Practice No. 2: Continuing the Learning Process

Will Wilson has lined up at three positions along the offensive line in the first two days of practice.

Will Wilson has lined up at three positions along the offensive line in the first two days of practice.

Aug. 9, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Black Knights held their second straight practice in helmets and shorts on Thursday morning inside the Foley Athletic Center. The three-hour session included the introduction of new drills and 15-minute “halftime” break that will be utilized for the rest of the preseason.

The coaching staff introduced some offense vs. defense one-on-one drills, but due to the non-contact nature of the workout, there was no real competition. Those portions of practice will become more engaging on Friday when the Black Knights don helmets and “shells” for their morning workout.

Thursday’s Notables
While still basically a walk-thru, the pace of Thursday’s practice was much faster. Players appeared to have a much better understanding of where to go and when to be in the proper drill.

The offense continued to run plays half speed against cones set up in different defensive formations. There were three different alignments set up with a different offensive unit rotating through each set of cones.

Senior OL Will Wilson continued to show his versatility on Thursday. After taking snaps at center and right guard on Wednesday, he lined up at left guard for some repetitions. Wilson appears to have made a permanent move to one of the three inside positions after finish the spring as the No. 1 right tackle on the depth chart.

While there has been no contact as of yet, there are still a few players wearing the red jerseys. Most of those players, however, have been able to participate in some of the drills. Waverly Washington, Lamar Johnson-Harris, Jarrett Mackey, Kyle Ricciardi and Todd McDonald were all sporting the red jerseys on Thursday.

Josh Jackson and Anthony Stephens took turns catching punts during the team’s special teams work, which focused on the punt team.

Recently graduated Josh Jones, Steve Erzinger and Max Jenkins all made an appearance at practice on Thursday. Jones and Jenkins are set to work as athletic interns at the prep school, while Erzinger is an athletic intern with the Army strength & conditioning staff.

Rich Ellerson and Luke Thompson each spent some one-on-one time with punters Chris Boldt and Alex Tardieu on directional kicking.

Practice wrapped up with the introduction of a punting drill that awards points based on where the ball is downed. On the one repetition that was conducted, Boldt had his punt downed at the 4-yard line.

Thursday’s Quotables
Freshman QB A.J. Schurr
(Ref.: his first two days as a college football player)
“It’s kind of what of I expected. Coming from the prep school, I have a little bit of an idea about what is going on. Everything is moving faster, but that was expected. It’s great just being with the team all the time. The upperclassmen are great. They aren’t into cliques like firsties with firsties and plebes with plebes. There are two plebes, two yuks, two cows and two firsties at every table. Getting to know everybody has been good so far.”

(Ref.: his grasp of the offense)
“We haven’t put in anything too challenging yet. That’s coming. It’s all coming at a faster pace. They’re teaching to a first-string pace, getting the guys who are right now set to play in 30 days, ready to go.”

(Ref.: having four-year starter Trent Steelman to look up to)
“This is his team right now, and I’m trying to learn everything I can from him. I try to watch everything he does, how he leads, how he goes about practice and how he does every drill.

(Ref.: the help he and the other plebe quarterbacks received from the returning quarterbacks)
“Angel (Santiago) and Gino (DeBartolo) have been great too. If anybody has a question, we don’t hesitate to ask them. If there is anything they think we might not grasp right away, they step in and explain it. They’re great.”

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