Written by Jason Harris
Day two of fall practice for the Texas State Bobcats is in the books as Coach Dennis Franchione and his staff continues to prepare the team for the upcoming season. It being the Bobcats’ second season in the Sun Belt Conference, expectations are of course higher. But with those expectations has come a certain buzz around the team. An energy. A new degree of focus. Just two days in, the players have just one thing on their mind.
“We have big team goals…” stated LB Michael Orakpo. “That’s number one right now.”
And their first goal has to be getting a grasp on the install of the offense and new defense.
– WR Ryan Garrey made a couple of nice catches during route drills. He uses his hands extremely well.
– WR Montreal Taylor again started practice with a case of the drops but would redeem himself later in 1 on 1 drills as he cleanly beat his man and made the catch.
– It looks as if QB Connor White is getting the most reps with the second team. He seems to have a leg up on the back-up position. Overthrows are still a concern though.
– Freshman CB Clarence Guidry III had an impressive pass break-up in 1 on 1 drills. Fought through the receiver to get to the ball.
– Y’all, WR Tyler Watts is fast. And I mean fast. If you’re wondering who that guy was who just ran by the defense, there’s a good chance it was Watts.
– WR Ben Ijah looked much better on day 2. He routinely beat his man in one-on-one drills and came up with a good catch on a bullet pass from QB Tyler Jones. Ijah really flashed in 7-on-7, coming up with two big catches on crossing routes. The second would have easily gone for 40 yards or more with YAC.
– Speaking of Jones, Day 2 was better to him as well. He found both his giant receivers, Ijah and WR Brice Gunter, on sideline routes during 11-on-11. Gunter once again stood out, working the sidelines very well on a couple of receptions.
– S Colby Targun would have absolutely demolished WR C.J. Best on a crossing route during 7-on-7. Read the QB the whole way and was in perfect position. There’s a lot of competition at the Safety spot this year. Targun is looking to distance himself from the pack.
– In 1-on-1 drills, WR Jafus Gaines absolutely burned his defender. Would have been six from anywhere on the field. I still like him to have a very nice, if not breakout comeback season.
– The man he’ll be battling for playing time, WR/KR Brandon Smith would have an excellent practice as well. After two fantastic catches in 1-on-1, he flashed his speed with a perfectly executed deep route and catch. He would however drop an easy one in the end zone during 11-on-11. Looked like he just stopped running. Might have lost track of the ball.
“We’ve really put in about forty percent of the offense in two days.” Commenting on the new plays and formations, Coach Franchione continued “We’re a whole-part-whole teaching method. We put it all in, then clean it up. We know we’re going to have ups and downs for a few days.”
With Wednesday being the last practice open to the public, the players will add shoulder pads to the mix. Thursday will be the same followed by a practice in full pads on Friday.