This practice was the last look the public got at the Bears before they get a week's hiatus for Spring Break. The practice featured some scrimmaging, specifically a two-minute drill situation and a four minute, run out the clock situation. The latter of these showcased the stable that our running backs have formed. I have a few notes on a practice that moved relatively swiftly, and who stood out.
- Arthur Wainwright is an excellent hitter. In the special teams drill where they simulated a kick return, Wainwright got an audible pop out of a huge hit he made. He was a hard hitter on special teams last year, but committed too many penalties for his station. With another years' development, he should become a bigger piece of the special teams unit.
- In our goal line 1 on 1's there were only 2 incompletions out of about 13 or 14 passes. One came on a misfire and the other on a drop by Ray Hudson.
- Our receiving corps looks fantastic, and it's going to be difficult for the secondary to catch up with their progress. Standouts there include Trevor Davis, who burned the corner across from him often, Chad Hansen, who is a very precise route runner, and Kenny Lawler, who is just too much for our secondary to handle at the moment.
- There are bright spots for the defense though, the first of those being Kyle Kragen. Kragen, who recovered from a bout with mono last season, looked incredibly explosive off the line. He made a couple of plays early getting into the backfield to get stops on Daniel Lasco and Tre Watson in the backfield. His explosion is encouraging, and the talent we still have on the interior will help him further.
- Vic Enwere plays like a cross between a bulldozer and a gazelle. His first run was a thing of beauty, busting through the line and spinning away from a linebacker, then breaking away from the secondary to score on a 33 yard run. He has ascended faster than a lot of people expected, and could easily be Lasco's backup this year. This may be a bit of hyperbole, but we may be looking at the next Marshawn Lynch. He reminds me of 2005 Marshawn Lynch with his ability to shrug off the first hit. Also, he needs a nickname. I say Vic the Brick. The illustrious Nam says Notorious V.I.C. Let us know what you think
- Maurice Harris continues the family tradition of making excellent catches, making a one handed catch on a goal line route. It looked like his other arm was getting held as he pulled in a bullet from Goff. He can give Lawler a run for his money on the impressive catch lists
- Chase Forrest appears to be the clear backup to Goff if Rubenzer stays at safety. Forrest has learned a little bit from Jared, as his ability to step up in the pocket while facing pressure is excellent. He knew when to scramble or when to check down, which is some good development for the redshirt freshman.
- DeVante Wilson will be a factor this year. Though he's currently running with the 2nd team on defense, his speed off the edge is unmistakeable. While there weren't any pass rush drill today to judge him any further, he was able to get to the quarterback a couple times. Trevor Kelly really helped by occupying space in the middle and getting into the backfield as well.
- AJ Greathouse was taking some reps at safety, which adds to depth at the position. De'Zhan Grace was taking a lot of reps at corner for the first team defense, which hopefully means that the coaches have enough faith in him there to move Greathouse to a position of more need
- Patrick Laird had a catch on a seam route for 63 yards and a TD. Forrest threw him a bullet on what appeared to be a pop pass sort of play, and Laird turned on the burners to make it to the endzone. It's good to see him thrive in his reps.
- 1st O: Davis, Lawler, Anderson(TE), Treggs(Rotating with Hudson), Farley, Rigsbee, M Cochran, Borrayo, V. Johnson, Lasco (Enwere rotating in), and Goff
- 1st D: Kragen, Mekhari, Looney, J. Johnson, Kearney, Nickerson, Barton, Grace, Allensworth, Rubenzer, Walker
- Ray Hudson is listed as a FB/WR. We could see him in an H-back role. He was used as the main target for a variation of Spider 3 Y Banana that the Bears ran
All in all, a swift practice that didn't have too many downsides. There were referees for the scrimmage, one of which I later found out worked the Big Game this past year. Rubenzer did not have any interceptions taken away from him this time.