Tuesday at Shrine Practice: West

The West squad featured a shorter practice on Tuesday going for just 90 minutes. Still several players were able to again stand out and helped themselves in the eyes of the scouts who were present for the second day of Shrine Game practices.

Dustin Long had the best practice of all the quarterbacks displaying a solid deep arm with nice touch.  Derek Anderson struggled with his accuracy all day while Timmy Chang simply did not show enough arm strength to be considered a legitimate prospect.

Chad Owens continued to be the best among the receivers, though another pair of wide outs closed the gap  with strong sessions.  Owens impressed managing to make plays in close quarters against physical defensive backs.  Tab Perry and Earvin Johnson both had tremendous practices running better routes and using their size to make receptions in traffic.  Perry also did a nice job of adjusting to the ball in mid-air.  Fred Amey ran excellent routes and did a nice job extending his hands to make the catch. Paris Warren also ran nice routes and caught the ball with proper fundamentals.  Tight end Steve Fleming made several solid plays during scrimmage while Garret Cross did not stand out.

Fullback Will Matthews continues to display solid blocking skills and was serviceable coming out of the backfield in the passing game.  Brandon Jacobs had the best day of the West running backs showing a burst through the hole that was absent on Monday.  Bobby Purify did not look fast and appeared to play with little intensity.  He did not help himself with his poor effort.

The offensive linemen got more time in one-on-one and five-on-four drills Tuesday as several players used the extra work to improve their stock.  Marc Manfredda has been inconsistent thus far but seemed to settle down towards the end of Tuesday's practice.  Manfredda was doing a better job of holding ground against defenders but never got much push.  Harvey Dahl did a nice job blocking on the second level throughout the day.  Doug Nienhuis had a great practice showing the feet and ability to play in space as well as getting out to the second level and annihilate linebackers.  Chris Kemoeatu held his ground in pass protection yet is inconsistent with his knee bend.  Claude Terrell looks out of shape and has had difficulty playing in space.  Logan Mankins, Michael Roos, and Calvin Armstrong did not stand out on Tuesday.

Brady Poppinga has split his time between outside linebacker and defensive end all week.  Displaying better pass coverage skills on Tuesday, he also shows the ability to get upfield rushing the passer.  Will Svitik looks like a tight end and is too tall to get leverage against defensive linemen.  Adell Duckett did a better job coming off of blocks and played stronger than his size would indicate.  Ryan Riddle, another smallish defensive end, played with great hustle and instincts.  He had a nice day harassing quarterbacks and getting outside pressure.  Michael Montgomery had another solid outing as did his college teammate Marcus Jasmin.  Jasmin has been very difficult for the offensive linemen to block one-on-one but does have difficulty coming off of double teams.  Nick Johanssen holds his ground well but does not show much pass rush potential and may not offer much growth potential.  Eddie Brown did not stand out at all.

A trio of West linebackers continued to show great range and good reactions.  Adam Seward, Justin Burks, and Robert Rodriguez all continued to make plays against the pass and attacked ball carriers.  Wendell Hunter actually exceeded this trio with his performance Tuesday.  He capped off a good practice stepping in front of a receiver and picking off a pass late in scrimmage.  Hunter looks natural in coverage and rarely allowed his man to get open.  Jordan Beck plays with great intensity but appears to be small and a step slow.

The defensive backs had difficulty today.  Aric Williams and Jason Leach had the best days of any secondary player.  Williams overpowered West receivers either disrupting their routes or concentration.  Leach  continued to show good lateral range and a desire to punish ball carriers.  He also had a nice interception and return near the end of scrimmage. Karl Payham and Cedric Williams continue to play sound football but were not making plays on the ball.  Gabe Franklin also continues to improve and though he was beaten on several occasions scouts seemed to be impressed with his overall game.   Aaron Francisco continues to play better in zone coverage.  Niether Donte Nicholson or Morgan Scalley have stood out.

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