The coaching staff had not had a chance to work with the players since spring practice and Tim DeRuyter was pleased to see the progress with the returning players. With 37 lettermen returning from the 2011 team, the core group has shown dedication in learning the new schemes and working in the off-season.
"We had a pretty good carry-over from the spring time with our first units,” said DeRuyter. “The guys who spent their time here this summer are close to where we need them to be. That was encouraging to see. We still have 28 more practices, so we have a little conditioning to go.”
"Our offense was running plays at a fast tempo," said Derek Carr. “I was very proud of our guys and how hard they worked this summer - they did a great job of conditioning and getting ready. I thought on offense, we did pretty well today."
“We're getting ready for this season and it's going to be exciting,” Carr added.
While the returners have adapted to the high tempo style and increased conditioning, the newcomers have some catching up to do according to DeRuyter.
"Both sides of the ball were moving around pretty fast,” DeRuyter said. “We got a lot of new guys here, so those guys are swimming a little bit right now which is understandable, we just got to get them up to speed so that we can really have some quality depth in there."
Practice concluded with an increased amount of conditioning on the hot Friday afternoon at Valley Growers’ Practice Field. Sophomore receiver Josh Harper commented on the high tempo practice and volume of conditioning.
“It’s not a punishment,” said Harper, “We’re going to be running at a high pace so we want to get our conditioning right so we can play fast.”
Select Freshman Impress
Only two members of DeRuyter’s 2012 recruiting class were able to make an impression on him on day one. Aaron Peck caught the coach’s eye on an impressive catch. The two-star wide receiver reported to camp at 6-foot-3, 215 lbs.
“I saw Aaron Peck make a nice play late,” said DeRuyter. “We had one of our young running backs put the ball on the ground which gets my attention and we can’t have that. Those are the only two guys that have stood out to me right now. Soon enough those guys will make an impression.”
Derek Carr was impressed with Peck’s abilities as well, but also commented on two other new Bulldogs.
“We had a couple of young guys come in do really well,” said Carr. “Aaron Peck did a great job today… [Ryan] O’Leary… he was doing pretty well. We have a running back from Georgia [Marteze Waller] who I think is pretty special.”
While some freshman were able to stand out, DeRuyter stressed that the majority of the newcomers are not up to speed with the returning players who participated in summer workouts.
“There’s a few guys that weren’t here all summer. Some of the newcomers; they got a long way to go. I think they realized it and they’re a lot more like our guys were in February."
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