Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CMU - South Carolina State Live Chat

Join me here at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday night

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Monday, August 22, 2011

CMU faculty strike and CMU athletics

I had a chance to ask CMU President George Ross how athletics is and could be affected by the faculty work stoppage. Here is his answer:

"There are a minimum number of teaching days required in order for intercollegiate athletes to stay eligible. I will leave it at that. Right now, football is in practice. Soccer is playing. Volleyball is playing. Athletes are on campus. We have to get back to class. It could have an adverse effect on our ability to play intercollegiate sports. It could have an adverse effect on our ability to issue financial aid. Because there are certain requirements by the federal government."

This could be a problem if the strike continues for a long period of time.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

CMU Scrimmage Notes for 8/20

Today marked the second and final team scrimmage for the Central Michigan football team.
Before things even got started, there was a noticeable absence, as quarterback Ryan Radcliff sat out of practice with a thumb injury to his throwing hand.
Following practice, Enos said that the injury was minor, just some blood had to be drained from under his thumb. Radcliff was sitting out the scrimmage as a precaution.
Also Aaron McCord was out of practice with an injury while Rocky Weaver continues to sit out of contact drills. Kashawn Fraser is now on crutches. It appears he may have had an operation to his knee.
With Radcliff out, A.J. Westendorp handled the first team QB duties while Brandon Fricke was the backup. Alex Niznak never appeared in a series.
The coaches did a lot of shuffling with positions and after the opening few series, it was hard to determine a first or second team.
Still, here are some notes from each possession.

1 & 10 at CMU 31 – First Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Westendorp at QB)
Zurlon Tipton started with a nice physical run and then broke off a big run to the 5-yard line. He was able to get outside and cut up field, but was tackled by Leron Eaddy. Tipton eventually got the TD run as well, running over Kyle Smith at the goal line.

1 & 10 at CMU 31 – Second Team Offense/First Team Defense (Fricke at QB)
The unit went 3 and out as Joe Kinville batted down a third down pass by Fricke. The groups restarted and Jarrett Fleming had a nice reception where he carried numerous defenders before getting tackled. John Williams and Jason Chomic each had tackled for loss to end the drive for the offense.

1 & 10 at CMU 31 – First Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Westendorp at QB)
Westendorp had a first down scramble and then found Connor Odykirk for a nice long pass. However, Eaddy forced a fumble of Odykirk, which was recovered by Kenny McClendon.

1 & 10 at CMU 31 – Second Team Offense/First Team Defense (Fricke at QB)
It was a quick 3 and out for the defense as Jahleel Addae made a nice tackle on Jordan McConnell on third down. McConnell was running a cross route and was hit upon catching the pass.

1 & 10 at Visitor 49 – First Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Westendorp at QB)
Westendorp had a nice play where he moved out of the pocket and found Fleming on a deep pass that would have been a touchdown, but Fleming dropped the pass. It hit him right in the hands. Westendorp had a 20-yard scramble later in the drive and then found David Blackburn for a short first down pass. The offense got down to the 2 and then kicked a field goal. It was good by David Harman. They kicked on first down, so the offense could have went on to score.

1 & 10 at Visitor 49 – Second Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Fricke at QB)
Jake Bentley had a nice trip-up tackle on Austin White to prevent a big run early in the possession and then Fricke was unable to hit Courtney Williams on a slant route on third down. Williams could have run the wrong route, but the pass was way off.

1 & 10 at Visitor 20 – First Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Westendorp at QB)
Westendorp ran a play action pass to Caleb Southworth that got down to the 1-yard line and then the offense kicked a field goal. Harman hit the 18-yard attempt.

1 & 10 at Visitor 20 – Second Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Fricke at QB)
The opening play saw the defensive line knock down a Fricke pass attempt. Eventually, Harman hit a 23-yard field goal to hit a drive.

1 & 10 at Visitor 20 – First Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Westendorp at QB)
Westendorp hit Odykirk on a touchdown pass on the first play of the drive. Odykirk was heading to the corner of the end zone and Westendorp was on target with his throw.

1 & 10 at Visitor 20 – Second Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Fricke at QB)
The offense moved down toward the goal line, but Denzel Wimberly was stuffed on two run attempts at the 1-yard line.

1 & 10 at CMU 34 – First Team Offense/Second Team Defense (Westendorp at QB)
This was the two minute drill. White had a big run early on in the possession and took a big hit from Kevin King in the process. The drive ended on a short pass to Jason Wilson and he broke away from the defenders to get to the end zone. He showed good break away speed.

