Senior Bowl South squad notes

The South squad brought speed and big hitting to its Tuesday afternoon practice at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

While the play of the North squad quarterbacks was suspect, the South squad showed a little better on Tuesday afternoon.

Pat White, the athletic West Virginia quarterback that some teams might consider at another position, struggled with a bad interception thrown to Ole Miss linebacker Ashlee Palmer early in team drills, but White rebounded a bit as practice went on.

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson made some good decisions, and the South was also carrying Clemson QB Cullen Harper.

The South also seems to have more quickness at receiver.

Georgia wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi made a great diving catch that showed excellent body control during individual drills.

Texas receiver Quan Cosby also showed some deep speed. During full-team practice, he got behind the defense for a deep reception and then showed his elusiveness with quick footwork when defenders had a sideline angle on him. In individual drills, he used short-area quickness to his advantage by selling a deep route and then making the comeback reception. He seems to run well through traffic and make the right cuts.

Ole Miss wide receiver Kenny McKinley also joined in the receiver action when he made a leaping sideline reception with Jackson State defensive back Domonique Johnson in tight coverage.

Even the tight ends showed some occasional flashes of athleticism in grabbing the ball. Southern Miss' Shawn Nelson made a diving catch on a pass from White.

But it wasn't all about the big catches. Tuesday afternoon's practice also featured some big hits.

Nelson was the recipient of a bone-jarring hit after making one catch – safety Chip Vaughn of Wake Forest delivered it – but Nelson stayed on his feet.

Cosby wasn't as lucky. After Cosby made a catch during full-team drills, San Jose State cornerback Coye Francies leveled the receiver.

North Carolina State running back Andre Brown exacted some revenge for Cosby on Francies. Brown took a run around the corner and bowled over the cornerback, but Francies was somehow able to maintain his composure while going to the ground and trip up Brown before he completely got away.

USC linebacker Brian Cushing was also making an impact – literally. After Liberty running back Rashad Jennings caught a screen pass, Cushing lit him up and sent him to the ground.

Cushing is one of six USC players on the South squad.

Also observed at the afternoon practice:

  • Cushing was one of the defenders to come away with an interception during full-team work.

  • Tennessee running back Arian Foster doesn't look like a fast back, but he showed some shifty feet at the second level of the defense.

  • Richmond defensive lineman Lawrence Sidbury showed some quick inside moves during individual drills.

  • Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher has the ability to stonewall some defenders, but he might need to be more consistent if he wants to be one of the top overall picks in the 2009 draft.

  • Georgia defensive tackle Corvey Irvin fought through traffic and absolutely demolished Wilson on one sack.

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