Another day. Another two-a-day workout for the Texas State football team.
For the third time in the last five days, the Bobcats churned out another double session Saturday. After a morning practice in which Texas State just wore helmets and shorts, the team came back out at night in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) and brought some intensity.
Who stood out when the pads went on at night? Which four newcomers are most “game-ready” according to Fran?
Keep reading to find out.
- Man alive, JUCO transfer tight end Lawrence White is an athlete! Even though White is 6-foot-7 and close to 270 pounds, his ability to run the seam is impressive. White showed up late to fall camp, but the Bobcats haven’t been shy to work him in the mix. I’m not sold on his hands (dropped two passes from true freshman quarterback Tyler Jones), but once he learns the offense, White will be a solid blocker as well as a red-zone threat thanks to his frame. Adding White to the mix at tight end rivals that position group for best on the offense next to the running backs.
- JUCO transfer running back C.J. Best ripped off a 65-yard touchdown run at the end of practice. Best (who is running with the first-string offense) took a hand-off from senior quarterback Tyler Arndt, followed his blocks and raced down the home sideline. Near the end of his run, Best only had to beat junior cornerback David Farris and did so. Farris grabbed the bottom of Best’s shirt, but it tore away and the running back concluded his run with six points.
- Like they did Thursday night, Arndt and redshirt freshman Jordan Moore split time with the first- and second-string offenses. Senior Duke DeLancellotti saw spot time, but the coaching staff all but has it narrowed down to Arndt or Moore. Neither stood out Saturday night.
- True freshman wide receiver Demun Mercer had another great catch, although he was on the third-team offense at the time. Remember: Mercer played quarterback in high school, so the progress he made thus far is substantial. I’d expect Mercer to redshirt and it would probably be for the best.
- Junior linebacker Michael Orakpo was just about everywhere on the field Saturday night. Orakpo has an incredible reaction time from when he reads to play to when he makes his first move. Texas State fans will be in for a treat with Orakpo playing Saturday nights.
- Can you believe by this time, two weeks from now, we’ll be recapping the Bobcats’ first game? Time flies.
Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione on practice, specifically at night: “We were quick tonight on our feet. We bounced around pretty good for what we went through this week. Usually you look a little heavy-legged at this point in time. That was kind of impressive.”
Franchione on what newcomers he feel are the most ready to play at this stage: “Out of the freshmen, it would be (safety) Germod Williams. He has five or six takeaways in the two weeks and it’s been amazing. He just seems to get the ball out and have it. C.J. (Best) is pretty ready in a lot of instances. Ryan Carden (tight end) is pretty close. Brandon Jones (safety) is pretty close. Those are the first ones that come to mind.”
JUCO transfer running back C.J. Best on battling for a starting job: “It’s fun. It’s a competition out there and that’s why I signed up. I really don’t want anything easy. I’d rather work hard to get it.”
Best on how camp has been for a newcomer like him: “[Chuckling] This has been the worst camp of my life. Every day I tell my mom, ‘Mom, this is crazy.’ I’m sore. I’m hurt, scratches, tape everywhere; but you know what, at the end of the day, this is where I signed up and it’s a blessing that I’m here. At the end of the day, I love it.”