Team USA U-19 Practice Roundup, Day Four

A collection of notes from Day Four of Team USA U-19 practices.

* Missouri quarterback Trent Hosick's deep ball was really working in pass skeleton. He hit Texas tight end commitment Durham Smythe for a long touchdown on the first play, then a few plays later, hit Notre Dame commitment Rashad Kinlaw for a long one. And he connected with Florida commitment Rodney Adams on a deep jump ball a few plays after that.


* The defensive front seven came up big in the scrimmage, largely shutting down the offense's ground game. A big part of that was the play of defensive linemen like Kentucky commitment Jacob Hyde, Mississippi commitment Herbert Moore and Fort Worth (Texas) Southwest's Tyler Colbert. When runners were able to get past that front line, linebacker Eric Beisel, who might have been the best defensive player the last few days, cleaned things up.


* The lone issues on the defense came in the passing game, where the offense was able to find some openings. And, with how it has been on several days, Adams was the guy who took the most advantage.


* Smythe was also heavily used. In addition to his deep catch, Smythe had a nice gain on a bootleg when he faked a down block, rolled out to his right and caught the ball along the sideline. Smythe also looked good as a deep snapper for punts.


* Chase Abbington made a really athletic play a few days ago to catch speedy Jesus Wilson on the sideline, and today he found himself at a different position: safety. Abbington is committed to Missouri as a running back, and started his week off at outside linebacker. The transition didn't take very long, as he intercepted a pass in his first day at safety down here.


* Abbington isn't the only versatile athlete down here. Credit should go to Dakota Jackson, who is headed to Virginia Tech as a tight end. Team USA needed defensive ends, and Jackson bumped to that side of the ball, where he's played well. But with only one other tight end on roster, he took some reps at that position as well.


* He's raw, but Demarcus Ayers should be a good pickup for Mike Leach at Washington State. He has the speed and suddenness to develop into a tough-to-defend slot receiver at the next level.


* Michigan commitment Logan Tuley-Tillman spent some time at offensive guard on Tuesday, with Team USA looking to get its best linemen on the field. At this point, it seems like three of the top four —Hunter Bivin, Ethan Pocic and Tuley-Tillman — are all tackles, so it makes sense to move one of them. Alec Abeln has had a strong week at center, and would be counted in that top four as well. The line has done a great job of pass protection, and have had some individual moments in run-blocking, but it's just so tough to build a cohesive running attack in a week's time.


* Iowa commitment Malik Rucker made another highlight play with an interception that he would have returned for six points. On the first day, he had arguably the hardest hit of camp so far, but those plays have been toned down to avoid injury.


* Cameron Van Winkle continued his strong special teams play. Van Winkle's leg easily connects from 40-yard range, and he has shown the ability to boot a variety of punts, really hanging the ball well.


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