Fall Camp: Day Ten, Practice I

PULLMAN -- Wednesday morning saw the calm before the storm, with a helmets-only session prior to tonight's second scrimmage of the fall. Coach Kelly Skipper talks running backs and the most pleasant surprise for him so far this camp -- one Chris Ivory. Cornerback Markus Dawes has returned to the field, and the quarterbacks also had a little fun with coach Timm Rosenbach.

Skipper said the backfield depth will be key this fall, praising the progress of several of the new faces in camp.

"We are setting goals every day, focusing on things we need to improve on and guys are starting to get it done," Skipper said, following Wednesday's morning session.

The biggest surprise for the coach this fall has been Chris Ivory, with Skipper saying the 5-11, 213 pound freshman out of Longview, Texas has some of the most potential on the squad.

"He's still learning the plays, stuff like that, but he has a ton of potential," said Skipper. "I think he's probably surprised me the most out of all the new players."

Skipper already had a handle on Dwight Tardy by fall camp, with the redshirt freshman already having shown glimpses of his rapid development in spring ball. Skipper is also excited about freshman Marcus Richmond, who will be fully suited up for the first time in tonight's scrimmage.

"We haven't seen much of him yet this fall, but I think once he gets the pads on, we'll see how he can run."

Sophomore DeMaundray Woolridge remains the expected starter for the opener against Auburn, but Skipper was quick to point out the competition for playing time is still very much a battle.

"Competition, competition -- for all positions -- always," Skipper said. "We're looking for the best. We've got some guys that can play, so we're letting them compete."

The speedy Derrell Hutsona has also caught the coaches' eyes with some fast twitch muscle moves, while Kevin McCall has shown increased quickness. Skylar Jessen, who has a quick burst and sprinter's speed, has been sidelined of late with a strained hamstring.

The Cougs this morning focused chiefly on position-specific and special team drills. Although action on the field was limited Wednesday, the quarterbacking unit looked to be having a good time with Rosenbach, running drills solely as a unit, with the field generals joining Rosenbach as receivers when not at the helm.

In the helmets-only affair, the play of the day involved the old Cougar QB. Rosenbach took a Cole Morgan pitch and then, under "pressure" from some of the equipment managers on the field, sent the flea-flicker shoestring toss to QB Alex Brink for a "touchdown."

Brink, who made something of a diving reception on the play, then celebrated the TD off with a "snow-angel" in the end zone, before being helped to his feet by QB Kevin Lopina.

  • Cornerback Markus Dawes has apparently recovered from a reported blood disorder, returning to practice for the second straight day. Dawes had been experiencing muscle cramps.

  • No contact was made in the Wednesday morning session in anticipation of tonight's scrimmage. The units spent the majority of the morning with coaches, teammates and trainers, discussing aspects specific to each squad.

  • The second scrimmage of fall camp is scheduled to kick off this evening at 7:30. Be sure and check back on Cougfan.com either late tonight or tomorrow morning for our recap.

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