Fall Practice Report #1
Photo Gallery - Coming soon
-Brock Stratton -
-Graham Harrell -
-Keyunta Dawson -
Graham Harrell had a solid afternoon, and seems to make the fewest mistakes of all of the QBs. The stats say he had an uncharacteristic INT today, but the stats don't factor in that the pass was in the right spot and was bobbled right into a defender's arms. Harrell still makes the quickest decisions, and usually the best as well. Graham has earned the right to be the next great Red Raider quarterback with his consistency.
Then again, you could make the same case for Chris Todd. One could liken Graham to Kliff Kingsbury and Todd to B.J. Symons. Both were phenomenal Red Raider QBs, but accomplished their greatness in different ways. Harrell is the more conservative of the two, while Todd is the more risk/reward type of player. Chris threw the ball well again, but made a poor decision throwing into coverage on a pass that should have been picked off, but was dropped.
The backup QBs had to face the starting secondary for most of the day and struggled, as would be expected. Taylor Potts was the most impressive of this group with his throws. Christian Sterling is getting some time at quarterback as well as receiver. Rowland was good, but not great today. Most of this group struggled with their passing today, as the starting DBs played tough against the backup WRs. Still, it was an unfair matchup to begin with.
Harrell 19-29, 183 yards, 3 TD, INT
Todd 16-25, 129 yards, 4 TDs
Full Scrimmage Statistics:
Shannon Woods: 5 rushing attempts for 45 yards; 4 catches for 20 yards
Pete Richardson: 2 rushing attempts for 18 yards
Baron Batch: 1 rushing attempt for 3 yards
It was all about the starters today. Danny Amendola was a red-zone touchdown machine, and he made a spectacular sideline grab that was the highlight of the practice. His cuts simply aren't fair to ask DBs to cover. Robert Johnson had a huge day as well, with two nice TDs today. Jarrett Hicks got more involved as well, which was nice to see. Filani impressed with his ability to work the sidelines. L.A. Reed is going to be a damn fine Y TE. He has a deadly combination of size, strength, hands and speed. Grant Walker has earned some playing time as well, and may be the big surprise to opponents next season. Overall, the receivers did very well today, but then again, they were facing the backup secondary.
Cumulative Practice Statistics:
Robert Johnson: 6 catches for 83 yards, 2 TD
Danny Amendola: 5 catches for 47 yards, 3 TD
Jarrett Hicks: 5 catches for 43 yards, TD
L.A. Reed: 6 catches for 42 yards
Todd Walker: 3 catches for 23 yards, TD
Grant Walker: 3 catches for 28 yards
Joel Filani: 2 catches for 19 yards
The offensive line was damn impressive today. The line was experimenting with the left side all day long today, and all the combinations of January/Vasquez/Mohetau did well. Hall and Ramirez were good, as they always are. No one touched a quarterback today, even when they took a bunch of time in the pocket. Also, the holes that they opened up allowed some big gains for the running backs. Their effort today was truly awesome.
The Defensive Line was playing well today, but the Offensive Line was just unstoppable. Chris Hudler and Dek Bake were playing fierce all day long, and a lesser O-Line unit would have crumbled under the pressure that they were putting on. Sandy Riley was also looking strong, and adds depth to a unit that lost some of it due to player departures. Keyunta is still a beast, and will be utilized as a half LB/half DE. This means that he will likely still be a dominant force for the defense next year, and could cause some confusion for opposing offenses.
The Linebackers stepped up their game today. Brent Slaughter got an INT from great LB coverage, Kellen Tillman nearly took Kobey Lewis' head off, and Victor Hunter had an impressive pass deflection. Furthermore, Brock Stratton is looking as fast as ever, running stride for stride with the speedy Kelly Hildebrandt. It is very welcome to see this unit play well despite all of the position changes and uncertainty.
Darcel McBath was again a very strong coverage player today. McBath simply has a nose for the ball, and will be something special indeed. Chris Parker was also running around full speed this afternoon, which made me smile. Joe Garcia seems to be taking it a little easy on his ankle, but still did well today. Marcus Bunton plays with a ton of intensity, and looks like he truly hates having to restrain his tackling of the wideouts due to the no-pads situation. Antonio Huffman also had a solid practice today, shadowing his man very well. Jamar Wall continues look like a star in the making with his speed. Wall was also worked in on punt and kickoff returns as well. The guy is just that good. Overall, there was some very good coverage today despite the DBs' restrained duty.
Now lets hand out some awards:
Best Overall Unit:
Best Individual Performance:
Best Newcomer: (tie)