Spring Showcase Report

Apr. 25 -- It really was just a practice at the Rose Bowl, but still a few things stood out...

As expected, Saturday's Spring Showcase really was just a practice at the Rose Bowl, with the team going through all the same periods that they normally do, though there were probably more extended sessions of 11-on-11 team drills than usual.

Each of the quarterbacks got plenty of time in 11-on-11, but the standout for us was Josh Rosen. His first series of 11-on-11 had him go 8-9 with a few really excellent throws. The one incompletion was a perfectly thrown ball to Logan Sweet that Marcus Rios did an excellent job breaking up. On his second series, Rosen started off with an overthrown interception to Johnny Johnson (probably his worst throw of the spring), but then drove down the field and completed the drive with another excellent touchdown pass, this time hitting Eldridge Massington on a back shoulder in the front corner of the end zone. Rosen has an advanced feel, the best set of physical tools on the team, and a great deal of poise for a freshman.

Asiantii Woulard looked the best among the quarterbacks before the Rosen show started in hour 2. Woulard had a very nice drive on his initial 11-on-11 drive, but did have a hiccup at the end, throwing into double coverage in the end zone. He faded toward the end of the day, struggling during his second series of 11-on-11 and in the skeleton portion at the end of practice. He's made real strides this spring, but the difference between Rosen and Woulard is still pretty substantial.

Jerry Neuheisel had a few series where he looked good running the swing game, and he showed a decent feel for the rush, rotating away from the defenders most of the time and buying time with his feet. He just doesn't have the arm to complete all of the throws. There were a few times where he threw near picks because the ball just took too long to get to the receiver.

Paul Perkins
The day started off with kickoff returns, and today, Aaron Sharp, Craig Lee, and Jordan Lasley all took reps there. Among the three, Lee looked most explosive, and he continued to give us that impression throughout the day. He had a few really good-looking runs during the opening series of 11-on-11 where he looked like the fastest player on the field. At the 51 minute mark, Lee drew just about the first cheers from the stands with a really nice run.

Matt Dickerson had a great play during the Pride Alley portion that followed the kickoff return practice, throwing aside Simon Goines to make the tackle. Dickerson has had a great spring, and seems poised to be the first defensive lineman off the bench this season.

Paul Perkins and Nate Starks both looked good, and nothing changed about our evaluation for them this season: both look poised for really big years. With those two pretty clearly ensconced as the No. 1 and No. 2 running backs, it's going to be really interesting to see who fills out the depth chart there. Lee has showed explosion this spring, and Sotonye Jamabo, the five-star running back, is probably still coming in this fall, pending his legal issues. Even Roosevelt Davis has looked OK this spring, with solid quickness. The running back depth chart is in pretty good shape.

Jordan Lasley showed some of his potential, reeling in a really tough one-handed catch with two defensive backs draped on him down the left sideline. On the previous play, though, he showed some jitters, dropping a ball that was placed pretty well that hit him right in the hands. He has a ton of potential, though.

Sharp had a really rough day, dropping a number of passes that hit him right in the hands. It was a little confusing, because he and Kenny Walker both wear No. 10, but we're pretty sure most of the drops were from Sharp. He's shown the ability to make some tough catches, but on the routine throws, he's been prone to some drops.

Randall Goforth is having a really big spring practice, and he looked good again today. His anticipation has improved, and on a few Neuheisel throws during one-on-ones, he was able to jump the route and nearly had two picks. He might be the best defensive back on the team heading into fall camp.

Adarius Pickett had a nice interception, stepping in front of a Mike Fafaul throw to the sideline and returned it for what would have been a touchdown, if this had been a game instead of a practice. Cameron Griffin also flashed with a great move on a walkon tackle to put some pressure on Asiantii Woulard during a series of 11-on-11. He has very good quickness for his size.

One of the moments Saturday that got the biggest reaction from the crowd wasn't during the scrimmage periods, but during the one-on-ones. The running backs match up with the linebackers, and Myles Jack has a long-running battle with fullback Nate Iese. On one rep, Iese got separation on Jack and made the catch, which made the entire linebacker group, including coach Scott White, have to do push-ups. But on the next Jack/Iese match-up, Iese didn't get separation and Jack pulled down an interception with one hand. The crowd erupted, the linebackers whooped, the running backs got on the ground and did push-ups and Jack threw the ball in the air 30 feet.

Ka'imi Fairbairn was 4 for 5 on field goals, with his only miss from 48 yards.

Attendance was 8,738.

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