August 5 practice blog

Rhyan England set the tone for Army’s first full-pads preseason practice with a bone-jarring hit on freshman slotback Kell Walker.

England read the run play right away and was immediately in the backfield.

Coaches are expecting a big year from the junior safety, entering his third year as a starter.

England is expecting a lot from himself.

“The biggest thing in the summer preparing is just going at it every single day like it’s your last and just realizing every single day is an opportunity to get better,” said England. “I try my best to get after the weights, get after school hard and get out here on the field as much as I could and work on my fundamentals.

“I know all the plays. I know what I’m doing out there. It’s just knowing how to defend certain routes and how to see blocks a little bit faster.”

Injury report: The following players did not participate in practice: sophomore quarterback Chris Carter; junior center Josh Boylan; sophomore tackle Rick Kurz; senior defensive end Jordan Smith; sophomore slotback Christian Drake, sophomore tight end Zach Saum; freshman wide receiver Kjetil Cline; freshman wide receiver Christian Hayes.

Sophomore fullback Spencer Sheff and sophomore quarterback Luke Langdon are recovering from offseason surgeries. Senior wide receiver Jermaine Adams was injured in practice and did not return to action. Senior guard Justin Gilbert and junior guard Joe Tustin were limited.

Depth chart (Unofficial, from my practice observations)

First-team offense: QB Ahmad Bradshaw; FB Andy Davidson; SB Jordan Asberry; SB Tyler Campbell; WR Edgar Poe; WR Jeff Ejekam; LT Colby Enegren; LG Riko Tamasese; C Bryce Holland; RG Mike Houghton; RT Brett Toth.

Second-team offense: QB Malik McGue; FB Cole Macek; SB John Trainor; SB Joe Walker; SB Jermaine Adams; SB Christian Poe; LT Tyler Young; LG Ethan Palelei/JaxsonDeaton (freshman); C Josh Rea; RG Tim Gant; RT Jeff Panara.

First-team defense: DE John Voit; NT Cordarrell Davis; DE Eddy Ruzga; LB Alex Aukerman; LB Kenneth Brinson; LB Andrew King; LB Jeremy Timpf; CB Brandon Jackson; CB Steven Johnson; S Rhyan England; S Xavier Moss

Second-team defense: DE Wunmi Oyetuga; NT Andrew McLean/Ray Wright; DE Chandler Ramirez; LB James Nachtigal; LB Gibby Gibson; LB Scott Washle; LB Calen Holt; CB Marcus Hyatt; CB Michael Reynolds; S Max Regan; S Elijah Riley (freshman)

Punting update: Coach Jeff Monken said the punting job is wide open. Sophomore J.D. Mote, who finished spring at the top of the depth chart, wasn’t at practice Friday. That gave junior Tim Garner, sophomore Nick Schrage, freshmen Zach Potter and even junior wide receiver Jermaine Adams an opportunity for more chances. Schrage, who was recruited as a kicker, has the best hang time out of any punt that I saw. “We thought he (Schrage) was a kicker,” Monken said. “He’s really a kickoff guy. He punted really well the first couple of days. He’s struggled here in the last couple. He’s been a little inconsistent. He’s shown he has a pretty strong leg. Monken said Adams may be, “an emergency guy.”

Freshmen report: Guard Jaxson Deaton saw some snaps within the top two offensive lines and more than held his own…Quarterback Joey Benden broke a tackle on an impressive run up the middle…Quarterback Korie Frausto hooked up with wide receiver Luke Peterman on a deep completion.

Fourth-quarter Warriors report (Lineman Receiver Challenge): Offensive and defensive linemen ran across the length of the field, attempting to catch passes from seven different throwers along the way. The linemen ran about 10 yards after their final pass and were timed. Slotbacks coach Tucker Waugh, graduate assistant A.J. Schurr and Army quarterbacks threw the passes. The offense won the competition led by junior guard Mike Houghton, who caught all seven passes.

Practice observations:¬†Sophomore tight end Quinten Parker made the catch of the day with cornerback Brandon Jackson draped all over him near the right sideline…Sophomore inside linebacker Calen Holt recorded a tackle for a loss. Sophomore rush end Kenneth Brinson chased down quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw for a tackle for loss…Bradshaw connected with wide receiver Daniel McFadden on a long pass play…Cornerbacks Marcus Hyatt and Michael Reynolds picked off Bradshaw during 7-on-7 period…Senior Mitchell Howard made a 35-yard field goal…Edgar Poe, Jeff Ejekam, John Trainor, Michael Reynolds and Christian Poe were back returning punts. Edgar Poe was Army’s primary punt returner last season…Freshman linebacker Joe Ryan worked on his long snapping before practice.

VIDEO: Safety Rhyan England and slotback Joe Walker 1-on-1

VIDEO: Fullback PaulAndrew Rhoden runs through Oklahoma-type drill

VIDEO: Lineman Receiver Challenge – Eddy Ruzga

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Periscope @salinterdonato

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