Notes and thoughts from this morning’s practice:
Hugh Freeze called it his team’s best work out of the still-young camp.
Interesting comments on Channing Ward there. He likes the progress Ward is making. So far, Ward and Robert Nkemdiche have been on the same side, while Cameron Whigham and Carlos Thompson have been on the other side. Thompson left practice early today after taking a hit to the head. No immediate word on his status. It will be interesting to see how those reps are divided if Thompson is out for any amount of time.
It’s full gear tomorrow, but that really won’t change much in the way of physicality. Freeze is working to keep his group healthy beyond anything else.
Beyond Johnson’s gradual return, the only change on the injury list was Thompson.
Corners Senquez Golson and Charles Sawyer remain out. Most of the time the first team reps have gone to Quintavius Burdette and Dehendret Collins. Today some of those went to Anthony Standifer.
Offensive linemen Patrick Junen and Pierce Burton remain out. Burton is a returning starter at right tackle. Junen had the inside track to replace A.J. Hawkins, but his injury is giving valuable time to Justin Bell. Bell would have been played more as an OL reserve last year had he been more healthy.
The Burton thing is interesting to watch. It’s till very early in camp, but if he’s unable to play against Vanderbilt, you could see freshman Laremy Tunsil in the starting lineup at left tackle.
With Burton out the early workouts have either had Tunsil with the ones and left tackle Emmanuel McCray sliding over to the right, or redshirt freshman Robert Conyers at right tackle and McCray remaining on the left side.
More videos here. Special thanks to Hayden Sowers.
LB D.T. Shackelford and WR Collins Moore are two veterans trying to come back from injury — Shackelford from two years of missed time — to make plays again. Both have been running with the third team so far.
QB Bo Wallace had some nice throws today, one completion going to freshman tight end Evan Engram when Wallace stood in the pocket in the face of the blitz and threw over the middle.
Freshman RB Kailo Moore took a screen pass from freshman Ryan Buchanan, and when he found some daylight, nobody touched him. Jeff Scott was running almost step for step with more cheering him along.