Extra Points: Takeaways from Thursday

Some extra observations, sights and notes after Thursday's practice at Howard Jones Field.

First, the team started the day with special teams drills, specifically covering and returning punts. Cornerback Anthony Brown was a standout on both covering and blocking the return. But he stood out more for his aggressiveness than anything else. Linebackers coach Joe Barry told Brown to do a lap after he held a player in coverage. Barry joked "that's not even a hold, that's misdemeanor battery."

Second, the defense is not letting up on newcomer Amir Carlisle, and he's taking all the hits well. Taylor Ashton and Simione Vehikite knocked Carlisle out of bounds on a play, and then made sure he stayed down for a few seconds after the play.

Third, while it's notable that wide receiver Markeith Ambles was there, he didn't do much besides that. Wearing a numberless white jersey, Ambles watched with the defensive backs on the sideline. He participated in a few individual drills but nothing beyond that.

Fourth, offensive linemen and freshman Marcus Martin is still adjusting to the college level. On two separate occasions, Martin had to run an extra lap for what would have been a false-start penalty had the session been a game.

Fifth, with rightside end Nick Perry sitting out a good amount to rest, Wes Horton and Devon Kennard are no longer sharing time at end and are feeling the value of those many repetitions. Both ends have been playing well with the first-team defense.

Extra-extra point: The (only) pick of the day goes to linebacker Ross Cumming, who intercepted a play but was then knocked out of bounds by tightend Rhett Ellison after running for about 15 yards.


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