That’s it from me. I will have a few more practice updates next week before we enter the first week of the 2011 season.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

VanArendonk leaves CMU basketball program

CMU redshirt freshman forward Nate VanArendonk has decided to leave the men's basketball program and transfer to Hope, according to head coach Ernie Zeigler.

Zeigler cited wanting to be closer to family as to reasons for the 6-foot-10's VanArendonk's departure.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

CMU Scrimmage Notes from 8/13

Alright folks, I will save the observations for the end. The CMU football team had its scrimmage today with the first team offense taking on the second team defense and second team offense against the first team defense. Both third teams got some work as well. Here is a summary of each possession in order:

- Drive starts at CMU 30 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)

Radcliff hit David Blackburn for a pair of first down passes including a 23-yard pass to begin the drive. Connor Odykirk also caught a first down pass, as Radcliff looked to the TE a lot. Kenny McClendon had a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage for the defense, but ultimately, Radcliff had a 17-yard touchdown run on a scramble. He actually showed good instinct by running and made a couple moves to score. David Harman hit the PAT.

- Drive starts at CMU 30 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
Ben Brown made a first down on a screen pass and the offense got another first down on a Lorenzo White pass interference call, which I thought was bad penalty by the ref. A lengthy pass play to Jarrett Fleming was called back on a hold by the offensive line, and ultimately a Steve Winston sack ended the drive.

- Drive starts at CMU 30 – 3rd team offense/3rd team defense (Niznak at QB)
Denzel Wimberly had a pair of nice runs to start his solid day. Freshman Courtney Williams had a dropped pass in the drive and then on fourth down and short, Austin White was crushed at the line and stopped short of the first down.

- Drive starts at CMU 30 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)

Paris Cotton got a big gain on a pass play as he had a delayed release from the line. Tyler Lombardo then caught a pass that brought the drive to the 3-yard line where Zurlon Tipton finished it off by plowing through the line for a score. Harman made the PAT.

- Drive starts at CMU 30 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
John Williams knocked down a Westendorp pass at the line of scrimmage. AJ then bounced back by finding Caleb Southworth for a first down. The drive stalled thanks to a tackle for loss by Winston against Austin White and then Billy Myler took a nasty hit on the sideline from Jahleel Addae to force a punt.

- Drive starts at CMU 30 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
Westendorp found Jason Wilson on the sideline for a first down but followed that up with a near interception. He threw behind a receiver in the flat and Shamari Benton nearly picked off the pass. But, AJ bounced back, finding Cedric Fraser on a 55-yard touchdown pass. However, it appeared Jason Chomic had a sack of AJ, but they could only touch the quarterbacks, not tackle them. Harman made the extra point.

- Drive starts at 50 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)
Tipton had a long run to the 10-yard line to spark the scoring drive and then Radcliff had a nice rollout pass to Connor Odykirk in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Harman made the extra point.

- Drive starts at 50 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)

Titus Davis had a first down catch but the drive stalled out quickly, resulting in a punt situation.

- Drive starts at 50 – 3rd team offense/3rd team defense (Niznak at QB)
This drive went 3 and out.

- Drive starts at CMU 3 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)
Tim Phillips had a long run to the opponent’s 21-yard line for the best rush of the day. He also drew a facemask penalty from Leron Eaddy on the tackle. Freshman CB Stefon Armstead knocked away a potential touchdown pass to Jerry Harris in the end zone and the offense settled for a 28-yard field goal from Harman, which was good.

- Drive starts at CMU 3 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
Westendorp was sacked in the end zone on the first play for a safety. I believe Winston had the sack.

- Drive starts at Visitor’s 20 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Fricke at QB)
Fricke had his only drive of the day here. He nearly threw a pick six to John Carr, but Carr was unable to catch the ball. Harman eventually made a 29-yard field goal on the possession.

- Drive starts at Visitor’s 20 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)
Radcliff found Blackburn early in the possession for a touchdown. Harman made the extra point.

- Drive starts at Visitor’s 20 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)
Tipton had a physical 10-yard run early in the drive, but the offense stalled out at the 3-yard line after an incomplete pass from Radcliff to Titus Davis. Harman made a 20-yard field goal.

- Drive starts at Visitor’s 20 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
The offense didn’t do much here, settling for a 31-yard field goal attempt from Harman, which was blocked at the line. Not sure who got the block. It was the only miss on the day for Harman.

