Friday Practice News

The coaches are still on Marcus Reese watch, some players get tryouts at kickoff and punt returner, and a few other developments. Toledo comments before a restful weekend...

Marcus Reese suited up for practice Friday but did not participate. Head Coach Bob Toledo is optimistic about getting Reese back this week. "I think they're going to release Marcus Monday," Toledo said after practice Friday. "We'll find out more over the weeekend. We have a concern of how many special teams he's on. He got hurt on kick return. If he has that kind of problem then we have to limit the things he does on special teams."

The team looked very ready to get a couple of days off. They won't practice Saturday and Sunday, but have only meetings. Toledo said, "Yeah, they're a little leg weary right now. They've really worked hard and done a great job."

The coaches started to institute the game plan Colorado State Friday. "We've been doing it for a couple of days," Toledo said. "We'll continue to give them a bit more each day now. We'll have them watch a little bit of Colorado State film this weekend, and then have some time to watch the Colorado/Colorado State game, too."

Toledo said he's going to watch the game live himself. "I'll actually have the time to do that. When I watch a game live, it's just kind of fun to watch a game and put myself in situations. I watch it like it's a game for me. I call plays. So I just don't watch it to watch it. But then we'll get the tape and I'll watch the game in cut-ups, too."

"I hope they bang each other pretty good," he added.

Tab Perry and Akil Harris have won the starting kickoff returning duties, over Matt Clark, who looked very good returning kickoffs toward the end of last season. When asked why, Toledo said, "we think Tab Perry and Akil Harris look a little better. At the scrimmage, Clark fumbled a kickoff. He'll get the opporttunity, though."

Paul Mociler, after having lost the starting center position to Mike McCloskey, worked at right and left guard on Friday. Toledo said he's the next lineman who would play among the offensive line depth chart. "So, if anything happens, he has to play those positions. So we want to get him some time there so he gets familiar with them again. He already knows the positions so it's just to get him feeling comfortable again." While Mociler worked at the guard position, Tyson Clayton was used at center.

Wendell Mathis returned some kickoffs Friday and looked very good doing it. He showed some explosiveness through the hole. Mathis also had a good day from the tailback position Friday. In fact, all three of the freshmen tailbacks looked good Friday, with Jason Harrison again looking shifty and quick, especially catching passes out of the backfield. Tyler Ebell had some nice explosions through the line. For someone his size, you would think he might not run tackle to tackle well, but it's actually where he runs best. He's actually not as effective running around end, since he doesn't have the sprinter speed to beat defensive backs to the corner. But, when running tackle to tackle, he can get lost among all the big lineman, and only needs a small seam to sneak through, make a few cuts and get into the defensive backfield.

Jacques Lazarus, also, got a try out at punt returner, and looked pretty good himself. Lazarus is a very good athlete, with good quickness and very good speed. He has shown some real explosiveness in the wide receiver drills, able to accelerate past defensive backs in the open field. Right now, he struggles to sustain concentration and effort. If he keeps maturing and gets that down, he could be able to contribute down the line.

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