Harrell, Batch shine in first scrimmage

Head Coach Mike Leach's Texas Tech Red Raiders took to the fields of Jones AT&T stadium today for their first scrimmage of the 2008 Spring Practice season. RaiderPower was there to cover all of the action including depth charts, position analysis, and awards. Come inside for the RaiderPower practice report from the April 5th scrimmage.


Quarterback :

Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell was one of only two signal callers to have a strong day today. Harrell drove the starting offense down the field each time that he was in for a touchdown and showed great touch on several of his passes. He even led Edward Britton perfectly on a go route, though Britton was unable to make the catch in the end.

Taylor Potts was off; there is no other word for it. He was sacked multiple times, seemed hesitant when throwing the ball, and couldn't seem to hit even wide-open receivers cleanly. His delivery was still slow and several times today he tried to roll out of the pocket instead of stepping up, which led to the aforementioned sacks.

Steven Sheffield and Stefan Loucks were not terrible today, though neither was particularly good. Loucks appears lost most of the time, though it is easy to assume that it is a bit of a daunting task to run the Air Raid offense without even a full year learning it. Sheffield was his usual efficient self but didn't get any help from his offensive line or receivers.

Seth Doege had an outstanding day of practice and is going to be a tremendous quarterback. Doege looked very comfortable when he was in with the scouts and had no hesitation that some of the other quarterbacks have shown. He seems to resemble Cody Hodges in the way that he leads while possessing a strong arm and a slightly taller frame.

Quarterback Depth Chart

Starter: Graham Harrell

Back-Up: Taylor Potts

3rd String: Steven Sheffield

Scout Team: Seth Doege /Stefan Loucks

Overall Grade - Harrell/Doege- A Potts, Loucks, Sheffield, C+


Running Backs:

Today was all about the Red Baron, i.e. Baron Batch. Batch was explosive all day long and looked outstanding working with the first team offense. He was by far the best performer of the day and scored one of the touchdowns early in the scrimmage.

Aaron Crawford also had a strong day of practice with a long gallop after being tripped up by nearly the line of scrimmage. Batch and Crawford would be a devastating tandem and both are capable of taking the ball a long way once they get into the open field, especially Batch.

Kobey Lewis received very few reps today as it appears that he has been moved to the second string role while Shannon Woods had another fairly good day, though not as good as he did during the week. Woods was planted by Julius Howard on a swing pass and then tackled for a loss a few plays later.

Running Backs Depth Chart

Starter: Kobey Lewis, Aaron Crawford, Baron Batch

Back-Up: Shannon Woods

Overall Grade - A-


Wide Receivers/Big H&Y:

Michael Crabtree and Detron Lewis had good days today working from the offenses right side. Crabtree made a "crabtrabulous" catch along the East sideline of the Jones after it was tipped, though he was unable to break lose to get the first down. Lewis had several nice catches and had a touchdown called back because of a false-start penalty. Lewis continues to impress and his ability to stop and start might be even better than Crabtree's.

One second Edward Britton was hanging his head after dropping a wide open pass on a go route, the next he's the hero for a tremendous catch in traffic leaning back against his momentum. Britton's biggest issues continue to be his inability to be consistent when he is outside. He was able to break loose for a 15 yard gain on an end-around and continues to impress with his tenacious downfield blocking.

Tramain Swindall and Adam James both had quiet, but effective days while Eric Morris was the least involved of the starting receivers today.

Todd Walker had a disappointing day dropping several passes he should have caught, including one that would have led to a touchdown on 3rd down. Walker is still playing with a minor hamstring pull but looked fairly fluid running routes, though he heard footsteps at times.

Rashad Hawk was quiet today, though he did have a good catch near the end of practice. Hawk continues to look to be in the best shape of the young receivers and should be able to make an impact if he can continue to work on his hands.

Receiver Depth Chart -

Z- Michael Crabtree, Todd Walker, Landon Hoeffer, Jacoby Franks

Y- Detron Lewis, Tramain Swindall,

H- Eric Morris, Adam James, Jacoby Franks, Blake Kelly, Ryan Hale (Big H)

X- Eddie Britton, Lyle Leong, Rashad Hawk, Brik Brinker

Overall Grade - A-


Offensive Line:

Mickey Okafor is human and was absolutely bull-rushed into Taylor Potts on several occasions. He looked better near the end of practice but he'll need to continue to work on his leverage as he moves up the depth chart.

Louis Vasquez, Brandon Carter, and Shawn Byrnes all had decent days, though they were by no means as dominant as they had been earlier in practice. Chris Perry showed serious strength as he forced Byrnes and Vasquez to double-team him early in practice. Carter was quiet, though he did take a few reps at right tackle today.

Justin Keown saw time with the starters while Louis Vasquez was seeing limited reps at left tackle. Chris Olson continues to look good at right guard and it seems that he has found his niche on the offensive line at that location.

