LAJ's Don Williams sits down with sophomore punter Jonathan LaCour and he's irritated at the wind and according to Williams, the average wind speed since practice started is 17 m.p.h. Welcome to Lubbock. Here's Jonathan LaCour:
"It’s pretty irritating,’’ LaCour said after one of last week’s workouts, "because no matter how I drop the ball, the wind’s going to take it, the nose of the ball’s going to go down, the ball’s going to shift to the side, and then I have to match my foot up with it.’’
New special teams coach Eric Russell says that this LaCour is talented, but inconsistent:
Asked for an early impression of LaCour, Russell said, tongue in cheek: "He probably kicks better the more you yell at him.
"Talented leg. Pretty athletic, just inconsistent,’’ Russell said. "But he’s got the tools to be a good Big 12 punter. It’s just getting through some mental stuff — just letting him trust his ability to turn it loose instead of thinking his way through kicks.’’
LaCour is also disappointed by his performance last year and I thought that this was pretty interesting about LaCour's mental aspect to the game:
LaCour said his spring objective is as much about improving his mental approach as anything mechanical. He wants to work on relaxing and doing what comes naturally.
"It’s just stuff I’m doing on my own,’’ he said. "I considered talking to a sports psychologist, just to keep me relaxed and clearheaded, but I think I’ll be able to keep myself like that.’’
Russell said he thinks LaCour is hungry and likes that he wasn’t happy with how he performed last season. Now they’re trying to work through LaCour’s tendency to overthink and try to be too perfect.
DT's Alex Ybarra takes a look at the safeties, RS freshman Cody Davis and sophomore Franklin Mitchem. Ybarra re-tells the story about making the hit on Ed Britton, jarring the ball loose and snagging the ball out of the air for the interception:
"That's what I try and do," said Davis, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound redshirt freshman from Stephenville. "I think that's an up-and-coming staple of my game, I guess, just trying to make a loud hit and come downhill."
"I feel a little bit of pressure, because it's my first time starting for a Big 12 school," Mitchem said. "We got the best competition out there in the country, next to the SEC, so we gotta bring our game any time."
And defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill completely trusts safeties coach Carlos Mainord:
"(Mainord's) done well everywhere he's been, from college to pros and back to college," McNeill said. "So they're being coached by one of the best. (The safeties) face a top offense in the country every day passing-wise, and total offense-wise, so anything that they'll see in the fall, they will have no doubt have seen in the spring from our offense."
Red Raider Football Notebook
LAJ's Don Williams has a number of notes from yesterday's practice:
Rashad Hawk is in the doghouse, as are some of the regular players and as of right now, this is who saw the most time during the 50 play 11-on-11 scrimmage:
"It’s just a competitive situation," head coach Mike Leach said. "We’re looking at all of them, and we’ve got a variety of (passing drills) going on. But at each position, whoever the two are that we feel like are on top, those are the guys we’re repping."
On Wednesday, that was [Edward] Britton and Adrian Reese at split end, Detron Lewis and Austin Zouzalik at one inside receiver, Tramain Swindall and Cornelius Douglas at the other, and Alex Torres and Jacoby Franks at flanker.
- Grad assistant Chris Hudler is moving on to a full-time coaching job in Mesquite, Texas or where his brother coaches in Louisiana. Good luck Chris.
- Cameron Ely, a 6-6/230 quarterback from Harvard is looking at walking-on at Texas Tech. Someone with more time than me, look something up on him.
- Quarterbacks were much better, although Taylor Potts did throw a couple of interceptions. I'm still not worried about Potts, I think it's natural to struggle in the offense when the quarterback is thrust into the starting role. I think it's a natural progression for the quarterback. I'm not even close to being in panic mode.
Neglected Video, Audio and Photos
Fox34 files a practice report from yesterday and Brandon Carter (not in pads) was back at practice, while the focus of the story is on RS freshman linebacker Tyrone Sonier.
The LAJ has a great set of photos from yesterday's practice.