March 5, 2011

GBK's Inside the Huddle: Spring Practice (Sat.)


Although the temperature embraced the mid-50's earlier today, the Black Knights continued their spring practice indoors at the Foley Athletic Center

For many of the players, as it is with any program … spring practice is getting a little long and most welcome the end as the bench mark to the fall which leads to the season itself.

Today's practice was both physical and productive, although many of the 1st team players had limited reps or sat out completely.

None of the sidelined players were pulled due to injury, as much as their past resume is an indicator of what they can do. It also served as an opportunity for the staff to determine who fills out the 2 & 3 deep.

Clearly with an emphasis on some of the younger players, offensive vets were limited today.

Offensive guard Frank Allen was out completely. And with 200 plus carries under his belt, the staff knows what Jared Hassin has to offer and he probably received a few reps today and even frosh slotback Raymond Maples was limited to couple of plays.

Slotback Malcolm Brown is being held out for precautionary reasons, but if there was a game today, the junior to be would be in the lineup.

Once again, Brian Cobbs is participating in track.

Today's Standouts

At receiver, Anthony Stephens and Davyd Brooks got tons of reps. But it was Justin Allen who had a solid practice today.

Although Justin Allen stood out today pulling down a few nice catches today and nice reception on the post route, but what has caught the coaches attention is the 5-foot-10, 180 pounder's willingness to block.

A name that many fans aren't familiar with is Rob Wright, who like Allen played well at the receiver spot, where he had one touchdown catch.

"Rob had a phenomenal day today," said offensive coordinator Ian Shields, after today's session.

E.J. Tucker stepped out of his shell and is looking to move himself up charts as he pulled down two touchdown catches today.

Right now, there is a cast of characters and there doesn't appear to be a true 1st team duo, yet.

The upside is that this group is better than last season, with 2010 under their belts.

With the first team offensive line pretty much established up front, there is still room for players to penetrate the 2-3 deep on the roster, and there are a few guys making an impression.

"The two young tackles have really had good springs, and I'm talking about Ben Jebb and Dan Whitaker," shares Shields. "They are right on the heels of some of those older guys like Mike McDermott.

"Shelby Jackson had been doing well, but being away from us offensively hurt him in his development a little bit," says Shields, referring to Jackson's brief experiment on the defensive side of the ball. Assignment wise a little bit behind, because he's starting from scratch and he's going to be good … just needs a little more time and reps."

Running Back

With Maples on the sidelines for most of the morning, Kelechi Odocha continues to take advantage of whatever opportunity he gets to play. The 5-foot-7, 185 pound spark plug showed off his quickness today and he is tough to tackle.

Dan McGue & CeDarius Williams, who have been splitting reps with the two's, ran with the first unit with Hassin limited play.

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