Day Two report is here!
2012 Shrine Game Practice Notes, Day Two, East Team
QB - Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi
Davis didn't do much to make it into the practice notebook today. He did show good ability to run a play fake, but too often his passes were off the mark or late to their intended targets.
QB - John Brantley, Florida
My mother always said 'if you can't say anything nice about someone don't say anything at all' .....
QB - B.J. Coleman, Tennessee Chattanooga
Coleman again showed some good things and showed some things that need work. Early in practice Coleman showed that he needed to work on his play action fakes. The coaches were telling him to 'stay patient' as he rushed a throw. He looked much better selling the screen pass fake than he did the downfield play action fake. I liked Coleman's pump fake ability. It's very strong, almost like a Ben Roethlisberger where he looks like he's going to let the ball fly then pulls it back in at the last second. Throwing on the run is not his forte. There was a bootleg pass that he threw over the track that circles the field. It had me thinking of Texas A&M QB Jarrod Johnson who did the same thing last year at the Shrine Game. Coleman fails to throw receivers open and does not lead receivers enough when he throws. This causes them to slow down on routes, instead of running underneath passes. He threw one interception today forcing a ball in the middle that Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman picked off.
RB - Davin Meggett, Maryland
Meggett showed better burst today and had a good but not great day of practice. I still like his footwork when he has to change direction. He's not an ankle breaker but he doesn't have to gather himself to move laterally. He also doesn't lose much speed when changing direction. I am beginning to question his vision after seeing him swallowed up by the defense too many times. He missed wide open cutback lanes on at least two runs today. Meggett either can't see the hole or doesn't anticipate the cutback well. He ran mostly from the shotgun at Maryland and most of the time he had bigger holes to run through. I also noticed that he had more burst as a receiver out of the backfield. This may have to do with the 'open space' factor. Meggett seems more comfortable in space or outside than he does inside. He's a willing inside runner but that is not what he does best. Because of his stature I get reminded of Travis Henry when I watch Meggett. Henry was a better cutback runner, but Meggett is the same type of bowling ball with legs that Henry was.
RB - Tauren Poole, Tennessee
Poole once again showed great feet today. What's strange is that during the bag drills he had the worst feet of the three RBs on the East squad. However, when the scrimmage was live Poole looked the best changing direction, spinning, and running through trash at the line of scrimmage. He reminds me of Kendall Hunter from Oklahoma State. He showed good burst off tackle and leg drive when running inside. Poole (like Hunter) also shows the ability to hide behind his bigger O-Line and then accelerate into the open field.
RB - Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic University
I was impressed by Morris once again today. I like his wide base and ability to run with balance inside and out. He did miss some cutback lanes running stretch plays, but he can be coached to watch for those lanes. At FAU he was primarily a north/south runner with little time to change direction. He's as no-nonsense as they get at the RB position. Morris showed good hands as a receiver out of the backfield and had some decent wiggle after the catch today.
WR - Tim Benford, Tennessee Tech
Benford came back to Earth a little bit today, but still had a strong game. I like his quick stutter step when running routes. He also showed good sideline awareness of multiple catches where he got two feet down on out routes. He did get scolded by coaches for looking at the yard markers when running routes. The coaches told him 'don't measure it off'. It's a way to tip off DBs when you're going to break your route and coaches will tell you to count steps instead of looking for yard lines in the turf. Benford showed a good stiff arm after the catch, and continued to have a fiesty attitude. However, that attitude also got him some extra pushups. After a play where he was pushed around by the DB he yelled 'Get your hands off me cuz!' This earned him 10 pushups for being disruptive after the play.
WR - A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
Jenkins showed good ability to adjust to poorly thrown passes today. He is a very heavy stepper and too often slipped when making a break on his routes.
WR - Kevin Hardy, Citadel
Hardy struggles to catch the football cleanly. He's either out of position and missing routes, or he's dropping passes that are right on the money. When a pass is caught by Hardy he stabs his hands at the ball like a vegetarian attacking a salad.
