Football Practice Report: August 17th

When Wake Forest moved their practice on Tuesday to the afternoon, the coaches thought their players would be respond with a quality three hour practice. That wasn't the case on Tuesday, however, as Coach Grobe was visibly upset with Tuesday's practice in Winston-Salem.

Tuesday's afternoon session began around 2:45 at the practice fields beside the football offices and the Miller Center on the campus of Wake Forest.

The practice started with easy drills to get the players into things. The quarterbacks including Cory Randolph, Ben Mauk, and freshman Allan Holland threw passes under close supervision, working on their form on their throws. They continued passing drills much of the day.

Randolph continued to show a strong arm while Mauk proved he can throw a bullet to his receivers. Holland also showed a good arm, although the coaches will need to continue to work hard with him to develop him to the level where Mauk and Randolph are currently.

Near the end of practice, the entire squad participated in an offense vs. defense scrimmage. During this time, Randolph's repetitions disappeared as Mauk and Holland took the snaps from center. Mauk was accurate during this time just as he was in the earlier drills. Mauk threw several quality deep passes including a bomb to freshman Kenny Moore and a deep down the middle pass to tight end John Tereshinski. He made a few mistakes including an overthrown ball on a short screen pass, but overall Mauk looked good Tuesday afternoon.

At other positions, running back Chris Barclay put on some good moves in the scrimmage and looked good. Micah Andrews also got some carries at running back. Second string running back Cornelius Birgs sat out Tuesday's practice with a brace on his knee. Birgs told DeaconSports his tendons in his knee were overextended and that he would only be out short term. Birgs was running by himself a good portion of the practice and should be expected to return to practice with the rest of the squad soon.

The bus, D'Angelo Bryant, did well at fullback while Damon McWhite proved to be a load at the position as well. McWhite had several nice blocks from the fullback position.

In other notes, Brandon Drumgoole spent some time working with the linebackers on Tuesday. The 6'6, 235-pound freshman from Ragsdale High School was recruited at defensive end but has great versatility -- he ran hurdles for the track team at Ragsdale.

Demir Boldin is working to follow in the footsteps of his brother. Obviously he is no All-Pro wide receiver like his brother, Anquan Boldin, just yet. Still, on Tuesday afternoon Boldin showed flashes of the receiver he can be as he reeled in an impressive one-handed grab from Allan Holland during early drills.

Jeromy Jones, Matt Robinson, Greg Adkins, and Johnny Edwards were some other players sitting out Tuesday's practice. All have minor injuries and should be back soon. Quarterback Cory Randolph didn't participate in the offense vs. defense portion of practice due to a hamstring problem while Oklahoma native Zac Selmon had a limp during some of the practice but it looks like it was just a small bang up. Meanwhile, Wake's coaches held their breath late in the practice when perhaps Wake's best defensive lineman, Jerome Nichols, went down with an injury to his right leg. Nichols went down in pain after being in on a tackle on defense and was down a good five minutes with his leg being worked on. He was able to get up and walk off the practice field on his own power, however. No word on the extent of his injury just yet.

Also of note, scouts from two NFL teams were in attendence for the Deacs' afternoon practice. Representatives from the Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals were both watching closely on Tuesday. Both said they would be seeing the Deacs later on in the season.

In this particular practice session, Jon Abbate lived up to the hype that has been nailed to him this presesson. He was a real man on the defensive side and isn't afraid of big-time contact. Abbate seemed to do well shedding blocks Tuesday as well. A true warrior, Abbate left the field after practice bleeding and banged up -- just another days work for the Georgia native.

Perhaps other Deacs need to follow the lead of Abbate as Coach Grobe, who stood and silently watched the Deacs practice was quite upset at the Deacs' practice. In his closing talk with the squad, Grobe noted that he didn't like the way some of his players were not playing tough in practice on Tuesday.

He also reminded his Deacs that come September 4th, the games begin and he expects good things from his squad. "We're not going to Death Valley just to show up," Grobe noted as practice came to a close.

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