February 17, 2010
Black Knights kick-off 2010 Spring Practice
Talk about paying dividends � the Foley Center has allowed second year Head Coach Rich Ellerson and the Black Knights to kick-off spring football almost one month and a half prior to the typical April start time.
Clearly there are some advantages with an earlier start time and the coaching staff and players are looking to reap the benefits. One of the pluses with February kick off, it will allow for any injuries that might be sustain, where there is more grace time during recovery period. In addition, the opportunity to concentrate on academics in the early spring minus the height of football practice could also work in the programs' favor.
Today's practice was an opportunity for the players to move from the winter conditioning mindset, to formation, sets and schemes, as they came out in helmets only.
There was a lot of pep in the step of the players, as the defense went through their circuits by position and the offense ran their various drills.
This was followed half sets on both offense and defense schemes. Although very early in the process, when the full offensive unit broke huddle, there were some familiar faces, but new players taking snaps with the first unit.
Upfront there was Zach Petterson at center, where he was flanked by Brad Kelly, Mike Weich, Anees Merzi and the youngster of the bunch, sophomore and rising offensive guard, Frank Allen. Also attached to the first unit, but wearing the "red" jersey was sophomore Will Wilson.
Behind Petterson and no surprise was sophomore and starting quarterback, Trent Steelman. The trio of backs was fullback Jared Hassin, and running backs Jamison Carter and Patrick Mealy. Both Mealy and Hassin easily pass the look test.
During both the drills and the running of offensive plays, it is clear that Hassin will be a force to reckon with. He brings explosiveness, power, and surprising speed to the position.
One player that the staff was hoping to bring some punch to the slotback position was converted cornerback, Greg Cotton, but he is no longer with the team. Speaking of adding punch and speed, there still is some uncertainty of trickster, Alfred McDaniel[/db]'s status with the team. The speedy senior was not in attendance today.
Sophomore slotbacks, Malcolm Brown and Lonnie Liggins both looked crisp, although Liggins still may not be 100% due to his previous knee injury. He was wearing a knee support, but seems to move very effectively.
At wide receiver, there was 6-foot-3, 205 pound Davyd Brooks, who has all the tools to become an outstanding receiver. His winter workout numbers suggest that Brooks is serious about taking on a more significant role in the offense, as Steelman will be looking for a go to receiver with the graduation of Ali Villanueva. Opposite Brooks was 6-foot-4, 195 Austin Barr.
Another receiver who could factor in the equation is sophomore Brian Austin, who looks exception fast and quick during today's inaugural spring practice.
Several other players looked as they could start the season today. Cornerback Richard King, who missed all of last season due to concussions, picked up where he left off. The speedy senior lined up with the first unit defense opposite Antuan Aaron at one corner spot. Rover, Steve Erzinger looked as if he had added some weight and was very active, as was backup linebacker, Brian Rowen.
King's return also allows for senior Jordan Trimble to concentrate on the role at safety, which is where he spent his time today. Although he was wearing the "red" jersey, George Fletcher was working out at safety.
Kingsley Ehie spent the afternoon working at the inside linebacker spot, where Stephen Anderson was seen educating the converting fullback on the insights to his new position.
GoBlackKnights.com will continue to bring you Army spring practice coverage.
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