Re: Spring Game - Alum Game
No spring game observations from anyone?
I didn't take notes or anything, but I'll recap what I can recall off the top of my head by position:
- Pretty pleased with what I saw from Damian Williams. He threw for 4 TDs without turning it over. He's mobile in the pocket and can run. Looked pretty accurate throwing the ball. Threw a dime to Mason Hays for a 40 yard TD down the left sideline. Should be a nice stopgap to get us to 2018 without struggling too bad at that position. 1st team offense couldn't be stopped all day, Williams (and an improved O-Line) had a lot to do with it.
- Need those 3 freshman to get on campus to find a backup. Only other two guys are walk-ons. Joseph Gonzales threw a pretty bad interception under pressure on his first (I think) drive. The new guy, Michael Ross, was pretty fun to watch actually. He was scrambling all over the place and actually made the game winning TD pass for the gold team (offense). He's a tiny little guy though and I doubt Gonzales or Ross ever touch the field in a real game.
- 1st team reps were split by Anthony D. Taylor and Robert Brown. Taylor looked better of the two I thought. He's a bit bigger than Brown and also seems to have more cutting ability. He was able to break some tackles and had a few nice runs. Brown is a downhill runner that isn't going to lose yardage very often. He had a bunch of carries but wasn't able to break many big runs.
- A RB I had never heard of, Samuel Longbotham, was the 2nd team RB. He's a sophomore transfer that redshirted last year after transferring from Mary Hardin Baylor. Highly doubt he's in the mix in the fall.
- Stedman Mayberry did not play. Heard he has an ankle injury. Neither did Tyler Tutt, who isn't expected to be back until the fall.
- Starting WRs were Thurman Morbley, Mason Hays, and Tyler Watts. I personally think the sophomore Morbley is the best WR on the roster right now. He had the most catches of the WRs in the game and made a really acrobatic catch down the right sideline at one point. Hays had a really nice game including two TD grabs. Watts didn't do much, had a couple bubble screens he couldn't break free on.
- I had never heard of the 2nd/3rd team receivers. LeDarrius Harris (sophomore transfer from CSU-Pueblo), Hutch White (sophomore from Kerrville Tivy), Kelton Powell (junior transfer from Blinn), there was a #36 that wasn't listed on the roster sheets handed out, and Dennis Johnson (Jr transfer from Dodge City CC). Powell had a couple nice grabs and broke a one-on-one tackle vs. CB Aneke at one point. Need to see more of these guys to know if they're any good though.
- I don't recall seeing Elijah King at all. Eric Luna was dressed out but I don't remember seeing him on the field. TV Williams didn't play.
- TEs weren't used much in the passing game. Chris French had a one yard TD catch, but that's the only TE reception I remember. Gabe Schrade didn't play. The TEs were Chris French, Brendon Rushing, and Luke Kretschmer. I honestly didn't watch these guys block so can't tell you anything there.
- First teamers looked much better than last year. Could be a byproduct of our weak DL, but they opened holes for the RBs and protected Williams fine. Starters were Mizerak (LT), Jaquel Pierce (LG), Aaron Brewer (C), Kregg Lemmons (RG), and Jacob Rowland (RT). Rowland is typically at G so a bit surprised to see him at RT especially considering Withers's comments recently about our lack of depth at G.
- We need some depth as the 2nd team guys didn't look very good. Some of them looked really out of shape (I'll single out Robert Ballard here) and they struggled to open holes or block for the walk-on QBs who really needed some help to be successful. While the 1st team O was moving the ball up the field at will, the 2nd team was routinely shut down by the 2nd team defense. The 2nd team OL was Josiah Washington, Ballard, and Cedric Gambrell at T, Colton Williams and Charlie Vatterott at G, and Jacob Fryrear at C.
- Marcus Ripley 1st team kicker right now. James Sherman 2nd team. Ripley is the more accurate kicker, Sherman has a bigger leg it seems.
- John Lilly had a decent game as he made a few tackles in the backfield.
- Not much production out of the DTs. I was actively trying to watch Grant Lanza but can't remember him making a single play. Can't remember Jordan Mittie making many plays either. Only other DT I remember seeing was a freshman named JaMorris Martin from Pflugerville.
- The DEs looked better than the DTs I thought.
- I think Dean Taylor may become a big player for us this year. He's quick off the edge and could be the sack threat we desperately need.
- Ish Davis was on the other end and also had a good game. Taylor and Davis are a year older and hopefully a year stronger and can have a bigger impact this year. Both were able to have good games Saturday as Davis had 2 sacks.
- Jeff Banks is back at DE and he was active all over the field. He probably didn't rack up much as far as stats in this game but he was around the ball a lot and chasing the 2nd team QBs around quite a bit.
- Withers didn't play either Gabe Loyd or Bryan London. ILB may be our best position on the entire team and it's one of the few positions we seem set with our starters and we were able to use the spring game to find the best quality depth possible.
- Clifton Lewis and Nik Daniels started here. Daniels had a really nice game with a nice sack and at least one other TFL. Lewis made a few tackles.
- Gavin Graham and Louis Rubin were the 2s. The 2nd team defense dominated the 2nd team offense and Graham made a ton of plays. Rubin was all over the field and plays hard.
- Easy Anyama was dressed out but I don't think he played. Remember he's coming back off injury also. Hal Vinson had the best game of the OLBs with 8 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. Kumonde Hines and Frankie Griffin are the other two players to watch here. Griffin also had a really nice game. Markeveon Coleman played here as well.
- If I remember correctly the first team CBs were Jashon Waddy and Jordan Eastling. I think the edge between 1st team receivers and 1st team CBs went to the WRs. I remember Waddy making one nice PBU.
- 2nd teamers were Andrew Aneke and Greg Peace (sophomore transfer from Cisco CC). Other than letting Kelton Powell shake him Aneke looked fine with the 2s. Don't remember much from Peace other than he was out there.
- Anthony J. Taylor did not play.
- First team safeties were Dila Rosemond and Xavier Ezenagu. I actually though Ezenagu was Stephan Johnson for the first half of the game until I realized Johnson wasn't playing. Rosemond was picked on a few times, particularly on a play where Damian Williams broke his ankles to get to the 1 yard line then Mason Hays beat him for a TD catch on the very next play.
- The 2nd team was Quinn Tiggs and AJ Krawczyk. Tiggs had the only interception of the game, on an ill-advised throw from Gonzales. Tiggs looked much better than last year I thought and he had a nice game. Tiggs was downright bad at times last year (Arkansas game). Krawczyk looked pretty comfortable at safety and put a big hit on Robert Brown at one point.
- Uh, I think we need to find one. Both Ripley and Sherman had awful first punts. 2nd time we punted both looked a bit better and Sherman had a really nice 2nd punt. His first went for about 25 yards though. Kaba may be sorely missed here.
Thanks for this x! Much appreciated.