Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Football practice, Tuesday, August 18

This post was written by Vanguard sports writer Allison Whited.

The offensive and defensive lineman practiced single man coverage this morning and it was intense to watch. Going against each other one-on-one, the defensive lineman would attempt to push his way past the offensive lineman to get to where the quarterback would hypothetically be.

During these drills, a couple of players really stood out on the defensive line. Freshman Shea Prince was lined up against center and fellow freshman Jackson Dallas. There is a 90-lb. disparity between these two in Dallas' favor, but to watch them you wouldn't have known it. Prince put himself in great position and got under Dallas' pads. From there, Dallas didn't have a chance and Prince just walked him backwards and out of the way.

Another standout on the defensive line was Conrad Davis. On one drill, he made contact with the opposing lineman and then gave a great spin move and got away. This all happened in a matter of seconds. Currently he is listed third in the depth chart at defensive end, but his abilities should garner him more playing time than that.

A standout offensive lineman this morning was Kyle Ritt. He looked strong through spring training and he continues to perform at a high enough level that he should start. Time again, regardless of his opponents size, he matched up perfectly and held them at bay. With him on the line, the quarterback should be able to breathe a bit easier.

While the lineman were sparring, the rest of the offense and defense set up against each other in mock 11-on-11 drills. The secondary was in top shape with two near interceptions by safety Jordan Brown and two back to back picks of Drew Hubel by DeShawn Shead and Tracy Ford.

One of the new quarterbacks who showed up last week is still having trouble seeing the field. Most of the time, he winds up running with the ball, but without passing, he's not gaining anything. Receiver and obvious team leader Aaron Woods took him aside and threw the ball back ands forth with him after one mean looking play. Hopefully this encourages him to keep progressing in the offense.

Speaking of Woods, what a great day he had. Towards the end of practice, with the team taking on the long field, he was Hubel's go-to guy. Two catches in a row, right up the middle, each for 20-plus yards. The thing that is evident when watching Woods on his routes is that he wants the ball. Whereas some of the receivers run their route and wait for the ball, Woods finishes the route, finds the ball, and then goes to it. This aggressive attitude is part of what makes him so dangerous to opposing defenses. He will without a doubt be exciting to watch this year.