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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