While most of the nation is geared towards March Madness, the Wake Forest football team turned their attention to football to prepare for the 2010 season with their first practice of the Spring.
Click through to read about the Deac's first Spring practice
Spirits were high today on the campus of Wake Forest, especially over on the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex. As members of the Wake Forest fan base, we are a lucky bunch because Coach Jim Grobe is one of the few coaches in the NCAA, FBS or FCS, that allows open practice. As a result, BSD took the opportunity to head over and check out how the first practice went, here are some of the highlights.
>Practice began around 4:15-4:30 with the players slowly trickling out and getting loosened up with their groups.
>Individual stretching and trash talking about last night's A League Championship (won by Devon Brown's team apparently for the 3rd year in a row) ensued.
>Finally the horn sounded and the guys all got together for jogging and team stretching.
>After this, basic stations of cones, up and downs, jumping jacks, and sprints were rotated through by each group.
>After the stations, each group (split up by positions) went to work on basics for their respective skill.
>Jimmy Newman looked pretty good punting after his first couple of attempts, and was eventually booting them between 40-50 yards consistently.
>We had a lot of guys on the hands team including Givens, Pendergrass, Brown, and Washington (Lovell Jackson had a cast on his left ankle/foot and did not participate in any drills/practice).
>The quarterbacks had a lot of competition seemingly, especially between Brendan Cross and Ted Stachitas. Patrick Thompson and Skylar Jones also got some reps. This is interesting to note because Thompson was recruited as a linebacker out of high school.
>In my opinion, Cross looked much better early and looks like he has a good grasp of what he needs to do to get the starting role. He had a lot of zip on the ball and was placing them pretty well aside from a couple of bad throws on crossing routes.
>The receiving corps looked pretty good as well, with Marshall Williams making a couple of pretty receptions along the sideline on out routes.
>Since it was a skeleton 7 on 7 passing drill, there was no pressure on the quarterbacks to release the ball, but the cornerbacks and safeties more than held their own on many balls, particularly those that crossed the middle.
>Interesting to note that the first thing the quarterbacks did was run about 10 minutes worth of option looking plays from the shotgun (think more triple than misdirection stuff).
>Riley Skinner made an appearance and Cross was very active in asking Skinner on several different occasions about what Skinner saw at certain times and what he could do to improve.
>Michael Campanaro was out there and was practicing with the receivers. I have to say that he was much shorter than I thought he was, but he has elite speed and great hands to go along with that speed, a dangerous combination for sure.
>Derricus Ellis was not dressed for practice and was in warmups, not sure about the extent of why or what was going on there but he did not appear to have any injuries.
That pretty much wraps up the first day and what I observed. They all looked pretty happy to be back out on the field after the layoff and morale was very high. There was a lot of emotion for the guys and drills only got stopped a couple of times for the coaches to interject something about what they were doing.
Looks like a great start for this Demon Deacon squad. Hopefully it will be the first great practices of many in the Spring and it will show in the spring game on April 17th.
Any questions or comments can be left at the bottom of the page and I will do my best to check in and answer them as they come!