Finally, we are rounding 3rd and headed to Atlanta to dismantle a mediocre ACC team. Hope to see all of you at our tailgate party Friday beginning at 11 (STATS Sports Bar by the G Dome). Visors, tanks, and shirts will be on sale.
Now, to the goods.
It is that time of the year when everyone is anxious. The coaches, players, and fans are all ready to get to the first game. The coaches are tired of coaching against each other, and the players are tired of knocking each other around. There is a lot to be excitement and plenty of reasons for it.
The team left Milligan College last night and headed back campus. The coaching staff is pleased with what theyhad seen thus far from the players. It looks like the depth chart is starting to take shape--especially defensively.
Up front, it looks like Mo Couch and Darrington Sentimore have locked up the DE positions. With Couch moving outside, it is safe to say that Coach Palermo is very happy with the progress of Daniel McCullers at the DT.
The safe bet is to say that Jacques Smith will step up as the fourth linebacker along with Herman Lathers, Curt Maggit, and AJ Johnson. Jordan Williams is going to see plenty of playing time as well.
In the secondary, look for Brian Randolph and Byron Moore to hold down the fort at safety. The cornerback position seems to be the one that is still playing itself out. The scrimmage Saturday will have a huge impact. To this point, Prentiss Waggner has all but cemented himself as a starter. On the other side, Teague and Coleman continue to battle it out. Teague brings experience and Coleman brings a little more speed to the table. Speed could be the determining factor because the corners are going to have to play quite a bit of man coverage, so Coach Sunseri can bring more guys after the quarterback in passing situations. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Eric Gordon’s aggressive and physical play has him in the STAR or nickel position.
Offensively, there hasn’t been as much to figure out. There were two positions up in the air coming into camp-- running back and center. Rajion Neal has all but won the starting running back position and basically ran away with that competition. James Stone really worked hard and stepped up at center.
Two other guys that the coaches were anxious to see were Cordarrelle Patterson and Tiny Richardson. Patterson has been sure handed and is doing a great job of playing his role and absorbing the offense. Richardson has shown signs that he will be that bulldozer that this offensive line desperately needs to establish the running game. In fact, the entire line and Coach Pittman should be pleased with the way they have won at the line of scrimmage in practice and in the first scrimmage.
If there were a game today, Michael Palardy would handle both the field goal and punting duties. Freshman George Bullock will handle kickoff duties.
As our sources had indicated for a while, Jalen Reeves-Maybin committed to Tennessee last Friday. It will be interesting to see where he winds up once he gets to campus. He is listed as an athlete but he was recruited to play the STAR position that highlights guys who may not have the speed to play on the outside but just really have a knack for making big plays. Another positive to landing Reeves-Maybin is that it removes doubt about where DE Jason Carr will end up. He has developed a relationship with Reeves-Maybin and many believed if Reeves-Maybin committed to Ole Miss, Carr would flip and go with him. We also believe that those two guys will help Tennessee reel in Carr’s teammate Donald Gray who is also listed as an athlete. There hasn’t been a lot of hype around him for whatever reason, but he is probably most underrated player in the state.
A lot of rumors regarding Vonn Bell out there. The most consistent being reported to us is that Alabama seems to be the favorite. We will see, but he would certainly look good in orange. Let's hope Tennessee has done enough to grab him.
Look for plenty of articles heading into the NC State game. A few new features will be released as well in the coming days. As always, please join the conversation on our message board, Cumberland Avenue