Nation Day 1: Impressions
Overall the Nation squad seemed much more talented and overall just looked better.
As the day wore on, people filed in and out due to cold weather, but waiting around for the nation practice was very beneficial.
Here are some players that left strong impressions on me:
T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina: 6035 height 221 lbs weight
The best looking quarterback hands down in this week of practice, Yates struggled with the wind factor early on, but was able to adjust to the weather. Towards the end of practice he really started to get into a groove, going to his teammate Ryan Taylor often and effectively. Ryan Taylor actually showed an ability to get behind the defense which really surprised everyone here. Yates needs to continue to build off of this practice; he must play like the best quarterback here because quite frankly he is.
Owen Spencer, WR, NC State: 6024 height 191 lbs weight
Spencer made the most really special catches. He lapsed mentally with a few drops, but overall I liked what I saw. A slot kind of receiver who can make the tough grab along the sidelines.
Anthony Walters, S, Delaware: 6000 height 201 lbs weight
Did an better than average job of mirroring his man in DB drills, Walters has a good balance of run and coverage skills.
Dominic Dicicco, S, Pittsburgh: 6026 height 232 lbs weight
I really liked this kid, from the weigh-ins till the last team rep. Dicicco came in at 232 lbs which is huge for a safety. Immediately I began to worry about his ability to run; evidenced in the ball drills with DBs, Dicicco lacked the ability to really get out and run. Nevertheless I kept watching him, and his instincts in general were very impressive. He comes down real hard in run fits, very aggressive there. Dicicco also reads the quarterbacks eyes well, baiting the quarterback to throw a route he has squatted on. Overall a great day for Dom.
Jock Saunders, RB/WR, West Virginia: 5063 height 174 lbs weight
Switched over to running back for the week and really shined; ran with a ton of effort as if every snap was a real game. Finds ways to get in and out of creases and looked like he had a chip on his shoulder. Interested to see how he plays going forward.
I will cover lineman more in depth in tomorrows notes:
Here are some players who left bad impressions on me:
Nathan Enderle and Jeff Van Camp
Both quarterbacks were shooting balls over receivers heads and out of bounds. Both looked uncomfortable in the pocket and had similar poor throwing days as the Texas QBs. Enderle's accuracy is so inconsistent that I really don't see him even being drafted. All the talent in the world though, he could turn it around, but accuracy is something that is innate and typically not learned.
Vance Cuff, CB, Georgia: 5102 height 171 lbs weight
A little light and strongy, Cuff looked genuinely UNmotivated. At one point the DB coach pulled him out of team drills and said, "Do you even want to be here?" He answered by saying, "It's too cold man!" Enough said...