Fall Practice Report #5
Graham Harrell had another solid performance, with one particularly great throw that was perfectly lobbed over defenders into Robert Johnson's hands. Harrell is accurate on almost every throw, and has all the tools to be an extremely effective pocket passer. Graham is very close to a prototypical quarterback for Leach's Air Raid system, and is poised for a huge season.
Chris Todd rebounded from yesterday's struggle in a big way this afternoon. Todd was checking to the shorter routes much more than usual, and became more effective because of it. Todd was also impressive on one particular play in which he pump faked short and then found Danny Amendola for a 35-yard TD. Chris Todd is the most talented Freshman QB that I have ever seen.
Taylor Potts is still the star of the backup QBs, and Shaw is as yet to arrive. Christian Sterling is getting closer and closer to becoming a full-time receiver, and has very good hands from what I have seen. It will be interesting to see where Shaw fits in when he arrives.
Harrell 16-20, 151 yards, TD
Todd 16-21, 172 yards, TD
Shannon Woods was the most impressive of the running backs today, looking almost untouchable in his runs to the outside. He was solid catching out of the backfield as well, bailing out the quarterbacks on multiple occasions. That being said, Baron Batch was almost as good with his performance. Batch has good hands most of the time, but he did muff one of the kickoffs that went his way today. He saw KR duty today along with Jamar Wall and Shannon Woods. Baron is very talented in multiple areas, and provides the team with an additional rushing, receiving, and special teams threat. Kobey Lewis' playing time this afternoon was very limited.
Full Scrimmage Statistics:
Shannon Woods: 5 rushes for 30 yards; 3 catches for 20 yards
Baron Batch: 3 rushes for 6 yards, 2 catches for 23 yards
Kobey Lewis: 1 rush for 6 yards
Robert Johnson was the most statistically productive of the receivers today with his great touchdown, but the ball was spread around evenly in today's practice. Danny Amendola scored the only other TD today, and continues to look more elusive than ever. Joel Filani was dominant in the 1-on-1 drill today, but saw extremely light duty in the 11-on-11 drill. L.A. Reed is truly a talented blocker and receiver, although he got in a slight altercation with Steven Harris after some intense blocking in the screens drill. Michael Crabtree made two great catches today, but dropped what would have a touchdown on a surprise RoJo double pass. Still, his blocking continues to be one of his strengths, as Crabtree got some time with the kick return blockers today. Adrian Reese was the big surprise today, though. He proved to be a talented receiver with his 6'6" frame, and absolutely bowled over one of the DBs for a big gain. Landon Hoefer did a good job getting open today. Chris Cunigan was moving well this afternoon, and had a few catches. Grant Walker had a quiet afternoon, as did Jarrett Hicks. David Schaefer continues to be worked in as a blocker who can become an occasional receiving threat. Also, there was a great Leachism today when Grant Walker and Nathan Stone tripped, fell over each other, and rolled on the ground in a heap. Mike's assessment of the situation: "Why don't you two just get a room?"
Cumulative Practice Statistics:
Robert Johnson: 5 catches for 67 yards, TD
Danny Amendola: 4 catches for 49 yards, TD
L.A. Reed: 6 catches for 45 yards
Michael Crabtree: 3 catches for 38 yards
Adrian Reese: 3 catches for 35 yards
Landon Hoefer: 3 catches for 23 yards
Chris Cunigan: 2 catches for 14 yards
Grant Walker: 1 catch for 12 yards
Jarrett Hicks: 2 catches for 11 yards
David Schaefer: 1 catch for 6 yards
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Ofa Mohetau and Louis Vasquez both showed up for practice. Vasquez did an excellent job on a few kickout blocks today, and Ofa got downfield for a great block. Their presence obviously helps the line, but that's not to say that there isn't talent backing them up. Chris Olson had a huge afternoon, and appears to be sliding into the second-string LT spot. Glenn January is fighting hard to protect his spot, though. Marlon Winn is also rapidly improving. In a bit of unfortunate news, Brandon Carter suffered an injury this afternoon, so we will keep you apprised of developments in this situation. The Offensive Line played well, but the Defensive Line stepped up once again to battle it out.
The energy that the Defensive Line played with yesterday seemed to carry over a bit today. Richard Jones was a welcome surprise with his disruption of the backfield. Keyunta Dawson also read a play extremely well and blitzed through a hole for what would have been an unimpeded shot at Chris Todd, which he thankfully held up on. Chris Hudler and Ken Scott are a dangerous team with their power and reaction time. The Defensive Ends were doing an impressive job of stretching the play, and forced the running backs to really use their speed to get outside.
There were a few position changes here today, as Taylor Read and Blake Collier have switched positions, with Read moving to OLB and Collier to SS. Read recorded a TFL on Baron Batch, while Collier worked on technique with the scout team. Kellen Tillman had another good day, recording a nice deflection on what would have been a big completion. Fletcher Session, Brock Stratton/Paul Williams, and Kellen Tillman have been getting the most playing time at the starting spots, with Brent Slaughter and Chad Hill complementing the group. The unit was not as dominant as it was on Wednesday, but had plenty of good moments.
Brent Nickerson was the gamebreaker today, with two very impressive deflections. Chris Parker was back in pads today, and was playing well. It seems that they are giving him light duty in order to avoid reaggravating an injury so he can be healthy for the season. Pete Richardson was not as great as yesterday, but did show fantastic speed to run down Shannon Woods and prevent a TD. Joe Garcia had another strong outing with a TFL, but appeared to be fighting pain in his ankle a little bit. Nathan Stone recorded a big hit, and continues to work his way up the depth chart. Antonio Huffman might be the best 1-on-1 defender on the team. Darcel McBath is just a good all-around player. The unit made it tough on the receivers this afternoon, and that is truly a noteworthy task.
Now lets hand out some awards:
Best Overall Unit:
Best Individual Performance: (tie)
Mr. Underrated: (tie)
Best Newcomer: (tie)