By Jamie Lent
Week 1 of 2012 Fall Football Camp wrapped up for the Red Raiders on Saturday evening with their first scrimmage of the camp. There was plenty to feel good about in the scrimmage and a few other things that maybe give reason for worry. Here are a few things that stood out.
*The Quarterback position is in good hands for years to come. Starter Seth Doege continues to look like a guy who makes all the right decisions and has a complete grasp of the Red Raider offense. Doege threw two touchdowns in the work out and was very vocal in getting other guys in the right place. Just what you want out of your senior signal caller. Back-up Michael Brewer was impressive as well going against the second team defense. The redshirt freshman threw for four scores on the evening and looked especially well throwing the ball deep. The only down side to Brewer’s play were a couple forced passes in the red zone that were intercepted. Despite the two turnovers, Coach Neal Brown and the offensive staff have to feel good about the current top two steps on the Tech QB ladder.
*With Eric Stephens and DeAndre Washington both held out as they rehab injuries, other running backs got there chance at reps and each made the most of their opportunities. Sophomore Kenny Williams ran with the same power he showed in the Baylor game and looked like a guy that could definitely do some damage between the tackles. Junior College transfer Sadale Foster proved to be a weapon out of the backfield both running and receiving as he made a very nice leaping catch while withstanding a big hit. Finally, freshman Quinton White showed plenty of skills as well spinning away from would-be tacklers and coming up with a few big runs.
*One of the best signs of the day may have come from the center position as senior Deveric Gallington had just one low snap back to QB Seth Doege. Considering the serious struggles that Gallington had getting consistent snaps to the QB this spring, this was a serious improvement.
*Kicker Ryan Bustin probably had the best day going a perfect 5 of 5 on field goal attempts including a 45 yarder. The lefty should have Coach Tommy Tuberville and staff very confident heading into the season.
*On defense, corners Cornelius Douglas and Eugene Neboh both looked solid as they lay claim to the two starting positions. However it was a mixed bag for the back-up corners. JC transfer Bruce Jones was beaten deep twice and looks like a guy that is going to need some time before he is ready to play meaningful snaps. Also sophomore Jeremy Reynolds picked up a pass interference foul, got into a trash talking match and near fight with Darren Moore, and was sent packing to the sidelines by Tommy Tuberville all on one play. Not the kind of play that earns you playing time on Saturdays.
*There is no question the linebacker crew is in better shape in 2012 than it was in 2011. This is partly due to experience and the additions of Terrance Bullitt and Chris Payne to the group. However, the play of Will Smith is also a huge factor. The junior transfer picked up where he left off in the spring making plays all over the field. Smith was *credited with a sack early on the scrimmage and also knocked down a Seth Doege pass over the middle.
*On the defensive line, Kerry Hyder, Branden Jackson, and Lee Adams all appeared to have very good days. The trio spent a good amount of time in the offensive backfield making plays and disrupting the offense. However, the most surprising part to me along the D-Line is the emergence of redshirt freshman Pete Robertson at end. Robertson’s position shifts have been well documented here at Tech, but it looks as if he has found a home. The former high school WR/QB started at right end on Saturday and showed off that incredible burst off the ball. If speed on the field is what Tommy Tuberville and Art Kaufman are looking for, they’ve found it with Robertson.