At the first open practice of the year, it was tough to jump to many conclusions as is usual early in fall camp. Working in the heat was a good test for the players, and myself, to see how they responded and fought through it. Overall as most Bobby Petrino practices are, the tempo was fast and there was a lot of yelling. Here are a few tidbits that I did take away from practice, keep in mind this was for newcomers only:
** A lot of these players are still very new to the system, a few hadn’t been on campus but a few days. But it still didn’t matter, the coaches were onto anyone making a mistake and demanding the best out of them. If players didn’t finish out a play fast enough, someone got onto them. If the huddle wasn’t executed perfectly, they had to redo it. Coach Petrino expects perfection, which is what makes his teams so good.
** JUCO DB Ronald Walker has put in serious work in the weight room and it shows on the field. He physically looks the part to be able to contribute early in the secondary and on special teams.
** Another DB, true freshman Chris Taylor-Yamanoha, looked really good along with Walker in how well he moved, especially for how big of a corner he is.
** Tabarious Peterson is very big. He is currently listed on the roster at 6’3″ 250lbs LB, but I could definitely see the true freshman moving up onto the line with a little added weight.
** True freshman Robbie Bell appeared to handle most ‘first team’ center reps at the newcomers practice.
** Regarding wide receivers, both Dez Fitzpatrick and Seth Dawkins really looked the part. They are tall, have nice builds, run exceptionally well, and are overall just very smooth in how they operate, especially for freshman. I would expect both to see the field this year for the Cardinals.
** From another physicality standpoint, transfer tight end Jordan Davis is massive. He is listed at 6’5″ 265lbs and looks every bit of it. At first glance you would think he is a lineman.
** Both running backs, Dae Williams and Malik Williams, looked impressive with their size and ability to run. Malik had a great diving catch downfield toward the end of practice.
** Jawon Pass is physically impressive and made some really good throws, but he also made some throws that just weren’t quite there. He did seem to settle down as the practice went on and while the he showed tons of promise, you could also see the work he has left to do, which is completely normal for a true freshman.
** It’s hard to tell what the ‘first team’ offensive line consisted of exactly, but it appeared that, like I mentioned before, Robbie Bell got a lot of work at center with Toriano Roundtree and Linwood Foy at tackles. Luke Schultheiss and Matt Cohen appeared to be the guard’s.
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