Again, we did not get an opportunity to see the defensive line up close. From where we were, we could see them running some of the stretching drills and it is obvious that there are some big bodies in camp. Both Vontrell Jamison and Gaines Adams are very tall and lean looking. In the perfect world, each will put on some weight however they appear to be in great shape with good quickness and great frames. For a short time, they had Vontrell running some drills with the linebackers which made me wonder if they are looking at him as an outside backer or standup rush end. Then they moved him over with Thielen Smith for some defensive tackle type drills. It will be interesting to see where he ends up before it is over. Adams on the other hand has the nice frame and quicks that make me think he could be a perfect defensive end in the future. I see a probable redshirt for him this year but with experience and some weight work he could be a very good player from an athletic standpoint.
Other than the little time that Vontrell was there, they only ran Brandon Jamison and Anthony Waters as backers. Kelvin Morris was running – at least on Tuesday morning – with the defensive backs. More on this later. Jamison looks to be everything advertised. He moves very, very well with great quickness and appears bigger than the 215 he is listed. I have never seen him play but from a physical and athletic standpoint it would not surprise me at all if he pushes for a start against UGA. Seems to have those very quick feet and great acceleration you always want a linebacker to have but often don’t see. Could be a great player for us. Waters was a little taller and more lean. While Jamison seemed a little quicker, Waters was not lacking in speed. He also ran the drills well and looks to have good wheels. Plus, he seems to have a similar build to Eric Sampson – not to say that he will be the same type of player. Even so, with his height, frame and wheels, this looks like a kid who could be a great special teamer early on and possibly a good linebacker for us in a couple of years. Still early, but he seems like one to watch. Overall summary is that at worst we have two good athletes with quick feet and nice frames. This does not guarantee that either will be good linebackers but they each seem to have some good tools. And Jamison seems a lock at the two deep – if not a starter.
They ran Buddy Williams, Justin Miller and Kelvin Morris with the defensive backs on Tuesday. Given that Morris is older than Eric Sampson and has more experience (albeit JUCO), it may be possible that Morris is going to be thrown into the mix at strong safety. In either event, he is a tall, lean but muscular kid who is very quick. Does he have the feets to play safety? Don’t know. But if not, he will be one very quick linebacker. It will be interesting to see exactly where he ends up. In any event, he looks like a great athlete. In the Bowden Model of “Speed, Height and Frame” this kid seems to be a natural. Keep your eyes on him as he will almost certainly get a lot of snaps this fall – at some position. Miller looked like everything advertised. In fact, he seemed more physically mature than most freshmen corners. Big arms, powerfully built, he looks as though he is physically ready to compete for a starting job, or at least the two-deep, right now. Obviously asking a kid to come in and start as a true freshman is a tall order and perhaps he has a lot to learn – I don’t know. But he certainly has the great body and the very quick wheels. Could be a great one for us. Buddy Williams was a little leaner than Miller. Like Miller, he seems to have the really good wheels although Miller appeared a little more polished on turns and footwork. I would think that Miller will hit the two deep earlier than Williams though it would not surprise me if Williams hits it in a year or so. These look to be physically the best corners we have signed in a while, particularly Miller. These guys could both be players for us. Bottom line: It is hard to imagine that both of these guys wont be starters for us someday, probably for multiple years.
Did not get to see Chason punt but did get to see him kick field goals. He was drilling from forty plus yards with plenty of distance to spare. Where a lot of kickers hit a forty plus yarder like a pitching wedge, Chason was kicking it like a seven iron. Long and high, he cleared the bar easily and sent the balls halfway up the big tower in back of the endzone. As a guesstimate, it looked as though his kicks would have been easily good from 50. And I did not see him shank or miss-hit one the entire time I watched. I believe that Hunt is a quality kicker but also believe that Chason will push him from day one. It is still Hunt’s job to lose but if he falters, don’t be surprised to see Chason. I cant wait to see him punt.
I do not see any “dead wood” or “projects” in this crowd. Certainly there is a lot of work to be done and some of the kids need a lot of weight work but that is true for most freshmen. There are no fatty bellies that must be trimmed before anything good can happen and everyone seemed in pretty good shape for their respective positions. The Model appears to be getting tall kids with big frames who can run. From a purely physical standpoint, it is an impressive group of athletes.
Here are my projections of early contributors:
Justin Miller at CB
Dustin Fry at OL
Kelvin Morris at Strong Safety or Outside Linebacker
Brandon Jamison at Inside Linebacker, possible starter
Vontrell Jamison at defensive end (maybe)
Nathan Bennett at OL
Everyone else should be redshirted and hopefully some of the kids above can also be redshirted. Other players such as Grant look to be good enough to crack the two deep now but if we don’t have injuries they should still redshirt due to numbers at their positions.
In summary, it is a very athletic class with good wheels and great frames. If the kids grow into football players with the bodies I saw out there, they could be the nucleus of a very good team in the future.
Click here for part one of this breakdown