Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fall Camp Update (defense)

Defensive Line: Cause for some concern is that several of the D-linemen look out of shape. Wilson Ramos and Cornell Banks were hunched over for a large portion of the last half of practice Tuesday. Jon Monga has huge arms, but looks a bit undersized around the torso. Still, his tenacity is second to none on this team and he stands out from the rest in every D-line drill with his fluidity. Chris Lewis has all the tools to be a star as long as he decides he wants to be. Michael Stuart is another guy to watch -- big potential but still working on technique. Keep an eye on Mark Roberts, who has dropped a great deal of weight and is moving much better at D-tackle. He'll push Banks for a starting job. Bryce Harris is another up and comer who's added a ton of size. True freshman Anthony Williams (No. 63) looks ready to play now, and Matt Akers (No. 95) and Logan Harrell (No. 77) aren't far behind. Injured Kenny Borg worked out on his own and is already running around.

Linebacker: Chris Carter (now No. 43) moves to linebacker from D-end and lines up with the starters from Day 1. Ben Jacobs is holding down the middle and Nico Herron is a vicious hitter at the other starting spot. The only concern with this group has to be speed. Nick Bates is pushing for time, with walk-on Shawn Plummer also getting second-team reps. Should be interesting to see how a very impressive Kyle Knox works his way in -- great physique and seemingly great instincts for getting to the backfield. Austin Raphael is showing more quickness than was expected. Ryan Machado was back at practice but didn't participate in all of the drills. His presence would be a giant boost for the unit's depth. Ryan McKinley looks to be done -- he was on the field in workout clothes but not participating. Quaadir Brown worked out with the newcomers both days, and is visibly smaller. No signs of Damion Whittington yet. Loss of Ricky Pemasa hurts bad.

Defensive Backs: Pat Hill is going to make Marvin Haynes earn his starting spot back after missing spring camp with injury. Jake Jorde is getting first-team reps for now. Lorne Bell, who was injured seriously against K-State last year, is already participating in non-contact coverage. The real test will be to see how much he's used when the team puts the pads on. Bell might be the most chiseled athlete on the team. Sharrod Davis is poised for a breakout senior campaign. A.J. Jefferson picked off a Brandstater pass.

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