Wayne's Notebook: August 19, 2006

Wayne's Notebook: August 19, 2006

Although total rushing yardage figures will probably not be impressive, the Wave's running back corps performed well. In addition to Forte, the other running backs - Ray Boudreaux, Andre Anderson, Adeboy Tuyo, and Ian Miller - all turned in solid performances

The Green Wave staged their first lengthy scrimmage of pre-season camp Saturday. The results on most sides of the ball wee somewhat mixed, but there are always good things to come out of every football scrimmage.

The first scrimmage is usually the day that the true freshmen who can help the team immediately are separated from the ones who need some time.

Including the post-hitting running session the practice lasted nearly three hours. Practice included extensive goal line, special teams, and two-minute drill work.

One thing that was obvious from the scrimmage is that junior running back Matt Forte is in tremendous physical condition. Forte had an excellent scrimmage.

The most noticeable lineup change in the initial phase of practice occurs on defense at the safety position where Joe Goosby shifted over from strong safety to free safety, replacing Carlis Jackson. Walk on David Skehan moved into the starting strong safety position.

There was some shifting on the field along the o'line because of center Michael Parenton, who dressed in full gear but did not participate in the scrimmage. Left guard Aryan Barto shifted to center, and Scott Holt, and Tyler Rice shared time at left guard. Rice also saw some action at center with the number one offense. Both Holt and Rice appear to have stepped up their level of play.

The offensive line performed better than expected early in the sesson but the defense was basically in control up front. However, the offense dominated the defense in the goal line and two minute work late in practice.

Junior offensive lineman Percy Huff and senior offensive lineman William Fairburn, a walkon, have reportedly left the team.

The Wave's quarterbacks struggled with accuracy most of the day but Lester Ricard threw several strikes on consecutive snaps in the two-minte drill.

Nick Cannon, the oft-injured fifth-year senior quarterback, threw briefly in the pre-scrimmage drills but did not participate in the scrimmage. Cannon continues to be plagued by tpast arm and shoulder injuries that have followed him down the trail.

Although total rushing yardage figures will probably not be impressive, the Wave's running back corps performed well. In addition to Forte, the other running backs - Ray Boudreaux, Andre Anderson, Adeboy Tuyo, and Ian Miller - all turned in solid performances.

Anderson, a true freshman, seems to be picking up the offense but consistent performances by the other backs may keep the Green Wave from having to use Anderson this season, allowing the coaching staff to redshirt him.

All three tight ends - senior Jerome Landry, junior Gabe Ratckiff. and sophomore Justin Kessler, had good scrimmages, particularly catching the ball in the goal line period of the scrimmage.

Billy Harrison replaced Sean Carney at one starting defensive end spot.

The second defense was led by tackles Frank Morton and Oscar Ponce de Leon. Outside linebacker Cody Sparks, a freshman, had an excellent day with the No. 2 defense.

Senior Michael Purcell worked mainly at defensive tackle and senior Taurean Brown worked mainly at defensive end.

True freshman safety Travis Burks saw considerable action in the scrimmage with the No. 2 defense. Burks also worked on the No. 1 kickoff team. Burks recorded an interception in the initial stages of the scrimmage.

In late work, safety Louis Thomas recorded a couple of nice hits on receivers in the middle of the field.

Freshman linebacker Troy Wilson was dressed in full gear and participated in practice. Wilson had been withheld from some earlier practice sessions.

Freshman linebacker Jeremy McKinney stood on the sidelines and wore a jersey but did not participate in practice. Freshman defensive end Tony Bryant did not appear to be present during the scrimmage.

Freshman kicker Ross Thevenot showed a very strong and very accurate leg, booming several kickoffs into the endzone and connected on two field goals of longer than 45 yards. Meanwhile, senior kicker Barrett Pepper struggled on kickoffs.

Sophomore receiver Brian King left practice with a bruised leg or knee. Sophomore cornerback Matt Harding left practice on the back of a jeep, possibly in need of icing down or an IV. Harding has struggled with conditioning throughout camp. Walk on O'Lindsey Brown saw some action with the No. 2 defense in place of Harding.

Tulane will probably work Sunday afternoon in shorts-and-shoulder-pads.

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