Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Practice Notes for 3/31

Stopped by practice today and caught some good action. Just thought I would leave a few news and notes.

- The team seems to be really hurting at cornerback. Kyle Smith and Kevin King were working with the second team defense and Lorenzo White Jr. and Derek Carter are the first team CB's right now. Avery Cunningham is playing backup safety, which is somewhat surprising given their lack of experience at CB, but perhaps that will change come the fall.

- I was really impressed with Tim Phillips and have been. I spoke to him after practice and will have a story out on him this week. He has a great center of gravity and a strong base. He is very tough to tackle. He reminds me a little bit of Lewis from Ball State, but perhaps that is getting to far ahead of things. I think Phillips has been the most impressive back outside of Austin White, but White has to sit a year. Phillips, Tipton, and Cotton are the consistent rotation of backs during practice.

- Enos looked to be frustrated with today's practice. He was getting upset with the quarterbacks at times for failing to get to the line of scrimmage and get the plays and formations together in a timely fashion. There were also some tight ends and wr's that were lining up wrong and not getting on the line of scrimmage.

- The QB battle is interesting. Sometimes it appears Fricke is No. 2, sometimes it looks as if Westendorp may be the guy. Niznak has looked good when he gets his reps. An interesting thing is that Westendorp has been taking snaps as a personal protector for the punt team. That brings up memories of Drew Stanton blowing out his ACL. I wouldn't count Niznak out for being on the active roster this season.

- Jordan McConnell continues to get a lot of first team reps at WR. The coaching staff must like him a lot. He has looked good in practice, but I have concerns about his ability to be a receiver on the outside.

- Depth seems to be pretty good at TE this season. Blackburn is a good player in my eyes and now they add Fleming, Southworth, and Sawicki to the mix. Odykirk has also looked good at times when he gets targeted.

- Right now my plan is to host a live chat a week from Saturday during the final Saturday practice of the spring. I will open it up to questions from CMU fans and readers to talk about anything CMU football. Practice has been starting around 9 a.m., so if you are interested or have some questions, be sure to be there.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy your stuff Drew. Do you know the specifics of why Austin White has to sit out this year? He didn't play for UofM last year, and wasn't he off their team before their season even started?

March 31, 2011 at 11:40 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After viewing practice I had the same observation of the CMU cornerback rotation crisis Drew. Derek Carter is a converted LB who's been hurt, Kyle Smith is a converted QB with poor hips and no fluid gate, Kevin King is a converted division 11 type RB, Avery Cunningham is a step slow albeit with good instincts.

I watched practice wondering what type of athletes is a top 25 all-time program committed to bringing in? This desperation should result in a banner recruiting year for immediate athletic help because there appeared to be no Gordy's and Brown's scattered across our current roster. At least none that I was able to see.

March 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM 
Blogger Drew Ellis said...

To the top comment - White did take part in camp with Michigan and was enrolled in classes, that is why he has to sit out a season despite not playing in a game.

To the bottom - I think CMU fans are going to have to understand that a player like Antonio Brown may never come across this campus again. His speed and agility was something you don't see very often in the MAC. You can't expect CMU to have a player of his caliber all the time. Now, a Josh Gordy you could see more often but also was a special CB that could really lock down anyone and had good speed. I think the CB thing will be an issue this season unless the staff really feels there will be some true freshmen that can step in.

March 31, 2011 at 12:17 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Austin White, the NCAA requires that you complete a full academic year when you transfer from a D-1 institution to another D-1 institution, even if you didn't play.

I don't like to read about the QB struggles, it's already raising red flags. Same goes with the current state of our secondary.

March 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drew if Dan Enos can't start recruiting better athletes at several different positions Central Michigan will not continue beating MSU, winning championships, and bowls regularly.

Enos expects Central Michigan to be the next Boise State but that will take him a couple more years to develop at this rate. Lets just get the Chippewas back in the top 25 first!

March 31, 2011 at 6:05 PM 
Anonymous balaji @ Dominos India said...

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April 6, 2011 at 3:04 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fraiser, 1)drug arrest 2)arrested for assulting his girl friend 3) dui and minor in posession, Others have been kicked off the team for far less

April 23, 2011 at 6:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fraiser, drugs, assulting his girl friend, dui and minor in possesion. Others have been kicked off the team for far less,

April 23, 2011 at 6:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM 
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November 4, 2011 at 6:33 PM 

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