Spring Fling #3: Scrimmage Reports
Saturday was a busy day for spring football with a number of teams holding scrimmages. And of course Davidson hanging with Kansas was not enough stimulation for my ADD-riddled brain. So it was time to log some hours and sift through some practice reports.
Many of the fantasy heavyweights are nursing injures or donning red non-contact jerseys. But we really don’t care how many TDs Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree hook up for in spring ball anyway. We want to know how some of the position battles are going to shake out, so away we go.
Terry Grant led all rushers in Saturday’s scrimmage with 12 carries for 42 yards, including touchdown runs of 31 and 2 yards.
Kodi Burns and Chris Todd are still locked in a quarterback battle. Strap in, because this one is going to last well into fall camp…Burns went 14-of-21 for 142 and also showed off his scrambling ability. Todd went 18-of-27 passes for 190 yards…Wide out Robert Dunn hauled in touchdown passes from both Burns and Todd…Rod Smith and Dunn are looking more and more like fantasy options in 2008.
The quarterback situation is still “unsettled”. Blake Szymanski’s and Kirby Freeman’s names seem to pop up the most often, but Robert Griffin is still in it.
Running back Chris Rainey is starting to show off his game-breaking ability. Nearly every practice or scrimmage report we read has the burner Rainey breaking long touchdowns, either on the ground or in the passing game. Rainey has bulked up a bit, but he still probably doesn’t have enough umpf to carry the load full time; however Rainey will be a factor, whether it’s stealing carries from running backs or taking over for some of the roles held by Percy Harvin, Urban Meyer will be getting the ball into Rainey's hands.
College fantasy football fans have been salivating over the prospects of USC transfer Emmanuel Moody and by various accounts he could be the best all-around back on the roster. However, according to Urban Meyer, he has a ways to go in understanding the offense…Kestahn Moore is still listed as the Gator’s top running back. Can you say split carries?
Antone Smith looks good in spring again. Neat.
Josh Nesbitt is pulling away from Calvin Booker in the Georgia Tech quarterback battle…Nesbitt and Demaryuis Thomas hooked up for a long touchdown pass in Saturday’s scrimmage…According to Mike Knobler at ajc.com
Quincy Kelly started ahead of Jonathan Dwyer at B-back (more on this later). Definitely something to keep an eye one but no need to panic yet, all accounts have Dwyer having a good day, even in the pass catching department.
Knowshon Moreno took a screen pass 70-yards for a score…Freshman Dontavius Jackson had a 40-yard touchdown run…Fellow freshman running back Richard Samuel has also been catching the eye of coaches…No sign of Caleb King, who has a sore knee. We’re still pegging King as the #2 come fall.
Case Keenum and Blake Joseph split snaps in Saturday’s scrimmage. Booooo!
Still no separation between Keiland Williams, Richard Murphy and Charles Scott at running back. Williams led all rushers with 63 yards on 9 carries in Saturday’s scrimmage, but it was Murphy that received the most praise from head coach Les Miles. I get the feeling we’ll be chasing this tail all fall again…No Ryan Perrilloux yet.
All spring long the word out of Miami is the quarterbacks are struggling. The struggle continued Saturday as Robert Marve, Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith went a combined 20-of-44 for 233 yards and 3 picks…Running back Graig Cooper went off for 91 yards and two scores on nine carries.
Quarterback spot is still up in the air. Nick Sheridan has seemed to have leapfrogged David Cone as the main challenger to Stephen Threet.
Based on his recruiting video, B.J. Cunningham was a kid that I thought would make an impact as a true freshman. In the end it was Devin Thomas that came out of nowhere and Mark Dell who ended up starting as a true frosh. We’ve heard nothing but good things about B.J. over the last year. Don’t be shocked if B.J. takes over as the playmaker for the Spartans in 2008.
In the “who is going to replace Malcolm Kelly" watch, Juaquin Iglesias led all receivers with 4 catches for 62 yards
Running back Kendall Hunter needs to make room for JUCO Beau Johnson. Signs are pointing to split carries.
Jevan Snead has a firm grip on the starting spot at Ole Miss. Move him up your draft boards…Cordera Eason is locking up the starting running back job before Enrique Davis has a chance to get on campus.
Mason Robinson appears to be the lead horse in the Rutgers running back race…No Kordell Young sightings yet…Redshirt frosh Joe Martinek has been turning some heads.
Offense was the name of the day in Saturday’s scrimmage. Chris Smelley is leading the way at quarterback, completing 15-of-26 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns to tight end Jared Cook.
The Longhorns concluded their spring drills (I still have an inch of snow in my backyard by the way) with the Orange-White game…QB John Chiles had 9 carries for 75 yards. I fully expect Chiles to get worked into the offense in 2008…Running back Chris Ogbonnaya took the first snap, Vondrell McGee was in for the second…Ogbonnaya finished with a lone carry for 3 yards….McGee finished with 8 carries for 26 yards and a score…Foswhitt Whittaker finished with 8 carries for 43 yards and a score…Vondrell is still our man, but split carries appear to be looming.
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