Another overcast day greeted the Mountaineers on the surface of Milan Puskar Stadium, but the rains held off during practice. Looking on from the sidelines today was the coaching staff from Bowie State. After day one in pads, Rich Rodriguez seemed pleased with the intensity of his team.
"It was really intense. The execution wasn't crisp, but the intensity was really good," said Rodriguez. "As I told our team, if you can run and you can hit good, you've got a chance to win. They'll be sore tomorrow, but I was really pleased with the effort today."
Linebackers Bobby Hathaway and Jeff Noechel contributed a couple of big hits each, including one by Noechel when quartberback Markel Harrison rolled out on a play action fake only to find the senior linebacker unblocked. Needless to say, Noechel took care of the rest.
It was a good day for the defense. In addition to the big licks laid out by Noechel and Hathaway, fellow linebacker Mortty Ivy made the most of his time with the first team. The redshirt-freshman from Gateway High picked off a Dwayne Thompson pass during 11 on 11 drills, and was constantly around the ball during his time on the field.
On the offensive side of the ball, running backs Jason Colson and Pernell Williams continued to impress. Both backs have added a good bit of bulk in winter weightlifting, and have been rather impressive in the first week of spring drills.
"He's had a great winter. He's bigger, he's stronger, and he's real confident," said Rodriguez of Colson. "Pernell Williams had a great winter too. The goal is for every player to get better every year, and they've certainly done that."
On the injury front, senior safety Jahmille Addae took a shot in the arm during 11 on 11 drills, but returned to play through the injury. Defensive lineman Kevin Burke looked to have taken a shot to the eye, and fellow lineman Johnny Dingle missed a little bit of practice time with a banged up thumb.
The Mountaineers will practice again tomorrow before taking the Easter weekend off.