- Drive starts at Vistior’s 4 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)
Kevin King tripped up Ben Brown for a loss on the first play. On third and goal, Tipton was stuffed by Eaddy and Darryll Stinson, but he got the last laugh by running over Eaddy for a touchdown on fourth and goal. Harman made the extra point.

- Drive starts at Visitor’s 4 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
Freshman CB Jarret Champman knocked away a touchdown pass in the end zone to start the drive, but Brown eventually scored on a 1-yard run a few plays later. Harman made the extra point.

- Drive starts at Visitor’s 20 – 3rd team offense/3rd team defense (Westendorp at QB)
Wimberly caught a 10-yard pass from Niznak to start the drive. A touchdown was called on a fade pass from Niznak to Jason Wilson in the corner of the end zone. Wilson battled Derek Carter for the ball and made a juggling catch as he landed. He looked out of bounds on the play, but the ref gave him the score.

- Drive starts at CMU 34 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)
This was a possession where 2:48 was put on the clock and the offense is trying to run the clock out. Tipton picked up a first down run on the drive, but the defense ultimately forced a punt with 1:37 left near midfield.

- Drive starts at CMU 34 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
The offense didn’t get a first down. Austin White was the running back and the defense made a stop on third down to force fourth and inched with 2:30 on the clock.

- Drive starts at CMU 34 – 1st team offense/2nd team defense (Radcliff at QB)
This was the 2-minute drill with 1:43 put on the clock. Phillips picked up 31 yards on a screen pass to start the drive and then Radcliff found Cedric Fraser on a 35-yard TD pass. Fraser got past freshman CB Dennis Nalor for the score. Harman made the extra point.

- Drive starts at CMU 34 – 2nd team offense/1st team defense (Westendorp at QB)
2-minute drill again. Ben Brown had a nice 22-yard run early in the drive and Odykirk caught a 9-yard pass to follow that. Westendorp then ran for a first down but was sacked by Caesar Rodriguez on the next play. On fourth and long, Westendorp found Jason Wilson for a first down and then Harman made a 25-yard field goal with a few seconds left on the clock.

- That was all of the possessions. As you can see, Brandon Fricke had just one drive. Not sure what that means for the QB depth chart.
- There was a lot of mixing and matching at positions, as the coaches wanted to see different players play with different teammates. Paris Cotton and Armond Staten didn’t get many reps, but I would guess that is because they don’t need them, being seniors with a lot of experience.
- Nobody really blew me away on the day but I thought Winston had a good effort as did freshmen running backs Wimberly and Brown. Both ran with a lot of force and effort.
- The first team offense threw the ball well but didn’t have that much success running the ball against a second string defensive line. Tim Phillips had some good plays and Tipton grinded out a few runs, but the offense wasn’t getting steady 4-yard gains.
- The offensive line struggled on the second team. Winston and John Williams seemed to be in the backfield a lot early on. I think it speaks to the lack of depth on the line. Rocky Weaver and Mike Repovz were still out of practice with injuries.
- Clearly the tight end position is a focal point of the offense and I would expect more production out of it this season.

That’s it for today. Hope that was helpful. I will be off tomorrow and get back to a practice early next week. The regular season is getting closer and closer.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Practice notes from Friday, 8/12

Was able to get back to practice today. Not much to note, but here are a few things that stood out.

- On the injury front, a lot of the WR's have healed up. A couple of new names in red were OL Rocky Weaver and Mike Repovz as well as LB Alex Smith. It didn't appear as if any were too serious.
- With Weaver and Repovz out, the offensive line was slightly shuffled. Eric Fisher stayed at Left Tackle while Jake Olson moved to right tackle. Darren Keyton moved from center to guard while Aaron McCord was at the other guard spot and Andy Phillips was at center. There is some buzz on Phillips that he is really impressing the coaching staff and may find his way onto the starting lineup.
- True freshman Dennis Nalor was taking first team snaps at CB. I think Enos and the staff could be rotating in freshmen to see how they perform at the position. I think they really want to know what they have in their true freshmen at CB before they decide what to do with their other guys (i.e. Avery Cunningham, Derek Carter, etc.)
- The quarterbacks looked somewhat unimpressive today. Radcliff had some nice throws in drills but then struggled during scrimmage periods. Westendorp struggled with his accuracy as well. Fricke had a real nice deep ball to Billy Myler during practice and Niznak continues to do some good things and some bad things.
- Myler was taking a lot of reps with the first string in four-WR sets. He appears to be second on the depth chart at slot receiver. He has been doing a lot of work on punt returns as well.
- Jerry Harris looks to be the guy winning the race for the outside receiver position. He was running a lot with the first team offense and Radcliff. He made a few nice catches as well.

