The trio of John Stocco, Tyler Donovan and Bryan Savage all enjoyed their respective ups and downs on the day. The junior Stocco performed well during scrimmaging, hooking up with junior running back Brian Calhoun on several occasions. One completion came against a blitz, with Stocco firing a slant to Calhoun to burn the first-team defense.
Donovan again repeatedly showed his scrambling ability, but showed mixed results putting the ball in the air. The sophomore made a nice crisp throw over the middle to senior wideout Jonathan Orr.
Savage showed his ability to move in the pocket, sidestepping the pass rush and firing a pass to sophomore receiver Jarvis Minton. Overall, the redshirt freshman had an up and down day.
In a recurring theme this spring, Calhoun flashed his mix of speed, hands and versatility. Calhoun ran to the corner on several outside tosses and once again displayed his ability to catch the ball, both out of the backfield and when lined up at receiver. Calhoun ran a fly route and stretched out to catch the deep ball from Stocco. The Colorado transfer also made nice catches during a running backs-only receiving session, catching one ball directly over his head near the sideline.
Junior Booker Stanley showed his toughness, running between the tackles during goal-line running drills.
Sophomore Chris Pressley, recently converted to primarily fullback, worked at tailback for several plays during running drills. Redshirt freshman fullback Bill Rentmeester made a nice catch on an out route from Savage.
Wide receivers/tight ends
After missing the first part of the spring, senior Brandon Williams returned to practice. Williams worked in receiving drills and looked good planting his feet.
Fellow senior Jonathan Orr made a nice catch on a low 10-yard out.
Sophomore Jarvis Minton had another fine day at practice. Minton caught several deep balls, including a grab on a deep corner route near the right sidelines.
Sophomore Paul Hubbard made a nice over-the-head grab on an out route from Savage.
The tight ends worked mostly in blocking drills for the day. Senior Jason Pociask showed his run blocking prowess during the goal-line drills.
There were no major changes for the first team line. Junior left tackle Joe Thomas looked dominant in nearly every drill, sealing the outside on tosses and providing back side protection on passing plays.
The second unit remained the same. True freshman Andy Kemp showed his athleticism for a big man, pulling and delivering some powerful blocks on outside runs. Kemp continued to pair up with sophomore Marcus Coleman as the second-team guards.
For the most part the defensive line makeup stayed the same. Junior end Joe Monty made a nice spin move to free himself during one-one-one rush drills. Sophomore first-team end Jamal Cooper provided pressure off the edge during scrimmaging, recording a sack on one play during that time. Redshirt freshman Jason Chapman worked with the first team at end for a few plays as well. Sophomores Nick Hayden and Justin Ostrowski manned the inside as usual.
The makeup of the first two teams remained the same as well. Sophomore mike linebacker Andy Crooks made a diving pass breakup over the middle. Backup redshirt freshman Joshua Neal received praise from defensive coordinator Bret Bielema with his play during running drills.
The cornerback pairings remained the same as previously, with senior Levonne Rowan and redshirt freshman Allen Langford working with the first team defense. Both impressed, with each breaking up several passes. Rowan made a nice one-handed breakup over the middle and Langford undercut one route to defense the pass. Redshirt freshman Jack Ikegwuonu made one of the plays of the day, tipping a pass and then diving to make the interception.
The safeties also remained the same, with junior Johnny White lining up at strong safety and classmate Roderick Rogers working at free. Rogers made an interception on an out route and returned it for a long gain. Rogers' current backup, junior Zach Hampton made a nice over the shoulder grab on a deep route. Fellow second-team junior safety Joe Stellmacher also made a leaping interception on the sideline as well.
Sophomore Steven Johnson and senior Joel Nellis continued to work as long snapper, while Minton and Calhoun returned punts as well.