WR - LaRon Byrd, Miami
Byrd had a much better second day of practice. I like the way he looked in the ball today and was very good on routes (hooks, stops) where he must come back to the football. I liked the way he set up routes today with his stutter step and head fakes to cause false steps by the DB. He made one of the highlight catches of the day when he ran a comeback and dove for the ball low as he went out of bounds with two feet down. The crowd was 'oohing' and 'aahing' after that catch and college teammate TE Chase Ford ran over to give him some love. Byrd did a better job today of catching the ball with arms extended away from his body.
WR - Thomas Mayo, California University of Pennsylvania
Mayo plays with a lot of confidence, often talking smack after a play. However, he does not consistently catch the football and is a frustrating player to watch. He'll get open with ease but hears footsteps or is too busy thinking about the run after the catch. He also was getting yelled at by the coaching staff for not knowing the play after the ball was snapped.
WR - Lance Lewis, East Carolina University
Lewis didn't make it into the notebook very often today. He's not a bad player but doesn't 'wow' you on many plays. He gets a good handle on the football and showed good hands today.
WR - B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State
Cunningham played up to his potential today. He would have been the player of the day had TE Chase Ford not stolen the show during the last half of practice. Cunningham stops and starts really well. He is explosive out of his breaks and can get on top of the defense in a hurry. I like the way he sells the double move and finds the ball in the air. Today he was once again running crisp outside routes, but seemed to have better concentration today. The coaches were raving about the way he sells the 'Z out' route before breaking it back inside. Watching Cunningham toy with the defense was fun. Before one play CB Micah Pellerin was yelling 'watch for the slant!' Cunningham faked a slant inside which Pellerin bit on hook, line, and sinker. This left Cunningham wide open as he went vertical and it was an easy big play TD.
TE - Chase Ford, Miami
Ford began practice doing what most expected him to. He was boxing out defenders, using his frame to shield defenders away from the football and catching most passes thrown underneath on comeback routes. About halfway through practice he started to light it up with deep seam routes down the middle. Ford made big plays going to the soft part of the defense and did a good job sitting down in zone coverage. Ford had the play of the day when he caught a pass in stride over Safety Matt Daniels back. He turned in stride while Daniels had his back to the ball. Ford was able to pluck it off the back of his jersey, pull it over the defenders head, and secure it to his body before going to the ground. Ford wasn't done there. He also caught a pass deflected by Linebacker Joshua Linam in stride showing great hand/eye coordination. He seemed to feed off the big plays and was going for passes all over the field. It was certainly an exciting day for Ford and scouts certainly took notice of his big play ability.
2012 Shrine Game Practice Notes, Day Two, West Team
QB - Tyler Hansen, Colorado
Hansen continues to struggle in Tampa. Many of his throws are simply late, or off the mark. His deep passes tend to flutter when he attempts to put more into his throws. I like his base and the way he sets up, but his motion, accuracy, and velocity are all below average. I've talked to some in the scouting community who would not hesitate to bring him in as a developmental or practice squad QB.
QB - Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
Harnish has the most upside of any QB at this game. He struggles throwing across his body, and needs to do a better job of setting his feet in the proper direction when he lets a pass loose. Halfway through this practice Harnish was having a very poor day. He was not throwing the ball and would not challenge CBs. Twice he dropped back to throw only to hold onto the ball too long and attempt to run the ball. There were several murmurs on the sideline when something clicked. Harnish came out and finished exceptionally strong. He started testing the defense and throwing deep with great success. Harnish had nice play fakes, hid the ball well, and then did a good job of fitting the ball in between two defenders. I don't know what coaches told him, but it worked.
QB - Dan Persa, Northwestern
Persa is the QB who is most ready now to play. However, his upside is very limited by his limited tool set. Persa twice showed good zip on 20-yard skinny post routes in practice today. It's more velocity and power than he showed yesterday, and that certainly got him noticed by scouts today.
