There were plenty of highlights on both sides of the ball during practice at Rogers Field.
On offense, RB Rickey Galvin
saw some extra reps with the 1s in place of Logwone Mitz
who appeared to be dealing with some cramps. Galvin, a redshirt freshman, showcased his athleticism, including a stutter step on one play that made two defenders miss as he stormed downfield.
Another young offensive player, WR Isiah Myers
, displayed his playmaking ability when the 2s were lined up against one another. QB Connor Halliday
fired a quick pass to Myers near the sideline and the freshman did a juke step that fooled CB Brandon Golden
. Myers then turned up field and gained another 20 yards after the catch.
Myers is part of a talented receiving corps, but offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy
said that unit -- and the rest of the offense -- has plenty to prove.
"We haven't done anything yet and nothing's been accomplished," Sturdy said. "I like where we're at, I'm excited where this group can go, so we just have a lot of work ahead of us."
BUT AS GOOD
as the offense looked early, the defense owned the second part of practice, and Locker got it going. While in with the 1s, Locker had the play of the day when he dove full extension to knock down a pass from QB Jeff Tuel
that was intended for WR Isiah Barton
"I feel good and a lot more comfortable out there," Locker said. "Obviously, it's my third year and I actually know the plays and I'm not thinking as much so I'm able to come out here and just play."
The starting safeties at this point appear to be Deone Bucannon
and Tyree Toomer
, but Locker sees plenty of the reps with the 1s and said he loves the competition and group's experience.
"We just have a good group of safeties and everybody's played in the past," Locker said. "Everybody has played in the past and it's very competitive so everyone has to come out here and compete otherwise you're not going to be playing."
LBs Alex Hoffman-Ellis
and C.J. Mizell
also made big plays for the defense, particulary when both recorded back-to-back "sacks" on Tuel.
Practice ended with plenty of excitement for the defense as well, with two blocked FG attempts from kicker Andrew Furney
. DT Toni Pole knocked down Furney's first attempt from around 40 yards out. True freshman LB Darryl Monroe
blocked another attempt by Furney a few plays later.
DE Adam Coerper returned to practice after missing several days with a hamstring injury and jumped right back in with the 1s.
RUNNING WITH THE 1s
QB: Jeff Tuel
X receiver: Marquess Wilson
Flanker: Isiah Barton
Z receiver: Jared Karstetter
TE Andrei Lintz
LT: David Gonzales
LG: John Fullington
C: Andrew Roxas
RG: B.J. Guerra
RT: Wade Jacobson
RB: Logwone Mitz (Rickey Galvin also saw substantial action)
LE: Travis Long
LT: Toni Pole
RT: Anthony Laurenzi
RE: Adam Coerper
SAM: Sekope Kaufusi
MIKE: C.J. Mizell
WILL: Alex Hoffman-Ellis
CB: Daniel Simmons (Note: Brandon Golden and him split time running with the 1s)
SS: Deone Bucannon
FS: Tyree Toomer (Note: Casey Locker also seeing action running with the 1s)
CB: Damante Horton