A few observations:
Head Coach Karl Dorrell worked with the gunners himself.
In a common pursuit drill that the defense does repeatedly throughout the season in practice, the #1, #2, #3 and #4 defensive units line up alternately, and then turn and pursue as a team to a far corner of the field. When the true freshmen and some walk-ons as the #4 unit got their rep, Defensive Coordinator DeWayne Walker made them do it again for dogging it. They repeated, and dogged it again, and he made them run it again – two more times. He wasn't satisfied even with their last effort, and made them go to the sideline and do up-downs, as the veterans verbally harrassed them for their lack of effort.
It was reported that redshirt freshman offensive linemen Sonny Tevaga and Brandon Bennett had lost weight, and it is definitely the case. Both, we're told, are around 320 to 330. Tevaga particularly looks very impressive physically now. It will be interesting to see how he performs in camp since the scouting report on him since high school was always that there was a good athlete under the girth.
Darius Savage, the redshirt freshman defensive tackle, also looks like he's slimmed down some since last winter.
Brigham Harwell, the senior starting defensive tackle, looks huge, particularly his arms.
Quarterback-turned-receiver Osaar Rasshan first stood with the quarterbacks, while not wearing a quarterback jersey, and caught their passes for them. He then moved to the wide receiver group. He had a Ben Olson out thrown his way in a 7-on-7, went up for it well, got his hands on it but couldn't hang on.
Senior safety Dennis Keyes is playing with his left wrist wrapped, the remnants of an injury he suffered in an off-season 7-on-7.
Senior wide receiver Brandon Breazell is practicing with a brace on his knee, after recovering from his partially torn ligaments over the off-season. He made a nice over-the-shoulder grab of a Olson pass down the sideline.
Ben Olson started the practice rusty, often times throwing behind receivers, but ended with a number of better throws. Patrick Cowan threw better, but you have to consider that Cowan is going up against the #2 defense.
Gavin Ketchum made the play of the session, going up in traffic and having to turn behind him to make a nice grab of an Olson pass.
Running back Chris Markey looked in good form and quick hitting holes.
Freshman safety Glenn Love is in a red, no-hit jersey for an unknown injury.
Probably the most impressive looking walk-on is Ben Bruneau, the wide receiver from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame. He looks to be about 6-0 and 205, and looks more like a well-built tailback than a receiver.
Freshmen Akeem Ayers worked with the linebackers. JC transfer linebacker Mike Schmitt looks smallish, probably 6-1 and 215. Steve Sloan, the freshman LB, looks very good physically – like a freshman LB should.
Freshman quarterback Chris Forcier looks very skinny.
Receiver Dominique Johnson had had his request for a redshirt denied by the NCAA. UCLA will try to what amounts to an appeal. Johnson appeared in one series in the Utah game last year, and that could make him a sophomore this season.
Patrick Larimore, the senior linebacker from Newhall (Calif.) Hart who is verbally committed to UCLA, was in attendance.
Dorrell's Post-Practice Comments --
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