That's about all for today. CMU is having a scrimmage tomorrow with refs on hand, so it should be interesting to see who steps up. I will try to provide as much play-by-play and info as I can.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Practice Notes from Tuesday, 8/9

Today was the first practice in pads. A lot of hitting going on. Here are a few observations from the day.

- Jahleel Addae went from red (no contact) to a yellow (limited contact) jersey today. He appears to have a rib or abdominal injury. He is expected to be back for 100 percent contact this week.
- Darren Keyton was also back at practice and ran with the first team for the entire session.
- True freshman Jarret Chapman was running with the first team defense at cornerback opposite Lorenzo White. Derek Carter had been moved down to second team.
- Speaking of Chapman, he had some highs and lows on the day. He made a nice pass deflection in the corner of the end zone during red zone skeleton. He leaped and just deflected the ball from Cody Wilson on a nice pass from Ryan Radcliff. On the slightly embarrassing side, he was hurdled by TE David Blackburn for a touchdown earlier in the practice. It was quite an athletic play by Blackburn.
- Leron Eaddy made a nice interception on Brandon Fricke. He stepped in front of Billy Myler to make the INT. It was a nice instinctive move by Eaddy.
- In terms of the quarterbacks, it is pretty clear that Ryan Radcliff throws the best ball in the group. He has the best arm strength and touch and also has improved his accuracy. I thought A.J. Westerndorp struggled today, especially with his accuracy.
- Alex Niznak clearly is still on the learning curve. I would be shocked if he was anything but redshirted. A lot of people talk about the speed of the game picking up for freshmen and think about the improved speed of defensive backs for quarterbacks. But, I think Niznak is also struggling with the improved speed of his receivers. He is throwing behind and short to a lot of his guys. Clearly the speed and talent of his receivers at CMU are an upgrade from the ones he had at Ithaca.
- The receivers CMU has look solid. Cedric Fraser looks very talented and like the best outside receiver, but he just hasn't been able to put it on the field in games. Jerry Harris has been hobbled with an injury, but still shows some good things. I think were CMU is strongest though is with its redshirt and true freshmen. It is a really talented group that should be amazing in a couple of years.
- At tight end, Connor Odykirk has looked good behind David Blackburn, while Jarrett Fleming looks impressive in size. He has really added some mass and should be a nice addition to the offense.
- At running back, freshman Anthony Garland looks good. He really likes to deliver the hits and isn't afraid of contact. He probably won't see time this year because of the top-heavy depth at the position, but he will be in the mix in years to come.
- In full team drills, the first team offense seemed to have their way with the first team defense, especially in the running game. Defensive Coordinator Joe Tumpkin wasn't too pleased with his unit. I don't know if this is a positive for the offense or negative for the defense. Maybe both.

That's it for today. Not sure if I will be able to stop out tomorrow for practice. Still working out my schedule. I will have more updates during the week and for Saturday's team scrimmage.