RB - Lennon Creer, Louisiana Tech
Creer started practice with a bad fumble that got the coaches fired up. That negative play seemed to focus him more as the day went on. Creer showed good burst when changing direction and made several catches on poorly thrown screen passes. I like his hard charging running style and determination between the tackles.
RB - Marc Tyler, USC
Tyler was my favorite RB to watch today from the west squad. Yes, he's a one speed runner but he does a good job of getting to top speed in a hurry. He's very decisive with the football in his hands and wastes little motion when he runs. I like his forward lean and pad level when he's running between the tackles. Tyler did a better job as a receiver out of the backfield, but he's not a natural hands guy.
RB - Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky
Rainey certainly has some flaws to his game. He began practice with a bad drop on a screen pass out of the backfield. RBs coach Duce Staley was heated about that. Later, Staley had more to yell about when Rainey didn't see a cutback lane open up to his left hand side. Staley took the time to work with Rainey after that play, but later a similar lack of vision came through. It looks to me like he 'runs blind'-- he goes where the hole should be and if it's not there the play is over. Rainey was frustrated later in the day and failed to finish a run where he was swallowed up early. That got him another chewing by Staley. When there's a good hole Rainey shows good stop/start ability. Rainey also shows good agility when he catches passes out of the backfield.
WR - Jarius Wright, Arkansas
Wright had a better day today, but still is not living up to the expectations I had for him coming into the week. I was more surprised when he didn't drop passes early after the day he had yesterday. He's not a natural plucker, but doesn't fight the ball when it comes to him. Wright will body catch too many passes and seems to always be thinking about run after the catch. I like his turning ability after a comeback route. He almost does a basketball pivot where he throws his elbow into a defender. He then has the burst to get upfield in a hurry.
WR - Darius Hanks, Alabama
Hanks is a try hard guy who had a very good day today. He began practice by catching a tipped pass where he didn't miss a beat adjusting to the football. He has the ability to catch high passes and will sky to catch the football near the sideline. Hanks also showed good body control and sideline awareness. Hanks also caught a pass he had no business catching. He was running a crossing route when the ball came in low and behind him. He was able to adjust to that in stride, basically turning and catching the ball on his back hip/thigh while continuing to run downfield.
WR - Dale Moss, South Dakota State University
Size, check. Hands, check. Route running or speed....not so much. Moss is a raw prospect with build up speed. He's not sudden off the line of scrimmage or in and out of his breaks. He reminds me of a more athletic Ramses Barden. Big, strong, build up fast, wingspan, leaping ability, but very rough around the edges. Some team will be happy with him as a developmental guy.
WR - Devon Wylie, Fresno State
More inconsistency from Wylie today. When he's on he's red hot and it looks like nobody can cover him. However, there are plenty of instances where he has lapses in concentration and will drop easy passes. His routes are inconsistent too. There was one play where he ran a deep in, but it was not as deep as it needed to be. Initially it looked like the QB (Hansen) threw it too high. However, after the play coaches were yelling at Wylie to 'set it high', meaning he cut off his route too soon. He's a frustrating player to watch. One play he'll twist in stride and turn it upfield in the blink of an eye. Next play he'll drop one put right on the numbers.
WR - Junior Hemingway, Michigan
Hemingway has a good throttle down when he needs to change direction. He'll keep his balance when running a stop and go, then gets his head around quickly for the football. I like the way he looks passes into his hands.
WR - Greg Childs, Arkansas
Like his college teammate Jarius Wright, Childs had a better day today. He turned nicely to catch a pass behind him in stride, took a hit, and still held onto the football. He looked good on comeback routes, but sometimes would let the ball get to his body on receptions. I like the way Childs gets upfield quickly on WR screens.
WR - Tyler Shoemaker, Boise State
Shoemaker had a very good day today. He'll make catches in traffic consistently and doesn't think twice about any CB or S coming to blast him after the catch. Shoemaker also showed great sideline awareness where he would tip toe and get both feet down before going out of bounds.