Saturday’s Starting OL – Tremain Smith (LOT), Drew Dearman (LOG), Trey Clark (C), Melvin Meggs (ROG), Shawn Artz (ROT)
Artz and Meggs look good on the right side.
Smith has to get more consistent on at LT. He’ll make a really nice play, then whiff at a guy on the next play.
Clark (and James Elliott) – there were a lot of bad snaps. Apparently, there’s an issue with a new ball. I think it has to do with our move to the SBC, and we now have to use the official SBC football which is a different brand than the Nike footballs we’ve been using. From what I’m hearing they are really slick, so much so that the holder was complaining about being able to catch them and get them down cleanly. At the end of practice I specifically watched during the FG segment and there were at least two attempts where the holder never looked to completely have control of the ball. I guess they’ll take some getting used to.
2nd team OL – Chris May (LOT), Damon Husband (LOG), James Elliott (C ), Shane Doty (ROG), Phillip Wyatt (ROT)
Chris May is athletic and light on his feet, but he’s got to get stronger.
Husband still needs a lot of S&C. He still has a lot of baby fat.
If the name Phillip Wyatt is not ringing a bell, he’s a 6’5,250 freshman from Fairhope. I’d have to guess he’s a walkon, because I’d never heard anything about him until now. However, he was late to the game of football at Fairhope, only playing his senior year and has natural ability. As a matter of fact, he earned five letters in high school in tennis. As a senior he won his first round match at No. 3 singles and advanced to the quarterfinals at No. 1 doubles in the state 6A tournament. As a junior, he advanced to the state finals at No. 5 in singles.
And he held up pretty well when I made it a point to watch him Saturday. On his very first play, he manhandled Will Thompson on about a 12 yard run.
Now, it’s not ideal to have a freshman walkon as your back-up RT, but he clearly has some upside.
Which brings me to Darrius McKeller. He looks to be in decent shape. He took part in technique work, but did not get in during inside drills or the scrimmage. I have to wonder if he’s a little dinged up, because he certainly looks the part.
It’s going to be really interesting in the fall to see how many of the incoming freshman can crack the 2-deep.
Bryant Lavender had a good day. He’s just so solid.
Anthony Ingram had a really good scrimmage. He’s quick and elusive and has a nice burst.
Wes Saxton is really athletic and Greg Hollinger does not look out of place at TE.
Brandon Bridge can move. When the pocket breaks down he can really take off.
C.J. Bennett had really good day. He was the sharpest QB by far. He seemed to have better timing with the WR than the other QBs. In the scrimmage, he threw for three TDs. One perfect throw down the left sideline to Lavender over Charles Watson for probably a 50+ yard TD. One very nice throw on a post pattern that split the safeties from about 30 yards out. The third TD was on an out route to Corey Besteda from around the 20. Corey caught it around the five, broke one tackle and dove into the endzone while being hit by another DB.
The play before that was a designed QB run that C.J. may have scored on in “real life” but he was blown down as a DL got a hand on him as he ran by.
He also threw another nice deep ball down the left side line (I think to Lavender again) that went for about 30 yards.
Another play from pass skel that the coaches got really excited about (Matthews and Perry especially), was a play where Bennett dumped it off to the Ellis Hill in the left flat and it may have gone for a TD he was so wide open. The excitement was probably from of combination of making the right read, throwing the ball at the right time and not forcing something into coverage.
There was a lot of emphasis on the tempo. “Go, go, go” could be heard quite a bit.
There was also a great deal of emphasis on execution. Players were being pulled out of the scrimmage or jerked out of drills for not knowing where they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to be doing. Dumb penalties were getting guys pulled, as well. C.J. Bennett had a really good day utilizing the hard counts. However, there were at least 4 occasions where he drew his own guys off sides. Interestingly enough, twice it was a WR and once it was a RB standing right next to him.
Robert Matthews was up in the tower with the headset on. That seems like a clear indication he’ll be in the booth on game days, which makes sense as the OC, but not as the OL coach. If I had to guess, I’d say John Turner will be responsible for the OL on the sidelines on game day – just like old times.
The starting Defense, from what I could tell, was Romelle Jones (DE), Andy Dagliesh (NT), Randon Carnathan (DE), Anthony Taylor (Jack), Jake Johnson (ILB), Desmond Levelle (ILB), Clifton Crews (SLB), Charles Watson (CB), Darrius Morrow (CB), Charles Harris (S) and Alonzo Long (S).
Gabe Loper was running with the 2’s at FS.
The DL has to be more consistent. Carnathan, Ronelle Jones, Ceasare Johnson – those guys can make plays when they turn it on, but they have be more consistent. We also need more quality depth. Some of our back-up DL are undersized or just not active enough.
Jake Johnson and Clifton Crews are really good.
Maleki Harris made a lot of plays, both in the open field and behind the line of scrimmage.
Pat Moore can get up the field. I don’t know if he has any counter moves, but he can flat run around the OT when he wants to.
Charles Watson is physical and can turn and run with the WR.
Darrius Morrow is a very good athlete. He’s fast, quick, agile and can break on the ball quickly.
The highlight of the scrimmage may have come with the 3’s. Husky ILB Robert Terrell intercepted a pass over the middle and returned it deep into the offense’s territory, side stepping one would be tackler and coming up just short of the goal line. The defensive coaches were fired up and the phrase “rumblin, bumplin, stumplin” came to mind.
This may be my only scrimmage until the spring game, but there were some real glimpses of what the offense can do.
The offense has a long way to go, but it will be fun to watch when they get there.
There were some recruits on hand. It appeared the majority of them were OL as they were observing the OL group.
(Check the Insider Board for a little nugget regarding the OL recruits.)