Monday, August 8, 2011

CMU Football Practice Notes from Monday, 8/8

Well, what a difference a day makes. I missed Sunday's practice for a family function and apparently CMU racked up some injuries.
- Jahleel Addae didn't go through contact with an injury that didn't seem too serious as he was pretty upbeat and active throughout practice.
- Darren Keyton wasn't at practice at all but came back at the end of the day. Not sure if it is injury related. He is not in any hot water with the team or coaches.
- During practice, Mike Petrucci and Jerry Harris both got banged up. Petrucci took a hard hit in the upper body and sat out the last few drills. Didn't look serious. Harris made a great leaping catch in the corner of the end zone over Avery Cunningham on a nice pass from Ryan Radcliff. On his way down, Harris hit hard and was slow to get up to end practice.
- Others currently in red are: FR WR Jesse Kroll, FR WR Andrew Flory, RFR TE Joe Sawicki, RFR WR Johnathan Taylor, SR DE Kashawn Fraser, FR DL Matt Losiniecki, SO LB Ben Masztak, SO FB Adam Fenton, and RFR WR Deon Butler. Guys in Yellow (Limited Contact): SR WR Cedric Fraser, JR LB Jake Bentley, and SO LB Jason Johnson.
- The injuries gave opportunities to some young guys. Cunningham was taking over for Addae at safety and then moving to nickel CB in three CB sets. In nickel sets, Leron Eaddy would play Addae's safety spot.
- Cunningham had some nice plays on defense. He had a nice break on a pass and made some tips throughout practice.
- True Freshman Titus Davis got some snaps with the first team due to the injuries. He shows some nice raw talent, but he is still somewhat thin.
- Cedric Fraser shows some real talent, but as a senior, it seems like he has been more about potential than production.
- Harris dropped a beautiful deep ball from Radcliff on a well-run play. Harris beat the CMU DB's deep and had it put right in his lap, but let the ball fall through his arms. It was a pretty bad drop to have.
- Alex Smith moved to MLB for Petrucci when he got injured. I think the coaches like Smith, but he hasn't been able to beat out Benton for the WLB spot.
- In the punting game, Curtis Huge seems to have some competition from Richie Hogan. Hogan was booting some nice kicks and Huge had one punt that was just awful, about 10 yards.
- In the FG kicking, David Harman has been pretty good. He hit a few from outside 40 today. He had one kick blocked by Lorenzo White. Huge had some good kicks as well, but had one blocked be Leterrius Walton in the middle. Harman also had some impressive kickoffs, getting the ball to the end zone.
- Enos continues to show more intensity this season and seems to be more confident that this is his team. I think he was tentative at times, since last year's players were coming off such a successful season. But, he is clearly commanding this team this season.

That's it for today. Tomorrow is the first practice in full pads. Should get interesting.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

CMU Football Day 2 Practice Notes

Not as much to say today. Enos felt the practice went a little better today and was toned down with his anger at the end of the day.
Here are some notes and observations from the practice:

- WR Cedric Fraser and DE Darryll Stinson were among the injury additions from Friday. Fraser was in red, Stinson was in yellow. Fraser appeared to have hurt his ankle on Friday while I am not sure what happened with Stinson. Stinson was on the sidelines trying to help incoming freshman, which I think is a real positive to see.
- Rocky Weaver appeared to suffer a leg injury during the practice. Didn't look to be serious. Cody Pettit took his place during drills.
- Freshman Jesse Kroll had a nice diving catch during the practice, but hurt his hand in the process. Not sure what happened but the reaction of his teammates made it sound like he broke or dislocated his finger, and it wasn't a pretty sight.
- Ryan Radcliff had nice touch and accuracy during the practice. He was hitting his receivers on their breaks, something he struggled with at times last year. I spoke with him after practice and he knows that his INT's have to be cut down significantly. He looks more confident on the field.
- There is no QB battle, but A.J. Westendorp continues to impress me. He doesn't have the technical skills that Radcliff has in terms of accuracy or delivery, but he finds a way to make a bad play into a positive one. He did just that on the 2-minute drill where he took a broken play and made it a big gain on a pass. I think many fans (and myself at one time) felt Alex Niznak would just take over for Radcliff in a few years, but AJ might be making the case to earn the starting spot in 2013 when he is a senior.
- Brandon Fricke is not doing anything to stand out. He isn't doing anything bad either, but just not making an impression at all, which isn't a good thing.
- Alex Niznak continues to go through the ups and downs of being a freshman quarterback. I would be surprised if he was anything but redshirted this season.
- Deon Butler has had some nice plays during the first few days. He has good size for a redshirt freshman WR and I think he will be in the steady rotation of WR's with Cody Wilson and Jerry Harris.
- At tight end, Connor Odykirk has been getting a lot of reps. He is one of the few veterans at the position. I don't know if the coaches are waiting for the young TE's to develop, or if they really feel that Odykirk is a player they can count on.
- Two other locals, WR's Jordan McConnell and Billy Myler are doing some good things as well. McConnell could see the field this season while I think Myler will be a backup in the slot and possibly return punts.
- In the kicking game, David Harman is the plan for CMU, but juco punter Curtis Huge took some kicks today and was hitting from outside of 40 yards. He had good distance on his kicks and may provide some competition at place kicker along with doing the punting.
- Left tackle Eric Fisher is emerging as a leader on the team. He has been very vocal with his teammates and with his size, commands a lot of respect.

