The second practice of the day was run well by the North coaching staff. Despite the cold, they worked a full session and got in a lot of quality one on one reps as well as seven on sevens, nine on sevens and scrimmages. I took particular attention to the pit drills and one on ones with the big men today and was rewarded with some quality practice footage to enjoy.
LIKED WHAT I SAW
WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame – This day was practically set up for the Notre Dame great to show up and show out. He is clearly going to the focal part of the passing attack on game day with the way practice has gone. He is such a giant sized receiver that you could mistake him for a tight end but he’s so athletic and such a difficult cover that he has to be outside dictating matchups. Outside of one concentration drop, Chase really enjoyed a fine first day outing.
Edge Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina – There is a lot of spring out of the stance here with Strowbridge. He used his length and showed a lot of range in the drills. He appeared to improve as the day went on and once the one on ones were in full swing, Strowbridge really got into a groove beating up on fellow Tar Heel Charlie Heck in one rep with a quick outside stick rip. He is an athletic pass rusher and that’s what he’s putting out there for the teams on Tuesday.
OT Justin Herron, Wake Forest – Herron had an overall great day when you consider his mearsurements at the weigh in with 34 5/8″ arms and an 81 6/8″ wingspan which is respectable for a tackle but mostly importantly keeps him in the tackle conversation going forward. What also helps is that he was flashing some terrific lateral explosion and outstanding ability reach defenders and shock them. This is especially impressive for Justin Herron since he is coming off of a torn ACL and not only has regained his previous form but has refined his game. You love to root for a guy like this that has clearly taken his injury and made the best of it with his study and hard work on his craft. His ability to recover and multitask with his hands is nothing short of remarkable. Great day one, Mr Herron!
DL Darrion Daniels, Nebraska – Surprisingly active with his hands, Daniels has some subtle fighting moves that are deadly in close quarters because of how well he frees himself up to attack an offensive lineman’s body. At a certain point in one on ones I thought I was watching some serious MMA with not only how fast Daniels was striking offensive linemen but just how violent his hands were flying. He didn’t go out and win every rep but he had his share of wins namely against Nick Harris of Washington.
Edge Trevon Hill, Miami [FL] – Hill has played under two great defensive coordinators and he’s played some big time ball which showed up on the field today right from the time they started drills. Hill audibly was smacking the tackling dummies hard, he flashed a very effective inside rip technique that paid off twice today for wins in the one on ones. It was a great start to the week for the former Hokie defender.
C Nick Harris, Washington – I think Mr Harris might even agree that today was not his strongest practice. He has a ton of experience and is as reliable as they come but he lost a number of one on one reps. He could not handle the technique and hand placement of Nebraska’s Darrion Daniels, he struggled against the power of the Canadian Bulldozer Neville Gallimore and the high motor of Davon Hamilton. I came into this event a fan of Harris’ game and there’s no reason he can’t rebound tomorrow but there’s no denying that he was on the struggle bus to start the week.