Wide receiver may have entered fall practice as the biggest question mark, but clearly the most heated battle has emerged at wide receiver. Aaron Kelly earned the starting position, and he has put a strangle hold on the position.
“Kelvin has really challenged for his job, but the other boy just won’t give it up. I don’t think Aaron Kelly has dropped a ball. He is just not going to give the job up. I wish I had that at more positions, that is a really good battle,” said Coach Tommy Bowden.
After three straight practices hampered by rain, the team had clear skies playing underneath the lights. Coach Bowden cited better enthusiasm in Wednesday night’s practice.
“Finals are over. It was a night practice. Yesterday, we had a forty minute halftime break. If it was a game, the fans could have got them back up.”
The Tigers were able to scrimmage some at the end of practice. Linebacker Tramaine Billie and a host of receivers stood out during the scrimmage.
“Tramaine Billie looked good today, and Chansi Stuckey. Billie made some big plays today. Cory Groover looked good today defensively. Offensively, we executed pretty good. Charlie Whitehurst looked good, and Stuckey did a nice job. Duane Coleman has continued to practice well. He caught a ball today in the scrimmage.”
It will be a tall task replacing Leroy Hill this season at linebacker, but following Wednesday’s practice, Coach Bowden praised the progress the group has made early.
“David (Blackwell) has been real pleased with them. Nick Watkins and Anthony Waters has been steady and consistent. Lionel Richardson is putting good heat on him (Waters). David Dunham and Antonio Clay are putting good heat on the other guys. Josh Miller is a guy we have to find a place for either at bandit or inside linebacker.”
The Tigers will practice for three hours starting at 4:15 on Thursday.
- Another true freshman has caught the eye of Coach Bowden early on. Defensive end Antwon Murchison was labeled a “pleasant surprise” Wednesday evening. Murchison is competing for playing time with Brandon Cannon and Phillip Merling. Merling and Cannon are bracketed together behind Charles Bennett on the depth chart. Rashaad Jackson is back to working at defensive tackle, but still could slide out to end.
- Bobby Hutchinson suffered a sprained ankle, and Bobby Williamson left at the end of practice with cramps. Both are expected to back at practice on Thursday. Dustin Fry was limited in Wednesday’s practice by his hamstring, but Coach Bowden said if it was the Super Bowl he could play.
-Coach Bowden said Duane Coleman will not be used primarily as third down back. He did say if the game was on the line and it was third and six Coleman would be the guy, because he still has the best hands of all the running backs.
- True freshman Chris Chancellor had a big hit on fellow freshman Durrell Barry during the scrimmage at the end of practice.
- Kyle Browning, Donnell Clark, Tye Hill, and Jad Dean did not practice due to taking exams.