting role or considerable playing time. Danny Amendola is obviously going lock down the starting role, but the big battle will be for the #8 WR and back up at the H. It seems Eric Morris has started to separate from Slade Hodges. Morris, despite his smaller stature, is tough over the middle, taking several hits that in most cases should have jarred the ball loose. Morris is much like Amendola in build and looks to back him up as a punt returner as well.
8/14 Practice Report: In the Trenches
Today I'd like to focus more on the guys in the trenches. The depth chart hasn't changed, in my opinion. We looked more at explosiveness today. Since Tech uses two-point stances about 85% of the time, it is harder to tell explosiveness. Despite this, the top 5 OL for Tech all exhibited good release out of the three point stance. Manny Ramirez had the easiest time getting out of his stance and did a very good job consistently. Gabe Hall also showed great release out his stance. Previously, we had a hard time judging who would be the #3 Center. That job is expected to go to Josh Aleman. With Byrnes and Aleman fighting over who would get that spot, it seems that Aleman separated himself further after Brandon Jones left practice with an ankle injury. Jones is all right, but it is more refreshing to know that someone can step into the role should a backup, or starter for that matter, go down with an injury. That was the big worry heading out of spring, lack of depth. The answers are a little clearer now. With Louis Vasquez shoring up depth inside and looking to be the #3 or 4 Guard and Marlon Winn pushing for time at LT, the freshman have come in and alleviated some of the depth issues that plagued spring practice. With the way Tech rotates OL (much like DL and WR) it is so important to have that depth and skill in at least a 2-Deep. That said, the three deep could also come into play should an injury occur. We focused on the third string of OL just to provide a little more coverage into Bedenbaugh's Big Uglies. Daniel Christian will fight it out with Marlon Winn for the LT position with Andrew Johnson (another frosh) fighting Cody Baker for the #2 slot at RT. We covered Aleman as the #3 Center. Now it looks as if the #5 and 6 Guards will be Josh Morris at LG and Brandon Carter at RG. So, depth is not so much of a worry anymore. The key will be solid play by the top two OL units as a unit, and that seems to be coming along fine.