Although there is no admission by the coaching staff yet, it appears that this quarterback competition is quickly becoming a two man race. Brett Hundley and Richard Brehaut took the vast majority of the team reps during today's scrimmage, with Kevin Prince relegated primarily to a couple of situational drills, a series of 7 on 7, and a really rough two minute drive in which he threw two interceptions (one to a stationary Erick Zumwalt, and the other to newly returned safety Dalton Hilliard).
Hundley looked the best of the quarterbacks today, and didn't really have many miscues. He threw one interception to Anthony Thompson, but it looked like it might have been a poorly run route by walk on Sam Handler. He got the first four series of 11 on 11, and looked very good behind the first team offensive line, and had a tougher time getting time to throw behind the second team. Aside from the one bad pass to Thompson, he really looked solid.
Brehaut got roughly the same amount of reps as Hundley, but didn't look as good. In his first two series, he went three and out. In the final series of 11 on 11, though, he had a really nice deep bomb to Roosevelt Davis from the 37, and also hit Jerry Johnson on a slightly under thrown 45 yarder that Johnson caught over fellow No. 9 Marcus Rios.
It's weird. Looking at it, Brehaut threw four touchdown passes of more than 25 yards today, but if I had to pick, I'd say Hundley looked better. He looks like he's more in command of the offense, and when he is under pressure, he has really improved his decision making. There was one play on the goal line where he was under fire from Owamagbe Odighizuwa and instead of taking the sack or forcing a bad throw he just tossed the ball through the back of the end zone.
On Hundley's first drive, he connected with Shaquelle Evans three times, each one very well thrown. He capped the drive with a 28 yard pass to Evans on the sideline that went for a touchdown.
Walk on receiver Tyler Scott made a couple of nice plays today, stiff arming Ryan Medina on a slant and taking a four yard pass 41 yards for a touchdown. He had another stiff arm of Medina later in practice during 2 minute.
There were some big changes in the offensive line today. As we guessed before spring ball, Jeff Baca moved to right tackle, Greg Capella took the snaps at left guard, and Albert Cid, Jacob Brendel, and Xavier Su'a-Filo filled out the remainder of the line. This line did, by far, the best work of any combination this spring, but it's still not perfect. They generally gave Hundley more time to work than he's gotten throughout the spring, and you can see some potential there. If Brendel can get stronger this offseason, and Wade Yandall can make his way back to full health, the offensive line could be serviceable.
Hilliard, as we mentioned, played some defensive back today. He actually brought out both the offensive and defensive jerseys today, but spent most of the time with the defense. He looked a little rusty, but made a nice play on the Prince interception. He also took a couple of snaps out of the back field, and for now the plan is for him to play both ways during the remainder of spring ball.
Librado Barocio is slated to have his ACL surgery this week, and in unfortunate news, Isaiah Bowens also tore his ACL, and will be scheduled to have surgery in the coming weeks. He took in practice from the sideline. Joe Fauria, who's been out with a hamstring issue, took some individual reps today but sat out the team stuff. Aaron Wallace practiced a little in a red jersey.
Eric Kendricks, who has a sore shoulder, played during 7 on 7 and individual work, but did not participate in team stuff. With him, Patrick Larimore, and Bowens out, Jared Koster and Ryan Hofmeister were the starting inside linebackers, and, as you might expect, the running game thrived. Malcolm Jones had a good day, running tough once again from the tailback slot, but did sit out the last half of practice after he banged his head. Coach Mora did not seem to think it was serious in the post practice talk.
Tevin McDonald had a hip pointer, and Anthony Jefferson got hit in the back, but neither was deemed serious by Mora.
Shaquelle Evans came back from his groin soreness today and looked great, aside from one dropped touchdown. It was probably one of his better overall days of spring ball. He made a couple of exceptional catches along the sideline, and made some really nice plays with his legs, turning a couple of short passes during the scrimmage into 10+ yard gains.
In special teams, Joe Roberts had one of his better kicking days. He can't hit anything past about 40 yards, but today he was 5 for 5 inside for 35...which, hey, we'll take.
Evans and Jordon James took some reps at kickoff return and both looked good. Although it wasn't a full speed drill, both of their returns looked like they would have gone for 30 or 40 yards.
James had a great day today. He, Steven MANfro, and Jones basically split reps today as the No. 2 back, and each had their moments, but James probably showed the most, knifing repeatedly through the defensive front seven. He didn't get out into the open field much, but he did some nice tough running between the tackles, which was good to see.
Mora Quotes, Practice Notes
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