College football fall camp update: Freshmen making impact, Oklahoma loses pass rushers
Fall camps continue to open all across college football, and teams are beginning to get the sense of which incoming freshmen will be making early impacts this season. That's the good news. The bad news? Players can get injured just as easily in practice as they can in games, and inevitably, some guys are picking up injuries. Read up on the camp news from Tuesday.
The Cardinals kicked off their fall camp on Tuesday, and from the sounds of things, the incoming freshmen are integrating with the team quickly:
The Sun Devils also opened up camp on Tuesday, and Todd Graham made a point to mention their new left-footed punter, freshman Matt Haack:
"I fumbled two punts in my career, and they were in the same game against a left-footed punter," Graham said. "It does have a different spin to it and it's tough to handle. It's different. They tend to pull the ball across their body some and so the ball tails to the right. ... I was trying to coach them today, and it was confusing me because I've never had one. That is an advantage. (Haack) can also rugby kick to the left and to the right. He can kick with both feet, so we'll utilize that as well."
The season hasn't even started yet, and the Sooners are already down two pass rushers to what could be serious injuries:
Following a brief meeting with the media after Monday's morning practice session, Bob Stoops revealed that Oklahoma freshman defensive end D.J. Ward has not been practicing with the team.
Evidently Ward suffered what is believed to be some type of a spleen injury and his current status with respect to this season and possibly even his career are not known. Stoops would not elaborate, primarily due to the fact he did not have the necessary details in which to do so.
Tuesday morning, following the first of two practices the football team will have, Bob Stoops announced that Michael Onuoha underwent a "procedure" and that he (Stoops) was hopeful the sophomore pass rusher would be able to return prior to the Notre Dame game.
Paul Chryst is using the early camp depth chart to light a fire under some players, it would seem:
The most notable move of the day was redshirt freshman Mike Caprara working with the first team ahead of redshirt junior Todd Thomas. There are two important parts to this news: first, that Caprara has moved outside to the Sam linebacker spot (Paul Chryst told us yesterday that a move outside was possible for Caprara), and, two, that Thomas has moved down to the second unit. Now, before anyone freaks out, this is almost certainly primarily a motivational tactic for Thomas. Chryst was pretty candid yesterday when he said that Thomas has a ton of ability, but needs to make better use of it on a consistent basis. Especially towards the end of practice today, Thomas looked very good in his role and had three batted down passes.
New Pac-12 regulations have limited contact practices to only twice a week, and the Buffs players who opened camp yesterday are fans:
"I think it's good, because it'll reduce injury and keep us more healthy," sophomore tailback Christian Powell said Tuesday. "More toward the middle (of last year's camp), we were doing hitting drills every day."
That said, UW coach Steve Sarkisian likes what he's seen so far from [freshman wide receiver John] Ross, as well as fellow freshmen receivers Damore'ea Stringfellow (6-3, 225) and Darrell Daniels (6-4, 232). All three came in highly touted, and all three will be given every opportunity to earn a spot on the field this season.
"He came back today with another two or three really big plays," Sarkisian said of Ross. "He's got a great feeling for the game. Stringfellow and Darrell Daniels are both playing the same amount of time, and those guys are getting a lot of work, a lot of reps, and they're big, strong physical guys. I've been impressed with all those guys. ... We're starting to figure out that we're getting what we thought we were getting (when they signed). Hopefully, one, two or three of them will be playing a role for us here this fall.
Teams reporting for camp today
Kansas, Memphis, and UTEP. Contain your excitement!
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