Monday Morning Practice Report

It's cooler and more players practice, while the team readjusts with the of Patrick Larimore and quarterback Brett Hundley looks a little better...

The biggest development Monday was the news of Patrick Larimore taking a medical retirement spreading through the practice.

Coach Jim Mora addressed it at length in his post-practice video interview.

As we said yesterday, it does seem like the team is getting acclimated to the heat, with more players returning and less having to go to the tent. It also probably helps that it was only 96 degrees and the players practiced in no pads and shorts.

Participating fully today were linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, safety Dalton Hilliard, and tight end Ian Taubler.

Offensive lineman Tre Hale returned, but later made his way to the tent and then left the field.

Dressed but not participating were receiver Jerry Rice, offensive lineman Colby Cyburt, defensive lineman Brandon Tuliaupupu and defensive end Ellis McCarthy. Running back Jordon James was dressed and did very little.

Quarterback Kevin Prince participated in the individual drills but didn't take one 7-on-7 or 11-on-11.

First-string quarterback Brett Hundley threw an early interception to linebacker Todd Golper, but then recovered and had his best practice in a few days. It wasn't a great one, but he looked better in the 7-on-7s that took up the majority of practice, going 10-for-12, and then 8-for-13 in the 11-on-11s. His ball was coming out of his hand with a bit more zing and accuracy.

Jerry Neuheisel had another solid to good day, getting a good number of reps in the 7s and 11s. Richard Brehaut was getting second-team reps again, but had an inconsistent practice.

There were only 9 offensive linemen at the disposal of Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm, and nothing changed in the first- and second-string lineups. Xavier Su'a-Filo is a workhorse, not having gone down to heat issues yet this camp and commonly – like today – taking most of the reps with the 1s and the 2s at left tackle. Klemm got after Torian White a couple of times for what seemed like missed assignments.

Among the offensive skill positions, it's looking pretty clear that Jerry Johnson and Shaquelle Evans are the X and Z, with Joseph Fauria at the Y, Steven Manfro at the F and, of course, Johnathan Franklin at tailback.

Manfro did get featured a bit more today, exploding up the field on one run and one run-after-the-catch. Freshman receiver Kenny Walker looked like he had more energy and showed some explosion, too, particularly on a deep out that he turned up the field very quickly.

Wide receiver Devin Lucien got a reprimand for not being prepared to take the field, not having his shoes on or tied.

On defense, the day's storyline was at linebacker, watching how the unit will adjust with the loss of Larimore. Initially it looks pretty much like it has, with Damien Holmes moving inside. Zumwalt did get some work inside, too, late in the practice. With Eric Kendricks still out due to some tightness in his hamstring, Ryan Hoffmeister got most of the reps with the 1s inside with Holmes. Golper and Aaron Porter worked with the 2s, and even freshman Kenny Orjioke got some time at inside linebacker. Orjioke definitely has a combination of good size and nice athleticism, moving very fluidly.

Probably the other noted shift on defense was Sealii Epenesa getting most of the reps with the ones at nose tackle for the second straight day, and Brandon Willis working with the 2s. With the team doing many 11-on-11s and the 2-minute period at the end of practice, it was easier to see the starting defense, which had Epenesa at NT, and then Datone Jones and Cassius Marsh at defensive end; Zumwalt, Holmes, Hoffmeister (with Kendricks out) and Anthony Barr as the starting four linebackers; and Sheldon Price, Tevin McDonald, Andrew Abbott and Aaron Hester in the secondary.

Some defensive standouts:

-- Brandon Sermons again had a couple of good moments at safety.

-- Linebacker Aaron Wallace had a sack.

-- Safety Taylor Lagace picked off a pretty softly thrown pass from T.J. Millweard.

Ending the practice with the two-minute period, field goal kicker Kaimi Fairbairn missed a 40-yarder, and then Justin Moreno missed a 51-yarder, but then Fairbairn nailed a 42-yarder at the buzzer of the simulated game clock.


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