Friday Morning Practice

The good news? No serious injuries. The wide receivers are impressive, and the defense has a good morning, led by junior linebacker Spencer Havner...

The best news about Thursday's practice: no serious injuries.

In fact, some of the previously injured resumed practicing.

Running back Manuel White practiced, and then donned a red, no-hit jersey for the scrimmage drills.

Wide receiver Junior Taylor was completely dressed and looked to be back healthy.

Middle linebacker Justin London and back-up middle linebacker Tim Warfield were out after getting injured yesterday (More on their injuries below in the comments of head coach Karl Dorrell).

Offensive weakside tackle Eyoseph Efseaff continued to not practice due to a groin injury.

Cornerback Jebiaus Brown (neck injury) also sat out Friday morning.

Receiver Tab Perry was now able to practice in shells (helmet, shoulder pads and shorts), which put him on equal footing with the rest of the team for the morning practice since they were in shells also.

Tight end Keith Carter practiced and participated in the scrimmages.

Redshirt defensive end Bruce Davis, who could very well start the Oklahoma State game, sat out the last couple of periods of practice with what looked like an injured hand or wrist. Its severity was uncertain at the end of practice.

The receiving group is very impressive, with Craig Bragg, Tab Perry, Junior Taylor and Joe Cowan the top four receivers, and each having good moments this morning. Tab Perry looks almost unguardable, running excellent routes and disguising his intentions so well, to go along with some improved quickness. In the redzone scrimmage, Taylor had two touchdown catches on very well-run routes, benefitting also from two very good throws by Drew Olson.

Some of the younger receivers are also stepping up and starting to get it. Matt Slater still makes occasional mistakes but he's showing improvement, making some nice catches in this morning's scrimmage. Freshman Marcus Everett is solid, running his routes well and having sure hands. He caught a nice fade in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown, thrown by freshman quarterback Pat Cowan. Freshman Brandon Breazell is showing flashes of big-play potential, with some good hands and some great quickness and speed after the catch. This morning freshman Ryan Graves had some good moments. Over the span of just a couple of minutes, he caught a nice post (that was laid out for him perfectly by Brian Callahan), and then snagged a nice ball by Pat Cowan over the middle, got to the outside and was gone. Alex Ghebreselassie, the redshirt freshman wide receiver, has probably gotten the most grief from the coaching staff, but he also has shown some good things lately. It will be interesting to see who fills those #5 and #6 slots in the receiver rotation. You can probably be pretty certain about Slater, but that last slot will be an interesting competition between Ghebreselassie, Everett, Breazell and Graves.

David Koral, the #1 quarterback, had a good morning, highlighted by a nice throw to Bragg for a 30-yard-or so gain.

Matt Clark had a strong morning, with a couple of nice break-ups and one rep where he jumped the receiver's route perfectly and picked off the throw. Clark, the last couple of days, has had great instincts in anticipating receivers' routes.

With London out for now, his running buddy, Spencer Havner, becomes the focal point of the linebackers, and he didn't disappoint Friday morning. Havner has such a nose for the ball, breaking up a pass and picking off another at the goal line.

Noah Sutherland was running with the first string, at defensive end, while Davis was out. That then moved true freshman Kenneth Lombard to second string tackle, alonside Robert Garcia.

Offensive lineman Robert Chai was rotating with Robert Cleary at weakside guard for the starting offensive line, and did very well.

Redshirt freshman Dennis Keyes was getting the most time at the starting nickel back position this morning.

UCLA committed offensive lineman Aleksey Lanis, 6-5, 300, from Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw, attended this morning's practice.

The coaches have flip-flopped the practice plan for now for the two-a-days. The morning practices will be short – from 9:00 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. and in shells. The afternoon practices will be in full pads and run from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments:

"That was another very good practice. I am very pleased where we are. Some of the things are starting to come together in time for the scrimmage tomorrow. We'll let some guys play and see what they can do. There will be a lot of young kids playing. There are three freshman o-linemen that are playing on our second team, and it will be exciting to watch them play. We have a young running back, and young receivers that are going to playh. We have some young defensive linemen that will do some things. It's going to be a great day to evaluate. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

How many plays will the scrimmage be?

"It will be about 80-90 plays. We'll get everybody some playing time. I think the ones and twos will go around 40 plays apiece and then we'll get the threes some as well."

Will it be a controlled scrimmage?

"No, we're going. It will be live. The quarterbacks won't be, though. If they get a pass rush on them, we'll wrap them up and blow the whistle."

Who won't play tomorrow?

"London, Warfield, Brigham Harwell and Kyle Morgan. Manuel White will play. Junior Taylor practiced today so he'll be ready to go. We're almost full again. We have a few guys there but we'll get there."

What is the status of London and Warfield?

"I haven't talked with the doctor, as far as their time frame. I know for London it's a high ankle sprain, and it's going to be a little while. That's usually several weeks. With Warfield, with a hyper-extended knee and a contusion, that can be just a week or two. We'll just have to see. But we don't have a definite time."

Is London questionable for Oklahoma State then?

"We'll see. I'll have to talk to the doctor to see how significant the injury is, and see how Justin feels, too. I know we'll try to keep him off the leg for a week, and keep the swelling down, and keep him in that boot."

Besides the open cornerback spot, what are the other positions you're watching tomorrow?

"Every spot. With the cornerback, the scrimmage won't be a decision-maker. What you've seen are two guys (Marcus Cassel and Nnamdi Ohaeri) who have stepped up out of the pack. I want to see the consistency of those two. That's something I'm looking forward to. I think with the receivers, Tab won't be able to scrimmage, because he's still in his five-day acclimatization period. So with the young guys, it will give them a chance to see what they can do. We have a young running back (Chris Markey) and I want to see what he can do, and Derrick Williams. The o-line I mentioned. I want to see what the three freshmen can do. I want to see how much David Koral has improved from spring until now. Same thing with Patrick Cowan and Brian Callahan. Koral is our #2 right now. We're going to give a lot of those guys reps with certain groups. It's a great evaluation opportunity for us, to not always keep them with the same group. So we'll see what happens."

Robert Chai is now getting some time with the first string at weakside guard....

"He is getting some time there. He played some guard and center for us last year. We have some interchangeable parts in there. He'll probably play some guard but he'll also play some center."

What other options do you have at middle linebacker?

"Dan Nelson plays it, and you'll see Jamel Greer, who is a rookie freshman, get some time there too. That's the depth we have right now. We can't move guys before the scrimmage. We'll have to wait. We're not going to make any rash decisions because of what happened yesterday. When we find out where we are with their injuries and the time frame we'll determine at that point if and when we need to move somebody."

Michael Pitre was working with the first string. Is fullback an open spot too?

"It is. Along with 21 other positions. We're trying to put our best players on the field. We have some good players. And there are some young players that are pushing some of the older players. There's not a position out there that is a lock. That's what camp is for. Once camp ends, then we'll line up with those guys on September 4th."


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