Thoughts and observations from this morning's practice. ...
The first observation is to make sure to bring a roster tomorrow. Lots of guys getting work at running back, so not a lot of reps for any one guy today, including Randall Mackey, who made some news Friday with Hugh Freeze's announcement that Mackey would move to running back.
On one particular play the ball was snapped and Randall Mackey went to block. That's probably never happened before in his career.
Freshmen I'Tavius Mathers and Jaylen Walton were in the mix and did some good things, but on this first day of their college careers did nothing that caused me to make All-American predictions. Mathers, the bigger of the two, showed some elusiveness on one move after a short catch.
One of the interesting moves of the day was the time devoted to cornerback Senquez Golson with the first team. In the video above Freeze calls Golson an SEC athlete. Clearly he's trying to get Golson ready. "He's athletic, and you've got to have that kind of speed," Freeze said. "He didn't go through spring with us, and we're making a conscious effort to try and catch him up."
Neither Barry Brunetti nor Bo Wallace had a particularly great day in the quarterback race. Obviously it's very early and hard to tell a great deal without the pads, but for the first day they both kind of looked like they did much of the spring. Wallace was slightly ahead in the passing game. He completed a nice deep ball to freshman Cody Core. Core had two defenders on him and made the catch. It was ruled that Core caught the ball out of bounds, but there was great enthusiasm for the play. Brunetti had a couple of balls batted at the line of scrimmage.
Both those guys, and Maikhail Miller also, looked pretty accurate in the net drill where they're required to hit three different squares from some distance away.
Looks like there will be some competition at right tackle as there was a good bit of movement between junior college transfer Pierce Burton and junior Patrick Junen.
When left tackle Emmanuel McCray went out for a time with cramps, left guard Aaron Morris moved to tackle, and Junen moved to left guard. Junen is listed on the depth chart as second to Burton at right tackle, but Junen will play a good bit and will play different positions.
I don't get too much into the bigger, stronger, faster declarations that I hear every summer, but I will say this: Freshman defensive back Trae Elston looks like a player, and senior defensive back Aaron Garbutt looks much different physically. His arms look like bowling balls stacked on top of one another.