Back To Shells

Although the Mountaineer football team was dressed in only helmets and shoulder pads (shells), on Wednesday, the intensity was at its highest level this spring.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez was more pleased with the intensity and effort on display at Mountaineer Field on Wednesday, but noted that his team still has a long way to go in the execution department.

Without football pants or leg pads, there's not full scale tackling, but there is still plenty of hitting, which led to a couple of brief scraps between offensive and defensive players. That's to be expected when hitting gets into full swing, and was probably not displeasing to the staff.

Special teams work was again the focus in the early periods of practice, and punter Eric Daugherty again had a solid performance. He hit a couple of booming kicks, and was especially impressive with his directional kicks in coffin corner situations.

Lance Frazier and Travis Garvin got the bulk of the work as punt returners.

After several periods of individual and unit work, the first second and third teams worked on series of plays from different points on the field. The offense put in their first work on their "coming out" series, which are offensive drives starting from inside their own ten yard line.

During this work, Quincy Wilson was especially impressive, ripping off three straight runs of ten-plus yards.

It's still much too early to begin assigning depth chart positions, but a couple of players are making their presence felt and getting the chance to see what they can do with the first team. Warren Young is seeing some time with the first team defensive line, while Tory Johnson is running with the first team on offense at tight end. Brian King also appears to be settling in quickly at his free safety position, as he had a couple of pass breakups during various drills and 11 on 11 sessions.

Today's practice session ended with a series of receivers versus defensive backs on the goalline. Transfer Eddie Jackson and redshirt freshman Rayshawn Bolden both had nice catches during the drill.

As can be expected with more contact work, the injury list began to expand a bit. John Scott joined fellow wide receiver Aaron Neal on the sidelines. Scott has a hamstring pull.

During practice both Jeff Berk and Ryan Thomas had some knee problems, and neither returned to the field. There was no further word on their status as of the end of the day.

Friday's scheduled practice could be moved to Thursday depending on the weather forecast.


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