Thursday practice report

With spring ball practices almost completed, the Thursday afternoon session re-confirmed some facts that have been proven over the previous three weeks of work. The first thing to note is that the old guns at running back (Washington, Reed and Dennis) are going to make themselves heard this fall. Secondly, we've got a pretty good d-line and one of the leaders is going to be Lawrence Jackson.

With each passing day it becomes more and more clear that, barring any unforeseen setbacks, we will see the three veteran running backs playing a big role for this team. It may be a coincidence or bad timing for sophomore running backs Gable, Bradford, Moody and Johnson that all are unavailable for this final week of spring ball but you have to give credit to the elder statesmen for taking advantage of this opportunity when it became available.

Hershel had probably the play of the day for the offense when he took a handoff up the middle but found no hole so he bounced it out to the right and turned upfield, after shaking off a tackle attempt from Thomas Williams he kept going and eventually got past Will Harris as well for a 35 yard gain. Chauncey also had a strong carry when he was near the goal line and he took a solid hit from Will Harris but stayed upright and almost got into the end zone. Speaking of Harris, he also had a big hit on Stanley Havili on one of the final plays of the day.

Lawrence Jackson had the play of the day for the defense when he read a screen pass attempt by John David Booty and raised his arms in the air at the right time to come down with the pick. The play happened inside the ten yard line so Lawrence trotted the short distance into the end zone for a defensive score. Lawrence looks in better shape than we saw from him at any point last season. There are some people who thought he never really caught up last year from an injury that slowed him in fall camp and that he played his best at the end of the year when he was finally getting back into decent game shape. There are no such concerns now. Jackson looks as solid as you can imagine during line drills and he definitely looks like a guy who is ready to contend for All Pac-10 and All-American honors. I also liked what we saw today from Kyle Moore, he had a sack of Sanchez during the team drill and he was very active in the one on one line drills including a couple quick rushes to get by the outmanned Butch Lewis. Among the offensive linemen who did well in the one on one drills today were Zach Heberer (vs Miles), Nick Howell (vs Parsons) and Thomas Herring (beat Spicer on two out of three reps). Jeff Byers did not practice today (illness) so we saw Nick Howell at center with Tiny Malu at left guard. Gerald Washington had a good day at d-end.

David Buehler had one of his better days of spring. He made both a 35 yarder during the team drill and a 44 yarder prior to the drill that looked like it was still rising as it went through the uprights.

Alex Morrow had a pass batted down at the line against Sanchez. Matthew Jordan had an interception of a Sanchez pass. Mozique McCurtis, who has played well lately, knocked down a Booty pass attempt at the goal line for Hazelton.

Stanley Havili had several nice catches today while continuing to showcase his good hands and reminding us of Malaefou MacKenzie more and more every day.

Among the recruits in attendance today was LB Brendan Beal from New Jersey and USC defensive end signee Trey Henderson who is in town to compete in the Mt Sac track meet. Los Alamitos head coach John Barnes was also there.


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