Fall Camp 2007: Practice #1

Clifton Smith and Quaadir Brown

It was not a typical August morning when the ‘Dogs conducted their first practice 9 a.m. Monday. Usually, the mercury is hovering around 90 degrees on an August morning but the newcomers enjoyed mid-70s and light breeze. Nevertheless, the temperature rose and the play got hotter once the veterans took over in the early afternoon.

All eyes were on the newcomers Monday morning. Some redshirt freshmen and sophomores sprinkled in with a few veterans coming off injury worked out, but most of players practicing in the morning session were true freshmen. Richard Pacheco and Trevor Shamblee were a few of the veterans who took part in the morning session.


The Standouts
Fr. WR Devon Wylie (5-10, 180) dropped his first pass but overall had a solid first practice. He looked crisp in drills and showed extreme quickness running his routes. He also worked out in punt and kick return.

Fr. CB Jermaine Thomas (5-11, 170) plays aggressively. He has excellent closing speed and is physical. He could move quickly up the depth charts.

Jr. CB Sharrod Davis (5-11, 185) is wearing David Carr's retired No. 8. While Davis may not play offense, he may be worthy of the Carr's former number. He has excellent speed and with a few tweaks by DB Coach Randy Stewart, he could be All-WAC.

Fr. SS Zak Hill (6-2, 190) is such a smart player. Few newcomers look as polished and few are more ready than he is to play as a true.

Better Days Ahead
Fr. QB Matt Faulkner (6-3, 180) had a tough first day. He has had his struggles throughout summer workouts but the pace of Monday's practice was a major adjustment to say the least.

Fr. WR Tim Lang (6-0, 190) on the contrary shined during summer workouts. However, the standout athlete struggled through drills needing extra attention from WR Coach John Baxter. In addition, he constantly lined up on the wrong side of ball.

RFr. SLB Nico Herron (6-6, 230) did not start the morning session well. He did not have a good practice, which is unusual.

Position Changes/Injury Updates
Fr. Devan Cunningham (6-5, 342) practiced at RT during summer workouts. Monday morning he got reps at LT and could possibly move up the depth chart to third or possibly second.

Jr. Michael Stuart (6-2, 245) is healthy after injuring his knee during spring. He has moved to TE and returned to his original No. 27. He was a top 10 TE recruit out of high school and has excellent hands.

Sr. SLB Trevor Shamblee (6-1, 220) practiced for the first time Monday since his injury last November. He has a ways to go before he is 100%. But he still looks in great shape.

RFr. LB Robert Schenck (6-3, 250) did not practice.

Other Newcomers
Fr. TE Ryan Skidmore (6-5.5, 230) is arguably the teams' second best tight end in camp. He had a great practice continuing from his solid summer.

Fr. DE Chris Carter (6-2, 226) had a solid practice. With little veteran depth ahead of him, he could find himself with the second team defense next week.

Fr. RB Ryan Mathews (5-11, 205) will be a big-time back for Fresno State. The question is just when. He already looks the part, big, strong, and fast. The extra time working out during the summer paid off.

Fr. walk-on WR Jerrod Stutts (6-2, 200) comes from great bloodlines. He is the nephew of former ‘Dog WR David Dunn. Stutts held his own on the first day despite learning the receiver spot at the college level. His uncle says he runs a 4.4. Why was he overlooked? He played at a program that runs the wing-T.

Fr. Walk-on Cardell Turner (6-3, 178) has progressed well since spring. He had his moments during summer and his hard work has carried over to fall camp. He will probably redshirt because of the depth but has a bright future ahead of him.


The Standouts
So. WR Marlon Moore (6-1, 180) probably has the biggest upside of any receiver on the team. He is already the fastest but if he continues to catch and play as he did on Monday, he could be the best.

RFr. SS Lorne Bell (5-10, 195) is emerging as the man to beat. Bell has made numerous plays from spring to summer and now fall camp. He recorded another interception on Monday, stepping in front of the receiver and taking in for the faux touchdown.

So. RB Anthony Harding (6-0, 220) compliments starting RB Lonyae Miller well. Harding is a step faster than Miller is. He showed his great hands and speed throughout practice.

Better Days Ahead
Sr. WR Shannon Dorsey (6-1, 205) is an extremely gifted athlete. However, he continues to drop balls when he is open. In a position dominated by young talent, he is fighting for playing time.

Sr. TE Jesus Tapia (6-6, 255) has rock hard hands. There is a reason he has just two receptions in his career. The No. 2 TE spot is still open and he still has a slight edge over the other candidates.

Sr. Tom Brandstater (6-2, 220) and Fr. Ryan Colburn (6-3, 230) did not have great days per se but both were solid. Colburn looked a bit better despite his interception. Brandstater threw a few excellent balls, including a well-thrown "floater" between defenders to Sr. WR Chastin West (6-1, 215).

Other Veterans
So. WR Jason Crawley (6-2, 185) looked great on some plays, but he would drop a ball on another. He is probably the best blocker on the receiving corps.

Sr. RB Clifton Smith (5-8, 190) had a good practice despite not having the best summer. He will show his progress during live contact and scrimmages. As for now, he had a good day catching the ball and looks focused.

RFr. RG Andrew Jackson (6-6, 290) got a few reps with the first team offense at LG. He can play both guard spots and may see some time at tackle before camp is over.

Sr. DT Jason Shirley (6-5, 330) was absent Monday.

Check with BarkBoard.com on Tuesday for more practice updates and news.

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