Photo by Bob Hebert
Thursday afternoon, the Demon Deacons hit the newly replaced turf in the only scrimmage that will take place at BB&T Field this spring. There were several nice plays on the day from young guys that will look to seize the opportunity to maximize their playing time next season. Click through for a report of who stood out to us during the day!
To Rickman and me, the most impressive aspect of today's scrimmage was the play of our young wide receivers. After dropping a pass near the sideline early, Terrance Davis (pictured) had a very productive day. He ran very good routes and managed to get behind the defense on a couple different occasions. His biggest play was a 50+ yarder from Riley Skinner that CB Kenny Okoro was able to track down inside the 5. In addition to Davis, Chris Givens and Y'lou Brown were efficient as well. Givens caught the only touchdown pass on the day from Skinner and had several others as well. Brown continues to build on his freshman campaign and came up with four catches himself. He is very elusive and tends to rack up plenty of YAC. Of course, we tend to take for granted the excellence and accuracy of Riley Skinner, who had 207 passing yards on 18 of 23 passing according to the official report. His most impressive pass was a rocket through the middle of the field to Ted Randolph, which looked like it had no chance of making it through the defense.
In the running game, Josh Adams was most impressive on the day. Adams was able to rush for nearly 70 yards on 14 carries. Harris and Pendergrass were not as productive, each rushing for under 20 yards. In the bad news of the day, starting fullback Mike Rinfrette suffered a concussion and is out for the remainder of the spring. This allowed freshman Tommy Bohanon to step up, scoring two touchdowns on the fabled fullback dive. ToBo will almost definitely play as a true freshman, as he is very impressive physically and will be a nice backup for Rinfrette.
While the offensive line should be much improved this year, it does not look as if the hogs have gelled quite yet this spring. The defense was able to get to the quarterback on several occasions and hurry him on several others. At one point Coach Lobo yelled to his offensive line "if someone doesn't block John Russell, this scrimmage is over!"
This leads us to the defense. Obviously, the D is tougher for us to evaluate, but there were a few players that really caught our eye. First, the aforementioned John Russell continues to be a beast. He got through the line several times and was not shy about letting everyone know about it either. Russell is a highly emotional player, which we will need more of now that Alphonso Smith and Aaron Curry are playing for money. Another player that impressed us was Kenny Okoro. His speed and sure tackling were key for the defense today. Okoro definitely looks to be one of the guys that could fill the void left by the Phonz. Finally, the official stats had Hunter Haynes as the leading tackler, which is another good sign. Haynes needs to be a leader for our inexperienced defense next season.
Key players out today - Boo Robinson, Dennis Godfrey, Marshall Williams, Brandon Ghee, Kyle Wilber, Lovell Jackson
Your final chance to see the Deacs in a scrimmage situation this spring is at the Spring Game next Saturday on the practice field. Don't miss it!