MOBILE, Ala. –
– Maybe because it was the last padded practice, maybe because they’ve been out of pads until this week for nearly a month, maybe it was the nice weather, whatever it was, the South team came with by far the most competitive and entertaining practice of the week Wednesday afternoon.
– Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton said it was hyper competitive because it was the final padded practice before Saturday but he clearly enjoyed every minute of it. To him, it’s what this week is supposed to be about as players from all over the nation come here to compete to prove they are the best.
– Patton is one that has done that consistently, making big plays all over the field. He’s got some upside to him, no doubt.
– The battle this week between Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson and Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher as the best at the position has been a relative draw. Both have been consistently excellent and Johnson was good again on Wednesday afternoon.
– Georgia S Bacarri Rambo (who I’ll have more on later) appeared to suffer some sort of hamstring injury and he sat out the latter half of practice. Rambo had been playing solid as expected in coverage on the back end most of the week.
– BYU DE Ezekial Ansah also appeared to aggravate an injury but he came back and was able to finish out the practice.
– Ansah is an intriguing prospect for teams here because of his combination of size and athleticism but he’s still quite raw. He’s struggled a bit in pass rush drills but flashes on occasion. He’s going to be a bit of a project for any team that gets him but the upside is there.
– Cal DB Marc Anthony has been, perhaps, the best corner out of a talented lot here this week. He was solid again Wednesday and continues to show that he has the total package. He’s fast but he’s also under control at all times.
– Texas A&M linebacker Sean Porter has been solid all week as well. Porter had some nice moments in Wednesday’s practice, including a big hit on a run play in 11 on 11.
– Closer to home, Mizzou LB Zaviar Gooden had a strong afternoon Wednesday. He was all over the place in the run game, made some plays in coverage and even caught an deflected pass and returned it for a touchdown.
– Kentucky G Larry Warford said he has been working to cut weight and expects to ultimately play around 330 pounds. I’ll have more on him later this week but he’s a big, physical mauling type who might make sense for the Rams in the second or third round. His size and style would seem to be a match.
– Warford gave some funny answers to some funny questions after practice:
When asked what the best thing about being 300-plus pounds is, Warford responded “I get to sit in the front seat of cars a lot.”
When asked he worst part of being his size, Warford responded “Giving up rollercoasters.” He explained that most of the big rides have buckle systems that don’t allow for men his size to get strapped in safely.
– During the practice, the defense dominated the first part of team drills with guys flying all over the place and delivering big hits. They controlled the line of scrimmage and Georgia S Shawn Williams seemed to be firmly in the mix most of the time.
– The offense picked it up later in the practice with Florida RB Mike Gillislee once again ripping off some big runs. Gillislee has been a pleasant surprise this week. He’ll have moments where he disappears but has been good for some big runs seemingly every day.
– At QB, none of the guys look as good in this setting as Mike Glennon does for the North team. Landry Jones is probably the most consistent as E.J. Manuel of Florida State and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas have been up and down. But none have really dominated.
– That’ll do it for blog updates from here. I’ll have more feature stories coming in the next few days. Thanks for following along all week. See you back in St. Louis.
Posted in From the Sidelines | No Comments »