The spring game is a glorified exhibition, but there are still things to be learned from it so lets hit a couple of them in bullet point form.
- Darrin Williams is going to be a very good complimentary piece to Isiah Pead. He has exceptional lateral quickness and short area burst. He runs with good pad level and unlike most smaller backs he runs behind his pads. I am pretty confident in stating that he will supplant John Goebel as Pead’s primary backup.
- Sean Hooey and Andre Crueton are absolutely huge kids. I was very impressed with both of them, particularly Hooey’s hands and Crueton’s feet. I think Hooey can compete and possibly win the starting Right Tackle job. I think Crueton could stand to lose about 20 pounds and might be a year away from a prominent spot in the rotation because of his weight.
- Sam Griffin looks noticeably bigger than he did last year. And he has taken over the Left Tackle job vacated by the graduating Jeff Linkenbach.
- Vidal Hazelton is just a beast.
- Kenbrell Thompkins looks really, really polished as a receiver. He runs good routes, has great hands and fantastic body control. He is going to make a big impact on offense this year.
- DJ Woods was the most impressive player on either offense or defense tonight. He has defiantly put in work over the off season. Oh and he has a hell of an arm too.
- I said that one of the reasons to be interested in the spring game was that it would give an idea of how Butch Jones coaches. As it turns out there wasn’t much to learn in terms of strategy or personnel groupings. The offense was in base personnel, meaning 1 TE 1RB and 3 WR’s, for the duration. Though the TE was occasionally flexed out to the slot. The defense was straight zone all night, either cover 2 or cover 3. So I dropped the ball on that.
- It will take an act of god to prevent Zach Collaros from being a wire to wire starter this year.
- Derek Wolfe played an excellent game up front at DT, he didn’t make a ton of individual plays but his impact was huge influencing plays.
- Chris Williams is more than likely to live up to his recruiting hype as a DB. He was playing the nickle with the first team defense and he made quite a few plays.
- The secondary is going to be a bit of a conundrum going into this season. There is a lot of talent back there. Dominique Battle, Cam Cheatham, Ruben Johnson and the aforementioned Chris Williams are all very talented athletes competing for corner and the nickle back positions. At the safety positions you have Wes Richardson, Drew Frey, Will Saddler, Quincy Quetant and Pat Lambert. Then you have incoming freshmen like Adrian Witty, Demitri Beal and Arryn Chenault who can push for playing time right away. But with all that talent there are only two proven contributors back there in Frey and Battle. I think it will be an up and down season for this group.
- Walter Stweart is also a beast.
- Ditto JK Schaffer
- The first team offense went QB: Collaros RB: Darrin Williams TE: Guidugli WR: Woods, Hazelton, and Thompkins OL:(left to right) Griffin, Hoffman, Davis, Kelce and Paramenter. The offensive line is admittedly a bit iffy because I had a bad viewpoint.
- First team defense went DE: Stewart, Giordano DT: Wolfe, Mills LB: JK Schaffer, Dorian Davis CB: Battle, Cheatham S: Frey, Richardson NB: Williams
- I am not sure if Walt is a full time DE or just in the nickle package which was the only personnel grouping used by the defense.
- I would put the attendance at about 2,000. Safe to say that the shitty weather in the Cincinnati area had an averse effect on the attendance.