NOTEBOOKS | So it's interesting to read the various notebooks. I submit to you: LAJ's Don Williams and RRS.com's Will McKay. I also submit to you the video of head coach Tommy Tuberville which is where they pull these notebooks from. If you've ever wanted to know how the sausage gets made, this is it. Overall, there wasn't much news that came from Tuberville today. Most of the news and notes came from OC Neal Brown and WR coach Tommy Mainord and I am providing to you, free of charge, a non-transcript:
OC Neal Brown: Lot of depth at skill positions. There is also individual competition on the O-line. WR Eric Ward and IR Alex Torres were good today. RB DeAndre Washington was significantly better today than on day one. They trust their body more. OG Brian Thomas is behind on conditioning, is fighting an acid-reflux deal. He can look as good as LT LaAdrian Waddle on several plays, but then he falls off. With WR Bradley Marquez you get effort and focus, he's not as sharp right now. He didn't miss the strength and conditioning part, but he missed catching balls this summer. There is competition at the two-deep on receivers, the skill 2's were better than skill 1's. We have competition up front too, C Tony Morales will push Gallington. Same with Thomas pushing OG Beau Carpenter.
WR coach Tommy Mainord: See potential of WR Darrin Moore, has pressure with, WR Bradley Marquez and WR Javon Bell are pushing him. Bell's head was spinning, he's catching up. Ward has been our guy, but WR Derreck Edwards and WR Marcus Kennard are also having phenomenal years. Edwards had the best spring of anyone we had. We tell our guys they may come down or up, so you better come to work. Marquez is still in very good shape, the others have been catching football. Marquez is a bit sloppy on foot-work and it will not take him long to catch up. Bell has looked great. Edwards lungs aren't where they were. They pulled him back on running so he could add some weight, he's at 182 now, he'll run forever when he gets going. During the off-season Edwards was watching tape or getting the tennis machine all on his own an that's starting to work for everyone. No issues with Marquez on memorizing plays, he's a smart guy and very hard-working. Have some guys that are burners. Bell is crazy-fast. Moore's ball-skills are phenomenal. Kennard's is probably Doege's best fade-ball. All of those guys have qualities that help us. Very excited about WR Dominique Wheeler and WR Reginald Davis, they can run, they are smart and they are picking up the offense. Their heads are spinning, they are on top on the first two days, they have studied their notes and am very excited they are part of the program.
JUCO CORNERBACKS | LAJ's Nick Kosmider profiles and has good video of CB Bruce Jones and CB Olaoluwa Falemi. There are a couple of things that stand out, which is Jones's size, 5-7/171, and Falemi's size, which is 5-9/157. That's small even by my standards. It will be interesting to see how that plays out against the bigger receivers on the team and in the conference. For my money, there's quite a bit that rests on this second cornerback spot and this might be the most interesting battle of the camp on defense. Here's DB coach John Lovett:
"It’s too early to say right now, but for sure they’re depth players," Lovett said of the juco transfers. "Both of them are very talented, and I expect both of them to contribute this year. We’ll just kind of see from there. You have to see what the learning curve is, how healthy they stay and how well they compete against these other guys."
PRACTICE REPORTS | LAJ's Nick Kosmider and RP.com's Joe Yeager have practice reports that are very much worth your time. Everything that I'm reading seems to be heaping praise on the depth at receiver and personally, I have a hard time keeping track of all of the players and who could contribute. Invariably, I forget about a player here or there that will most likely make a significant impact because of the number of good players. Javares McRoy, Jakeem Brant, Tyson Williams and Javon Bell are players that I haven't even mentioned this spring, not on purpose, but there are just a ton of options.
This next bit if from Yeager's report, but it makes my heart swoon:
Tackling a Priority—What a Concept! It may seem like the most obvious thing from a defensive coordinator, but Art Kaufman is serious about tackling. For the first time in my memory—which dates to spring of 2005—Tech’s linebackers worked on tackling dummies and they actually tackled the dummies! This wasn’t a case of just hitting a sled. The linebackers fired into the dummies and brought them to the turf as quickly as possible. Blake Dees, who looks like Tech’s most physical linebacker, excelled here.
Later Kaufman led the linebackers through a much more finessed tackling drill where he very quietly but urgently instructed his charges on proper pursuit angles and form. Kaufman’s approach is very low-key compared to Chad Glasgow’s, but one can tell the players pay close attention to him.
From Kosmider's article, he says that DE Branden Jackson had the play of the day.
Here are the highlights from yesterday's practice:
MEET THE TWO DEEP | The series continues with a look at LB Justin Cooper:
All helmet images via The Helmet Project.