There was a scare as Dominique Delpeche went down during practice today, though he did get up several minutes later with help. Delpeche continues to be a pleasant surprise of the spring working as the second right tackle.

Offensive Line Depth Chart -

Right Tackle: Marlon Winn, Jake Johnson (Injured), Brandon Carter, Dominique Delpeche

Right Guard: Brandon Carter , Stephen Hamby, Dominique Delpeche

Center: Shawn Byrnes, Stephen Hamby /Justin Keown, Blake Emert

Left Guard: Louis Vasquez, Chris Olson, Adrian Archie/Lonnie Edwards (Injured), Landon Burge

Left Tackle:, Mickey Okafor, Rylan Reed (Injured), , Jerrod Gooch, Omar Castillo

Overall Grade - B


Defensive Line :

Brandon Williams, McKinner Dixon, and Daniel Howard are all three the type of player that keeps offensive line coaches up at night. Each player worked hard today and recorded a sack. Williams is the best with the bull-rush, Dixon with speed outside, and Howard at slipping inside between the tackle and left guard.

Chris Perry was the star of the interior line early while the entire interior line had a strong day. Perry and Richard Jones worked with the second team while Rajon Henley and Colby Whitlock continue to form the first string rotation. Whitlock is getting better at his interior pass-rush while Henley showed off serious ups by batting yet another pass at the line of scrimmage.

Jake Ratliff appears to have read the practice reports and decided that he doesn't like being called out for not being a pass-rusher. Ratliff's hands are a super-speed blur as he uses a recently perfected swim move and his typical bull-rush. He may not be the best pass-rusher but he will be better than he has been in years past. Brandon Sharpe had another strong day at left end and should be able to provide quality minutes there and possibly even inside at defensive tackle in certain packages.

Ryan Haliburton got to show his stuff early and looked competent while Joey Fowler was not dressed for the scrimmage today.

Strong Side (left) end: Jake Ratliff, Brandon Sharpe

Defensive Tackle (left): Rajon Henley, Richard Jones, David Neill, Joey Fowler (Injured)

Nose Guard (right): Colby Whitlock, Chris Perry,Clint Stoffels, Richard Jones

Weak side (right) end: Brandon Williams, Daniel Howard, Sandy Riley (injured)/McKinner Dixon (out),

Overall Grade - A(tackles)/A-(ends)


Linebackers :

Bront Bird was an absolute tackling animal today with perfect form-tackles time and again. He also did an outstanding job of not letting Eric Morris get outside and forcing him back towards the defensive pursuit. Brian Duncan had a somewhat off day, at least mentally while Marlon Williams looked strong again on the weak-side.

Julius Howard was the best of the back-up linebackers today with a punishing hit on Shannon Woods early and a nice pass deflection as practice went on. Victor Hunter and Blake Collier were quiet while Tyrone Sonier seemed slightly out of it as well today.

The defense has most-definitely clicked for young Sam Fehoko as he had another tremendous day flying around the football field and actually ran down Rashad Hawk at one point.

Linebackers Depth Chart

Weak Side Linebacker: Marlon Williams, Blake Collier, Julius Howard

Middle Linebacker: Brian Duncan, Victor Hunter (injured), Sam Fehoko

Strong Side Linebacker: Bront Bird, Tyrone Sonier, Julius Howard

Overall Grade - A-


Secondary:

Brent Nickerson and Pete Richardson appeared to be the stars of the cornerbacks today with Marcus Bunton and De'Shon Sanders turning in strong performances as well. Jamar Wall didn't practice today but it was not due to an injury and he was on hand to watch and help his fellow defensive backs along.

Taylor Charbonnet broke up multiple passes today and had several near interceptions, though he was unable to secure any of them. The younger Charbonnet is in need of another 20 pounds and he could very well be a legit Division 1 cornerback.

Laron Moore didn't participate in the scrimmage today

Darcel McBath and Daniel Charbonnet were the starting safeties today and both had quiet days, though Charbonnet broke up several passes early in practice.

Stephen Harris was working with Jordy Rowland as the second string safety tandem while LA Reed worked primarily with the third string safeties.

There was an appearance by Anthony Hines today and he looks to be healing well. He was walking with no issue and didn't have a brace on. Anthony also appears to be in better shape than he was this time last year.

Secondary Depth Chart -

Right Cornerback: Marcus Bunton/Pete Richardson/Brent Nickerson, De'Shon Sanders

Free Safety: Darcel McBath, Daniel Charbonnet, Steven Harris

Strong Safety: Anthony Hines (Injured), Jordy Rowland, LA Reed/Lance Fuller

Left Cornerback: Jamar Wall, LaRon Moore (injured), Taylor Charbonnet, Jarrell Routt (injured)

Overall Grade - A-

Now it's time for some awards

Offensive MVP: Michael Crabtree

Defensive MVP: Bront Bird

Mr. Underrated: Daniel Charbonnet

Freshman of the Day: Sam Fehoko

Come back Monday for the next RaiderPower Practice report!


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