Neither Mullennix, who missed all of last season with the knee, nor Lesuma, who arrived in January from Mt. San Jacinto College, is expected to partake in contact drills when the Cougs pad up. But it was still something of a surprise to see them running through drills without limitation on the spring's first day.
It would have been an unfortunate session to miss, too, as the Cougs turned up the intensity and turned in some sterling performances.
Leading the charge for the defense was cornerback Ryan Kensok, a 5-8, 164-pound junior who earned a scholarship in the off-season.
The one-time walk on from Spokane, competing for turns in the secondary this spring, joined fellow CB Brian Williams in running with the first unit in all 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. He picked off two passes out of three coverage opportunities.
The first interception, a bullet from QB Gary Rogers, was meant for 6-6 wide receiver Finas Rabb III, a player a full eight inches taller then Kensok.
Kensok's second pick came on his very next opportunity, as he pilfered a Cole Morgan rope intended for Matt Sledge. The interception, like his first, earned verbal praise from members of the secondary crowded on the sidelines.
All in all, the session was marked by vocal and energetic performances by all, with many players loudly proclaiming their self-disgust at dropped passes or missed blocks. The intensity was epitomized by Johnson, who said with a smile following the session, "You can sure tell everybody is ready to get pads on and start hitting each-other. It was fun (to be back on the field)."
On the offensive line, Lesuma, who is listed at 6-5 and 340 pounds and handily fills the number 55 jersey left by the departed Charles Harris, joined an offensive line that, like most of the units, spent most of the day focused on position-specific drills.
The running back corps, under the direction of first-year coach Steve Broussard, was led by sophomore Dwight Tardy who carried the ball aggressively up the gut in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
Looking sharp catching the ball were tight ends Tony Thompson and Jed Collins. Thompson made nifty grab of a pass from Rogers and Collins pulled in a bomb from a scrambling Rogers in 11-on-11 action. The pass was just over the fingers of a fully extended Cornorris Atkins, a freshman out of Reseda, Calif., who joined the team in January.
ALEX BRINK LETS ONE FLY ON DAY ONE OF SPRING DRILLS.