Feb. 27 practice blog

Monday is the start of the work week that most people dread.

West Point football players don’t have the option of calling in sick or the chance for a three-day weekend.

They were out in the Foley Athletic Center at 7 a.m. for their third straight day of practice.

And, some players were a little sluggish. Coach Rich Ellerson blew his whistle about 30 minutes in and called the team together.

Ellerson wasn’t happy with the effort in contact drills. He ordered his team to rerun the station of drills and there was more intensity from the players, who were able to practice fully.

Twenty-three players wore non-contact jerseys. All players dressed in pads.

Army is down to six wide receivers practicing: Sophomore Patrick Laird, sophomore E.J. Tucker, freshman Chevaughn Lawrence, freshman Michael Hudson, sophomore Robert Wright and freshman Ross McDonald. Sophomore Anthony Stephens and freshmen Justin Newman and Zach Williams sat out. Sophomore Jared McFarlin isn’t listed on Army’s roster anymore.

Army’s running backs/slotbacks will be a position of strength and depth this fall. But, the group is currently running low on completely healthy bodies. Jared Hassin, Malcolm Brown, Terry Baggett, Stephen Fraser, Scott Williams, Brian Austin and Trenton Turretine didn’t participate in practice. Sophomore Raymond Maples was riding a bike at the beginning of practice. Freshman Lawrence Scott appeared to be banged up during practice. Junior Kelechi Odocha and sophomore Julian Crockett were the last backs standing.

“It certainly affected us today,” Army offensive coordinator Ian Shields said. “We were compromised, but there were some good teachable moments today. We were able to slow some things down and take a step back and look at it to explain to some of these guys why they’re doing what they’re doing.”

Other offensive players who didn’t participate were: guard Matt Villanti, tackle Derek Bisgard, tackle Momo Kime, guard Stephen Schumaker, tackle Shelby Jackson, center Todd McDonald and tackle Rob Bickel.

Sitting out on defense were: defensive ends Jarrett Mackey, Clayton Keller and Corey Watts, linebacker Nate Combs, defensive linemen Joe Drummond, and cornerback Justin Allen. Long snapper Frank Ceva also sat out.

Freshman cornerback Marques Avery is now a full go and looks like he could get in the mix.

Didn’t see junior defensive tackle A.J. Mackey at practice. Think Mackey’s spring may be over due to injury but can’t confirm.

Junior safety Robert Speidel, who is not listed on the spring roster, was on crutches and at practice.

Scott Williams, Matt Villanit, Nate Combs, Frank Ceva, Brian Austin and Momo Kime were among a group of players jogging laps around Howze Field as conditioning while practice was getting started.


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