The team got after it early and often in Wednesday's practice. The best highlights of today's practice were the team doing the ole "Oklahoma" drill and the mini-scrimmage.
The Hilltoppers appear quicker and more athletic this spring. Being in the second year of Strength Coach Jim Nowell's strength and condition program and a higher level of talent then in years past is showing up on the field. The first two practices were physical and today's workout was not any different.
The Hilltoppers are young in a few areas but the effort and commitment has been evident across the practice field. The effort, spirit, and physicality of this Hilltopper team have been outstanding.
Except for the quarterbacks, the mini-scrimmage was full contact. Referees were on hand and were busy early. The coaches have flooded the players installing offensive and defensive packages so mental mistakes are to happen.
Overall, it was a typical first full contact scrimmage for a spring camp. Players worked to grasp the additions to their offensive and defensive schemes, veterans mostly performed as expected while younger players go through maturation while fighting to catch the coach's eye and win playing time.
Running back #1 Tyrell Hayden had a good day running the ball. Hayden comes to work every practice and is threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. WR #81 Jessie Quinn made some solid catches and had a nice run on a reverse. The hit of day goes to OL #71 Lloyd Pressley who simply destroyed an outside linebacker blocking on a running play.
Coach Elson, when speaking to the team following practice, told the team he is very satisfied with their effort, knew they would hit and will be physical. However, he also addressed the mental aspect of knowing your assignment, execution, and discipline by not making dumb penalties.
At the end of the day, the Hilltoppers had another solid day of practice.
Earlier in practice, Coach Elson made the team do
"up-downs" ("belly flops" for you old school fans) to drive home his point concerning
mental mistakes and dumb penalties.
QB #12 Brandon Smith leads the offense.
QB #5 KJ Black circled by the Hilltopper defense.
A young fan, Garrett Bauer, watches practice with Head Coach David Elson.