Full Pads Yield Big Hits During Fifth Practice

A scrimmage highlighted the fifth day of spring practice, with a seasoned veteran and a little-known walk-on having the best days.

The seasoned veteran, safety Jahmille Addae, showed why he will be in his third year as a full-time starter. The Valrico, Fl. native had a few pass break-ups, a handful of big hits, and showed the vocal leadership that should be expected from a senior starter.

On the other side of the ball, walk-on fullback Owen Schmitt was punishing would be tacklers with his north/south running all afternoon. On the first play of the scrimmage, Addae stepped up to stop Schmitt on a fullback handoff, but it was the youngster who got the better during this meeting, sending Addae to the turf where he would sit for a few moments before shaking off the cobwebs.

"I was impressed with the way our running backs ran, particularly Owen Schmitt. He was impressive today," said head coach Rich Rodriguez after practice. "Jahmile Addae was coming up to hit a few people, and it was good to see that. He about knocked himself out one time though," noted Rodriguez referring to the first play of the scrimmage.

Addae got his revenge though, stopping Schmitt short of the goalline during a situational scrimmage focusing on short yardage. In that particular drill, the defense held strong for a good part of the afternoon. The offense did move the ball with some success though, both through the air and on the ground.

"They were hitting pretty good. It was the first time we've really scrimmaged live, and we had some good collisions, which was good to see," said Rodriguez.

At quarterback spot, Dwayne Thompson looks to have separated himself a little bit from Pat White.

"I thought Dwayne Thompson executed pretty well at quarterback. He's still shaking the rust off from spending the year at receiver, but he was pretty sharp on his reads," Coach Rod said of the Miami product.

While it's still too early to tell - Coach Rodriguez has said repeatedly that he won't make a decision until mid-August - it looks like Thompson has a slight lead at the moment. Of course there's Adam Bednarik who is also in the mix, although he's sitting out this spring.

In the receiving game, Rayshawn Bolden continued his impressive spring, making some tough catches in one on one drills against defensive back. Brandon Myles also had a nice catch on a jump ball from White.

Meanwhile down in the trenches, the running game looked best when running behind senior right tackle Garin Justice. Johnny Dingle worked some with the first unit defensive line in a four man front that also included Keilen Dykes, Ernie Hunter, and Craig Wilson.

The Mountaineers will practice again tomorrow, take Thursday off, and practice again on Friday in anticipation for a scrimmage this weekend.

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