Let’s start with the quarterbacks.
Senior Angel Santiago was back practicing with the first team as Army began its second week of preseason practice Monday morning. Coach Jeff Monken said Santiago was held out of practice Saturday after, “taking a shot to the outside of his thigh the other day (Friday) and it was sore and pretty swollen and bruised.” Santiago was wearing a red (no-contact) jersey. Monken said he’s holding Santiago out of contact drills.
But, the senior, who started 11 games last season, was under center during two 15-minutes periods of offense vs. defense. Santiago’s legs looked fine as he broke off a long touchdown run down the right side.
Freshmen Kado Brown and Ahmad Bradshaw shared second-team reps. By my count, Brown might have took a few more snaps than Bradshaw. Brown continues to show big-play running ability. He darted down the right sideline for 38 yards. He was caught at the 1-yard line by senior linebacker Steve Ricciardi.
“I’m just trying to give my best effort,” Brown said. “Coach Monken always talks about giving your best effort when you are out there and that’s one thing that I’ve tried to internalize since I’ve been here. Any time I get the chance, I try to make the best out of my opportunity and give it all I’ve got. I’m still in the process. I’m not going to say I’m confident but I am comfortable. Once I grasp it better, I think I will gain more confidence.”
Junior A.J. Schurr, the team’s top quarterback in the spring, remains out with a hamstring injury. Monken said, ” I wish we could get A.J. in there…It’s pretty significant (injury) obviously. He’s been out for the last week and half or workouts and all this week of camp. He’s getting better. He wants to go. I’m just concerned if he really accelerates off of that or has to have a quick deceleration that he pulls it again and we are back to square one and another three weeks away. We are going to try and let him get healthy and when our training staff feels comfortable we’ll get him back him in there.”
Monken said he didn’t know if Schurr would practice fully before the team’s scrimmage Saturday.
“He’ll probably throw the ball some this afternoon where he doesn’t have to run down the line or sprint out,” Monken said. “A lot of shotgun which will be good for him to get in there and do that.”
First-team offense: QB Angel Santiago; FB Larry Dixon; RB Tony Giovannelli; RB Terry Baggett; LT Drew Hennessy; LG Steve Shumaker; C Matt Hugenberg; RG Stefan Moreau; RT Todd McDonald; TE Kelvin White; WR Justin Newman/Chevaughn Lawrence.
First-team defense: DE Joe Drummond; NG T.J. Atimalala; DE Mike Ugenyi; LB Steve Ricciardi; LB Andrew King; LB Jeremy Timpf; LB James Kelly; CB Josh Jenkins; CB Chris Carnegie; SS Hayden Pierce; FS Joey Giovannelli.
The following players were among a group, wearing red (no-contact) jerseys: QB A.J. Schurr; WR Xavier Moss; WR Edgar Poe; NG Richard Glover; LB Derek Sanchez’ FB Aaron Kemper.
Freshmen depth chart: C Bryce Holland has moved up to second string. LBs John Voit and Bayle Wolf took second-team snaps.
Discipline: Monken blew his whistle and shouted, “Find A Teammate.” The signal for the Army team to gather at the center of field to hear Monken’s post-practice comments. Monken wasn’t happy with the urgency of some of the players and sent the team back to the sideline. The team ran to center of the field again.
More practice observations: The offense won its first 15-minute period versus the defense to end practice. The defense finished the morning sessions with 25 pushups. Coach Jeff Monken stopped the defense midway through the pushups, saying he wanted everyone to count up as they completed a rep…The offense won the passing period at Michie Stadium. Freshman Ahmad Bradshaw completed a pass in traffic to freshman receiver Jermaine Adams…Linebacker Steve Ricciardi stuffs fullback Larry Dixon at the line of scrimmage to lead the defense to victory in the first 15-minute period of competition…Cornerback Josh Jenkins laid a big hit on running back Joe Walker, who received a late pitch from quarterback Angel Santiago…Sophomore linebacker Chasen Brown sacked Santiago…Senior RB Terry Baggett took a pitch right for 20 yards…Santiago hit junior tight end Kelvin White with a 15-yard pass over the middle…Junior wide receiver DeAndre Bell made a nice adjustment on pass from Santiago near the right sideline…Junior Dan Grochowski made the only field goal (37 yards) in six attempts by Army kickers during the two 15-minute sessions. Sophomore Mitchell Howard and freshman Blake Wilson each went 0-for-2. Grochowski missed his second off the right upright…Sophomore linebacker Jeremy Timpf had good downfield coverage, knocking away a pass intended for freshman running back Nehemiah Brown.
VIDEOS: 1. Pushups by defense at end of practice. 2. Senior guard and two-year starter Steve Shumaker talks offensive line. 3. Safety Joey Giovannelli’s big hit on tight end Kelvin White. 4. Junior fullback Matt Giachinta’s long touchdown run on next play after Giovannelli’s hit.
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