Early on in one-on-one drills, Davis beat sophomore cornerback Josh Turner by about seven yards on a deep route. The next time the two matched up, Davis caught a short pass, then reversed directions so hard that Turner fell down. But let's not pick on Turner: Davis was a tough matchup for everybody he went against. And maybe the most encouraging sign came after a route when Davis approached receivers coach Darrell Wyatt about how to run it better. It's a fine line between realized and unrealized potential, and Davis certainly appears ready to put himself in the first group.
As for Hales, what more can you say than: it's spring? The annual spring All-American was impossible to deal with, making the two more acrobatic catches of the day. He didn't separate as well as Davis did, but when there was a ball in the air, Hales did a magnificent job of coming down with it. He later scored a touchdown in a red zone situation on a bubble screen from freshman quarterback Connor Brewer.
The coaches can call it a competition all they want, but if things play out the way that they did Friday (and granted, it's one practice), it won't be long before David Ash has the starting job sewn up. Ash was excellent, looking decisive and making several big-time throws and showing the maturity to dump it off when he needed to. McCoy, meanwhile, struggled to find his range. If McCoy doesn't pick it up, he could find himself fighting for another job, the second-team spot, with Brewer. Brewer didn't receive many reps on Friday, but did well in those limited touches.
There was a HUGE emphasis on the passing game, and with most plays being blown dead before players were taken to the ground, it was tough to get a feel for the running game. Still, Joe Bergeron had a couple of nice runs, Ash looked good on zone reads and Jeremy Hills showed more decision and burst than he did last year.
Having said all that, I like Ryan Roberson as a fullback. He out-toughed Jordan Hicks in a one-on-one drill at midfield, then did a nice job of opening a hole for Bergeron later by getting a great block in space on Tevin Jackson.
Marquise Goodwin was awfully good as well. Goodwin, who has been participating in track, came out Friday and showed very little rust. He made several nice catches and showcased the speed and quickness that give him big-time potential.
Miles Onyegbule had a rough day. Onyegbule dropped five or six passes in various drills and didn't appear all too comfortable.
The coaches are high on Sedrick Flowers, so it's hard to get too down on him. But he was consistently dominated by monster junior defensive tackle Brandon Moore. Moore destroyed Flowers in a one-on-one contact drill at midfield, then spent half of the scrimmage in the backfield. It probably says more about Moore than Flowers, but still, a tough day for the redshirt freshman.
Give Stacy Searels credit for not falling into the typical spring lull that encompasses a lot of staffs. I've been covering college football for 10 seasons, and coaching in the spring is typically more laid back fare. But Searels was fired up, throwing his hat on missed blocks and coaching all of his players extremely hard. In a way, it was a microcosm of the entire staff, which showed a ton of energy and vigor. There's an urgency there.
Donald Hawkins and Trey Hopkins could be a nice combination on the left side, with the former player at tackle and the latter at guard. Hawkins was beaten by Alex Okafor in the one-on-one drill, but settled down in the scrimmage and did a great job of protecting Ash's blind side. Hopkins has outstanding mobility for an interior lineman. Center Dominic Espinosa had more troubles, and appeared to get a large portion of Searels's ire. Camrhon Hughes also earned a few choice words from the coach.
The kickers made them when they counted. Ben Pruitt and William Russ weren't very accurate in drills. But once they went to scrimmage, both kickers drilled through a 32-yarder, right down the middle. So there could be some concern there, if Coppell standout Nick Jordan isn't ready to go.