First day of full pads! The team didn’t go fully live in terms of tackling or contact, but it was taken up a notch from previous practices. Most of the day was spent working on individuals and getting used to running and playing in full pads. There were some team segments which emphasized the run game early on and pass game towards the end of practice. Onto the notes!
- QBs had it going early on. Chase Garbers threw an absolute dime to Makai Polk about 25 yards downfield. Polk was also wide open. Devon Modster answered on his drive with a high point opportunity to Treyvon Clark who came down with the reception along the sidelines. DB covering Clark, jumped as well but the ball sailed just over his fully extended arms.
- For those wondering about the OL. They had a pretty decent day. It’s clear that the older guys or guys with experience are further along than the guys that have not seen the field yet. There is some depth there but beyond the top 6 or 7 lineman regardless of position, there is a definite need to find some guys to step up.
- The staff rotated in players for every OL group but the two groups that I think performed the best were: 74/64/52/61/71 and 78/70/73/72/76.
- Brett Johnson had his best day in camp so far. He was showing up everywhere. Scary proposition was seeing him line-up along the defensive line with Cam Goode and Zeandae Johnson on one side. That’s going to bring some nightmares to OCs across the conference.
- The younger linebackers and defensive backs look hungry for snaps and play time. They are looking to push the starters and work their way into the rotation. They look to be further along than I would’ve expected some of them to be.
- DB Branden Smith had himself a day with 2 interceptions. One during 1-on-1s and another during the team period. Both were outstanding plays by Smith to jump at the right time to make a play on the ball.
- Kuony Deng’s natural instincts to the ball is impressive. He’s great at reading and plugging the hole from the ILB spot, but when the ball gets outside he is tracking and playing the angles perfectly to the sidelines.
- WR Makai Polk had a very savvy catch today. He was coming across the middle of the field, had a player on his back and front. When the ball was thrown, he adjusted and took one step to get in front of the linebacker ahead of him and had both players behind him to make the catch. Simple instinct to go towards the ball, but I was very impressed with that small adjustment from a true freshman.
- Longest play today was a 40 yard bomb from Jack Newman to Ben Skinner. Newman put the ball on the dot.
- Team also had a Blitz Pick-Up segment. Biggest size difference matchup was Camryn Bynum against Jake Curhan. Slightly unfair size matchup but both have to get used to it.
- Jake Tonges had a surprisingly good rep keeping Cam Goode at bay.
- Isaiah Humphries also showed off some ball skills with an interception. Ball was bobbled between 2 players , Humphries came in late but snatched the ball and was off in the other direction.
- Practice ended with a Play The Game period where they just ran plays and drives. It was pretty uneventful, back and forth with a couple false start penalties. The lone touchdown came from Treyvon Clark. He caught a pass from Modster, juked inside and had a free route down the sideline to the endzone.
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