Fall Camp 2009: Day One Notebook

Cornell Banks

The 2009 football season began on Thursday morning with the newcomers and redshirt freshmen practicing first before the veterans took the field. All but two incoming players practiced on Thursday, but the biggest news of the day was the presence of junior starting nose tackle Cornell Banks. Check inside for details and a video interview with freshman quarterback Derek Carr...

The first thing to note about the first day of fall camp was the weather. At 9:00 a.m. when the Bulldogs took the field, the temperature was below 70 degrees. The thermostat did not reach 80 by the time practice ended early in the afternoon. It was quite odd for an August day in the Valley.

"I don't think we're going to see many more days like this," Head coach Pat Hill said after practice. "This is almost like being in southern California. I told [the team] it's an ocean breeze, right over those palm trees is the ocean and if you listen real carefully, you can hear the waves. I can't believe the weather today. It's awesome. I don't think it will stay like this very long."

Besides the weather, the young freshmen deserve some praise. "The young kids executed well this morning," said Hill. "Of all the new freshmen coming in, they reported to camp in very good shape. They obviously did some work in the offseason."

Only one freshman has yet to report – Alex Jefferies. Coach Hill says he is finishing some academic work and will report once the paperwork is complete. Incoming JUCO recruit Donnie Pritchett also is finishing his final class this week to obtain his AA degree.

The veterans started walking down the ramp around 10:30 and joined the youngsters for the final session of the morning practice. The practice for the most part was light for a first day. The team morale is also upbeat. Coach Hill was pleased with the first day of camp.

"We got a lot of work to do," said Hill. "But we are off to a good start, attitude is good, and the only kid hung up with an injury is Rashad Evans. He's got that hamstring problem."

The receivers looked impressive. Jamel Hamler made some amazing moves on opposing defensive backs, and save Evans, the unit is healthy and deep. "I thought the competition between the wide receivers and defensive backs was excellent," said Hill.

Banks Makes Grades

Cornell Banks practiced with the youngsters in the morning session. It is a move to get him back in the flow after sitting out of spring ball to concentrate on academics. His eligibility status was unknown until Thursday. However, he confirmed after practice the necessary course work is complete, and he is ready to go. Coach Hill also confirmed after practice that Banks is cleared to play.

For practice notes, please visit the Doghouse Forum.


Derek Carr Talks After Practice


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