That is all for today. I will not be at Sunday's practice but will return on Monday with more updates.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Practice Notes from Opening Day

Got a chance to watch today’s CMU football practice, the first of the 2011 fall college football season.
Here are some news and notes on the Chippewas:

- CMU started the day pretty injury free. Just four players were in red jerseys (no contact). They were DE Kashawn Fraser, FB Adam Fenton, WR Courtney Williams, and another unknown freshman (he never put his helmet on to identify his number). The team did have a few minor injuries take place during the practice, but nothing that looked serious.
- In terms of size and shape, Ryan Radcliff has lost some weight according to Dan Enos. He said Radcliff lost about 15 pounds over the summer and trimmed up. It looks like A.J. Westendorp added that 15 pounds. He is really a big kid from a muscular aspect. He looks like he has shoulder pads on without actually wearing them.
- The first team offense had Radcliff at QB, Zurlon Tipton and Paris Cotton trading at RB, Cody Wilson and Jerry Harris at WR, David Blackburn at TE, and an offensive line of Eric Fisher (LT), Jake Olson (LG), Darren Keyton (C), Rocky Weaver (RG), and Mike Repovz (RT). I am a little surprised that Repovz gets the nod at RT over Weaver, but the coaches must feel this is the best five for them. Overall, a pretty solid starting five.
- The second team offense was Fricke and Westendorp at QB, Tim Phillips and Austin White at RB, Cedric Fraser Jonathan Taylor and Deon Butler all getting snaps at WR, Caleb Southworth at TE, and an offensive line of Kevin Henry (LT), Aaron McCord (LG), Andy Phillips (C), Cody Pettit (RG), and Jeff Fantuzzi (RT).
- The first team defense was a defensive line of Joe Kinville (DE), John Williams (DT), Steve Winson (DT), and Darryll Stinson (DE). The linebackers were Armond Staten, Mike Petrucci, and Shamari Benton. Lorenzo White and Derek Carter were taking the snaps at CB and Jahleel Addae and John Carr played safety.
- The second team defense was a line of Kenny McClendon (DE), Matt Losiniecki (DT), Chris Reeves (DT), and Jason Chomic (DE). Linebackers were Jake Bentley, Mike Kinville, and Alex Smith. Kevin King and true freshman Josh Carter played CB, and Avery Cunningham and Leron Eaddy were at safety.
- For the D-Line, Leterrius Walton and Caesar Rodriguez were in the mix as well, but apparently Walton didn’t test out well in his conditioning drills, so he may have to work his way up. Freshman Shafer Johnson is a big kid at 322 pounds. Enos said he actually came into the summer at 340 pounds.
- Jason Johnson, a redshirt sophomore from Durand, appears to have moved to LB from Safety.
- Austin White was at practice and looked as good as he did in the spring. Apparently the rumors of his departure were untrue.
- In terms of observations, I thought that Westendorp looked really good. He has altered his delivery and it looks a lot smoother. He had some nice throws and shows a lot of athleticism. He is often compared to Brian Brunner because of his attitude and demeanor and I can see that. I feel like he is one of those guys that will find a way to make a play any way he has to. If you need one yard on one key play, he is probably the guy you would want with the ball.
- Radcliff didn’t look too bad. He still has good zip and his accuracy looked better. Still waiting to see some leadership traits come out of him though.
- Alex Niznak had some nice moments, but also made some classic freshman mistakes. He was intercepted by Petrucci during scrimmage drills on a play where he looked to be in over his head a little. He did make some nice deep throws though and seemed to have some good chemistry with true freshman WR, Dennis Nalor.
- Brandon Fricke was hard to read. He didn’t do anything that stood out, good or bad. A lot of the individual drills, he was not with the QB’s and was running scout offense. It was odd to see, but I still expect he and Westendorp to back up Radcliff this season.
- Without pads on, it is hard to know how the players will really pan out. I think this team has some impressive looking freshmen, but they have to hold up physically. Enos hinted that some freshmen will probably have to play on the D-Line and at CB.
- Enos was pretty fired up at the team following practice. He felt their effort was not where it should be and that the team needed to lock in and realize that summer is over. He showed a lot of energy and emotion during the talk.

I will have some more news and notes tomorrow, but that is all for today. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @ellisdrew for updates during tomorrow’s practice

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Monday, August 1, 2011

CMU Football 2011 Preseason Live Chat

Join me on Thursday at noon to talk about the 2011 Central Michigan football team as the players report for training camp.

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