GoAUpher: Bumping for the great recap and because I'm super jealous I couldn't go.
A fine day, one that felt like spring for more reasons than just the fact that I was watching live football. Today I attended my first Gopher Football practice, the third and final practice open to the public this fall, not include the scrimmage this coming Saturday. I have to say that I enjoyed it, more than I thought I would. The players are right next to you, run pass and in-between you between stations, and if you aren’t paying enough attention, might run into you. That in mind, I would like to share some jottings of what I observed and felt.
Note: I wasn't able to attend the full practice, but I did see most of it. Also, I don’t know what direction coaches gave the players, so that might have an impact on what I saw (example, coaches telling the QBs to throw long so the WR would stretch out)
- Decent attendance. I have no skills on estimating crowd size but I would say about 125 people of all age ranges.
- Of those 125 people, Tyrone Carter and his daughter were among them.
- So was several members of the media, including Nate Sandell (man he looks young, and I’m only 35)
- Also, there was a dog there.
- While it was my first practice, I am told that the improvement on how they practice now, compared to the last 2 years, is impressive.
- It was very organized. Kill continued to run his practice by the clock, kind of like circuit training.
- The team was disciplined and confident, the players ran to their stations and formed their lines well.
- More on discipline, the coaches where not afraid to yell/curse at the players, but they didn’t have to do it too often.
- So far "The Expendables 2" is a horrible, horrible movie (I am watching it while I write this).
- The uniform of the day was shorts, shoulder pads, and helmets.
- #99 Ra’Shede Hageman & #79 Jonah Prisig are just huge human beings. Each of these guys ran past me from behind at one point and I could just sense them coming.
- They made several interceptions in drills and coverage seemed tight
- The D-Line seemed to jump at a hard count quite a bit, let’s hope this changes.
- The line did get some penetration
- LB’s looked good at times.
- #26 De’Vondre Campbell is really tall.
- #56 Nick Rallis was very vocal, seemed to be calling the shots among the 2nd team LBs.
- #57 Aaron Hill was also very vocal and seemed to call the shots among the 1st team LBs.
- #3 Martez Shabazz had a couple of nice hits that caused receivers to drop the catch.
- Didn’t see the Line jump much, only once that I can remember
- #7 Mitch Leidner looks great running, almost a run-first kinda QB.
- #9 Philip Nelson looked fine, especially on the short passes. He had one really nice long ball.
- #4 Donovahn Jones looks liked he could be a good QB, right now his passes tend to go low.
- Receivers, including #12 Andre McDonald looked fine.
- I heard "good job Logan" (#17 Logan Hutton) quite a bit, hopefully he can start to make those good plays/moves outside of practice.
- #16 Jamel Harbison & #82 Drew Wolitarsky have good hands.
- No way #39 Nat Wozniak redshirts unless he can’t block. So tall with good hands. Several times he, not the WRs went long.
- Tight ends in general looked good, as did the running backs.
- The centers where the only people in full pads (as I think shorts would have gotten in the way), but the long snappers still had shorts on.
- Didn't see much but the field goals looked fine.
- #28 Ryan Santoso really is huge
- They had starters (like Kirkwood) among the people practicing punt blocking.
I am very excited. Really, that is all I need to say. But if I had to say one more thing it would be that I am much more confident, not only about this year but the future. Lastly, wholly crap is the Expendables 2 a really bad movie.