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Red Raider Gridiron | Cantrell and Marquez Adjust to Inside Receiver; Spring Practice Continues

Spring practice picks back up after spring break. Dylan Cantrell and Bradley Marquez are competing at the inside receiver spot. Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Wallerstedt discuss practice and heading to Midland this weekend.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

We get a little information on the inside receivers this morning, including Dylan Cantrell and Marquez Ward, who are both at the Y receiver position (via LAJ).  Cantrell spoke about how he's working as hard as he can and competing with starter Bradley Marquez:

"I’m just going in every day trying to work as hard as I can," Cantrell said. "Bradley’s a veteran. I learn a lot from him. I’m trying to compete with him — compete with the best — because he’s the best receiver on the team right now. So I’m just trying to compete with him and work my way up."

And head coach Kliff Kingsbury talked a bit about the type of player that Cantrell is and what he needs to work on to be better:

"I thought he did a great job on special teams last year and made some plays when we got him in the games," Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He’s a guy who’s very surehanded, a very smart player, always going to be where he has to be. (We) just have to work on his explosiveness and being able to separate."

This makes sense to me. I mentioned the other day that I've been doing quite a bit of writing and one of the things I've been thinking about is the offense, in particular the receivers. I hope to publish some thoughts on that tomorrow and think it's pretty good.

Preparing for Midland:  The LAJ football notebook notes that the team is getting ready for the Midland scrimmage this weekend (via LAJ).  I expect full reports from all Midlanders on Sunday after you have recovered from any sort of hangover.  Kingsbury was duly impressed last year:

"Last year really exceeded expectation," Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday. "We pulled up and there were 7,000 people tailgating, a raucous crowd for our players. We were excited and really pleased with that event, so we’re really glad we get to do it again this year."

There's a handful of quotes in the notebook, and I've non-transcribed them in the Video section, but the item that stood out to me was Kingsbury's quotes about how Wes Welker spoke to the team and all of the coaches left and it was just the players and Welker (this is totally cool):

"I made all the coaches leave so he could have some real talk with the team," Kingsbury said. "They could ask some real questions, because they tend to not ask the same questions when we’re in there. I’m not sure what he said, but it must have been pretty good. I heard them pretty fired up in there."

And as non-transcribed below, Kingsbury is very much looking forward to seeing what happens when the lights go on for the team (via DT):

"How they play when the lights come on and in front of a crowd (is the most important part of the Midland practice)," Kingsbury said. "Out there, it is just a different environment (from practice). We should have a good crowd and so we’ll see how (the players) react, who steps up and who shies from it."


Good stuff on how the NCAA has unveiled how they will have some legislative autonomy (via Sports Illustrated).

Q&A with signee DT Rika Levi (via Rivals).

Action: I had time to do a non-transcript this morning. Pow. Pow.

Kliff Kingsbury: Team was focused, a little sloppy at the end. All the coaches were gone and vacationed. Jakeem Grant has had a great spring, has built from the performance in the spring and has come full circle from last year. IR Bradley Marquez has had a great spring. QB Davis Webb has good zip on his throws, some additional upper body and lower body strength. Just want to see how they play when the lights come on, will good to see how they react. Mainly be Webb and QB Tanner Tausch, will get close to equal reps. Probably around 100 plays. RB Quinton White has accepted that role and stepped up, matured from last year. He's done a much better job of running the offense, knew that blocking was his shortcoming. I have seen a comfort level, playing more fluid.

Matt Wallerstedt: Didn't finish before the break, but came out good, challenged them to come out good, and put one or two more calls in. Want team to compete the whole way. Run to the football and tackle, obviously execute our package, getting off blocks, getting 11 hats on the football. Staff looked at scrimmage again, constantly talking about personnel, shuffling the deck as far as starters. Who all is coming in June and the overall picture and get them ready for the fall. LB Kenny Williams is looking great, he is accountable and reliable. Wants to come over and help and doing a great job. Comes over with credibility. He is still with the 1s. CB Tyler Middleton has some work to do, with the offense going as fast as they are, it is a bit overwhelming. DT Keland McElrath ran with the two's and got a taste of what the offense can do to you.