Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fall Camp Notebook '010: Day 1

First of all, let me just start off by saying, "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" It's college football time! And now for our regularly scheduled Fresno State camp breakdown...

Unfortunately, today was the most disappointing practice I've seen in years. The guys need to step it up and show some character tomorrow.

QB: Maybe the most disappointing position of all. Two guys return who we know are very capable in Ryan Colburn and Derek Carr. Neither were particulary "on" today, with Colburn overthrowing guys and Carr getting picked off in 1-on-1 drills. We know they'll look better soon, but the scary part was the backups. If Carr is going to redshirt this season, a capable No. 2 must emerge. Today, it was walk-on Tyler Stirewalt who looked most capable. Lauded JC transfer Kelly O'Brien, tall and lanky son of former Jets star Ken O'Brien, showed messy footwork and a propensity to throw into the ground. True freshman Greg Watson showed quick footwork, but struggled with accuracy (bringing back memories of now-departed Ebahn Feathers).

RB: It was great to see senior Cal transfer Tracy Slocum (Clovis East HS) dressed and competing in jersey No. 22. The next most noticeable thing was the impressive size of true freshman Emery Schexnayder -- he's big. It's tough to imagine Schexnayder won't get looks this season in short-yardage situations. Walk-on fullback Dylan Cruz, who redshirted last season, showed off tailback-esque footwork in agility drills.

WR: The wideouts presented another messy situation. With so many of last years standouts gone, possibility the most talented crop of freshmen in school history arrived. But they've got work to do. Dropped passes were the name of the game all morning for newcomers and vets alike. The two brightest spots were likely greyshirt freshman Alex Jefferies and Devon Wylie. Jamel Hamler and Victor Dean didn't get a ton of balls thrown their way. True freshman Josh Harper looks more game-ready than any of the newcomers, but had a bad drop. And, as reported by Guy Haberman, Davon Dunn had a clearinghouse issue and isn't expected to participate until sometime the next couple days.

TE: With Pete Alamar replacing John Baxter as assistant coach, expect to see a whole lot more of Ryan Skidmore -- sure to be a welcome target for the quarterbacks.

OL: The usual suspects all return and will be the team's strength. Only glaring mistake of the day was a Lars Bramer snap over the QB's head.

DL: Happy to learn of Nebraska transfer DT Quintin Toailoa -- keep an eye on him in the coming days. DE Matt Akers seems to be dropping on the depth chart, while redshirt freshman Nat Harrison is on the rise. DT Mark Roberts also got second-team reps today, after falling to third team last season.

LB: Loaded with depth and talent. Surprised to see Daniel Salinas, who had solid experience as a true freshman last season, working out with the newcomers in the morning. He's got starter potential in the next two years, as does Jeremiah Toma. Toma is still getting plenty of first-team MLB reps, swapping in and out with Ben Jacobs.

DB: 1-on-1s showed several highlights, including Desia Dunn running step for step with Jamel Hamler to bat down a corner route. Lorne Bell picked off Derek Carr on a poor route run by Matt Lindsey (who's now wearing No. 2). Defensive coordinator Randy Stewart singled out L.J. Jones after a couple mistakes, likely picking on him because he's got such huge upside. But by far the biggest head-scratcher of the day was Zak Hill getting first-team reps, while Phillip Thomas took second team (note to coaches: that's a horrible gameplan). Thomas showed he can line up at corner in nickel packages during spring camp.


  1. Today was more of a walk through than a practice. So maybe what you saw was a great walk through rather than a bad practice. ;)

    Also, go zak hill, prove the Sayers of "nay" wrong.

  2. Thanks for the objective look. Just wondering, are any of the much hyped freshman skill guys going to play on the Defensive side of the ball?


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