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Observations / notes from first spring workout

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Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby PonyPride » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:41 am

The Mustangs kicked off their spring workouts Sunday in a session well attended by high school coaches. While adhering the request not to list details like specific personnel groupings, etc., here are some items of note.

• A couple of players now wear new numbers, including S Cam Jones is wearing 2, WR Austin Upshaw is wearing 6.
• Football alumni who showed up included (but were not limited to) James Proché, Xavier Jones, Pat Nelson, Paul Loyd, Jackson Mitchell, Deon Green, Chris Rentzel, Matt Ayres, Der'Rikk Thompson and Taylor Reed.
• When a big, strong WR wearing No. 16 reached out and made a nice one-handed grab, I actually thought "another nice catch by Courtland Sutton" ... because, you know, I was on my first cup of coffee. But this No. 16 was Keke Burns, who suffered the scary injury in last year's season opener at Arkansas State. Burns, Calvin Wiggins and Rashee Rice all look like they have spent the offseason in the weight room and the training table — visibly thicker and stronger. That's not to suggest any of them is Sutton 2.0 — just that they appear to be working to follow the mantra from head coach Sonny Dykes to get the team bigger and stronger.
WR Reggie Roberson is back. As Dykes said, Roberson was limited as the team's coaches and medical staff want to make sure not to rush him back too quickly from the broken bone in his foot that ended his 2019 season prematurely. But when he was out on the field, he seemed to be running smoothly, and ran by some defensive backs. Whether he is exactly as fast as he was before his injury that he suffered against Houston is hard to tell, but if he isn't, he's getting close.
• Backup QB Terrance Gipson looks vastly different. A year ago at this time, he enrolled early and took part in spring drills, but did so while learning his new coaches, teammates and offense while wearing a bulky brace on his knee, which was recovering from an injury that ended his last high school season early. Now he's running without a brace, and looks visibly faster in straight-line speed and quicker with his fakes and jukes to shake defenders. The quarterbacks didn't throw a lot of deep passes, but Gipson's passes, especially on intermediate routes to the outside, were mostly very strong and accurate. On one play, while backpedaling to get away from a pass rusher, he fired a ball about 45 yards downfield. He overthrew Burns and the ball fell incomplete, but to get that kind of throw away while off-balance and throwing off the wrong foot was impressive.
• Each of the quarterbacks had some inconsistencies. Shane Buechele, Gipson, Will Brown, Derek Green and Jacob Oehrlein all had some hits and all had some misses, especially downfield when throwing in a moderate wind. Credit the wind, credit first-day rust, credit getting used to play-calling and terminology by new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley — whatever the reason ... it looked at times like the first day.
• They also each had some very impressive throws, more of which were directed at TE Tommy McIntyre, who was targeted on short, medium and deep routes. To his credit, McIntyre kept up his pace throughout practice. He didn't catch everything, but he caught a lot.
• Terrific interception by S Trevor Denbow, who raced forward and dove in front of a receiver near the sideline to make the pick before the ball hit the ground.
• Another nice defensive play turned in when Rice kept both feet in bounds to make a sideline grab, only to have CB Eric Sutton rip the ball from his hands before he fell out of bounds.
• The drill in which a full offensive and defensive line get lined up and then only one pass rusher goes forward in a one-on-one drill is always fun to watch. Among the takeaways:
DE DeVere Levelston is fast — didn't get to see enough of him to really get a take on his pass rushing moves, but in a race among linemen, he makes the relay.
OT Braxton Webb did a nice job. He had three assignments that I saw — on all three, the defensive end tried to rely on speed to go around him, and on all three, Webb maintained his position and balance and steered the pass-rusher well behind the "quarterback."
DE Toby Ndukwe twice raced past his blocker like he was leaving starting blocks on a track. On one snap, he got out of his stance so quickly that was completely untouched when he arrived at the "quarterback," almost in time to intercept the snap if he had been looking for it.
— One of the best matchups was between OT Danielson Ike and DT Elijah Chatman. The two mirrored each other as Chatman sought a way around Ike, and then locked horns in a struggle between two of the more powerful players on the team. If there was a winner, it would have to be Ike, as Chatman didn't reach the "quarterback" but they both moved well and each was able to use power to move the other ... briefly.
• Another young defender who made an impression was S Donald Clay, who made a diving interception after reacting quickly to a Will Brown pass that got deflected at the line of scrimmage. It looked initially like the ball would fall harmlessly incomplete, but Clay reacted quickly and dove several yards to make the pick.
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Re: Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby Timothythegreat » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:55 am

Thank you, PP.

I noticed you mentioned that Trevor Denbow was still at safety instead of moved back to linebacker...please tell me this was just an over sight while you were hurriedly typing this report up...
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Re: Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby ALEX LIFESON » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:02 am

Denbow has moved back to lb.
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Re: Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby ojaipony » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:44 pm

Kedric James?

Any word / sightings on Richard Moore?
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Re: Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby ALEX LIFESON » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:45 pm

ojaipony wrote:Kedric James?

Any word / sightings on Richard Moore?


James is still rehabbing an injury, but should start participating after the Spring break. They are just now submitting the paperwork for Richard Moore. Richard is progressing nicely, from his injury.

https://youtu.be/w95BUvftAoA
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Re: Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby malonish » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:58 pm

ALEX LIFESON wrote:Denbow has moved back to lb.


Bless
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I think malonish is right

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Re: Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby Dukie » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:06 pm

malonish wrote:
ALEX LIFESON wrote:Denbow has moved back to lb.


Bless

He's between the two positions but definitely a win for him and for the Ponies for him to be there.

Are spring practices going to continue?
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Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby PonySnob » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:24 pm

Dukie wrote:
malonish wrote:
ALEX LIFESON wrote:Denbow has moved back to lb.


Bless

He's between the two positions but definitely a win for him and for the Ponies for him to be there.

Are spring practices going to continue?


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Re: Observations / notes from first spring workout

Postby Charleston Pony » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:47 pm

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