April 10 Practice Report

Beautiful football weather greeted the Mountaineer football team after a three day break from the rigors of spring practice.

The weather also apparently banished the injury bug, as no new serious bumps or bangs surfaced on Wednesday. However, the players who were injured during Saturday's scrimmage did not participate in any contact work on the day. Spur Angel Estrada, offensive lineman Justin Williams, and tiget end Ryan Thomas were dressed, while wide receiver A.J. Nastasi, who has a class conflict, did not participate at all.

Tight end Tory Johnson and linebacker Adam Lehnortt, who were hurt in the previous week's work, did not dress for the scrimmage.

On the field at the Stadium, contact work was limited even though the team was in full pads. Among those standing out were running back Avon Cobourne (as usual) along with wide receiver Miquelle Henderson, who had several good catches during skeleton drills.

The defense also played well in stretches after some individual attention from head coach Rich Rodriguez. The defense had a slight edge in the head to head scrimmaging held late in the practice.

With the injured players out and other players like David Upchurch and Avon Cobourne missing parts of the practice due to class obligations, several second teamers got a chance to perform with the starters. Arthur Harrison played well in the absence of Angel Estrada, and Ben Timmons continued to get work at the center position.

One other switch of interest was at linebacker, where Ben Collins and Grant Wiley changed spots. Collins moved into the Mike spot, while Wiley spent the majority of practice at the Lou linebacker position that was left thin by the absence of Lehnortt. According to linebacker coach Todd Graham, the move, like many others during the spring, is an experiment. The staff wants to be able to move linebackers around to get their best players on the field, especially in case of injury, and spring is the best time to get the experience necessary to make those moves a success.

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