Both first team offense and defense looked poised and ready to build on the success of last year however it was the back-ups and new comers that made noise on this day. Running back Michael Dyer spend time receiving kicks. He didn’t miss a ball and looked confident. I believe this is a good spot for Dyer to get his football legs back under him and mentally back up to game speed. This will also give Dyer the opportunity to showcase his athletic ability that earned him the MVP trophy of the 2011 National Championship.
Freshman back-up quarterback Will Gardner hooked up with wide receiver red shirt junior Matt Milton on a deep down field post route. Both players stand tall at 6’5″. All of Gardner’s passes where strong and accurate. Milton’s sleek frame, height and speed remind me of Randy Moss only taller. Milton will play a key role in what should be a very high-powered passing game. Milton will be very tough to cover with the average height of defensive backs in the NCAA somewhere around 5’10″.
Back-up running back red shirt freshman Brandon Ratcliff was slashing the defense during full contact smashmouth drills. I witnessed two separate runs where the 5’9″ Ratcliff gashed through and around the defense without barely a touch. Dyer on the other hand looked a little rusty and was wrapped up at the line of scrimmage on consecutive runs. Its going to take Dyer some time to work his was into this very deep and talented backfield.
Last note: Dominique Brown looked very slender. I was hoping for a Bush-esque (Michael Bush of course) Brown to be the feature back in this years offense. Obviously Preston Brown is taking Dominique’s food and snacks. Someone get that kid a steak!!!