Monday's football practice was what most of the Aggie workouts have been this spring. Physical and intense.
DeWayne Walker was in his players' ears all afternoon. He is trying turn a losing program into a successful one. Easier said than done, indeed. The whole staff is vocal and trying to light a fire underneath the team. We've been talking about this during the past couple of weeks, so the atmosphere shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
I think that the secondary is going to be an area of strength for the team this year. First off, Walker is the most hands on with this unit. And there is talent, particularly at cornerback. I think we could see Davon House take the next step this season and possibly be an All-WAC player. I know, it's a lot to ask for, but Davon has grown into his body and he has a knack for the big play. He looks like a player out there and that's half the battle.
Opposite House, it looks like it's going to be Jonte Green. I liked what I saw from Green on Monday. First off, the coaches got on him for a poor tackle along the sidelines. Then, Green responded. He broke up a pass in the back-left corner of the endzone. Good coverage. He then chased Tonny Glynn out of bounds inside the 10-yard line for no gain. The staff was fired up. House called him a great athlete following practice. Two good cornerbacks can go a long way.
I do have questions at the safety position. Junior Fasavalu and Stephon Hatchett have both had decent springs, but are they really going to start this season? It's a lot to ask for from both players. Junior has been hurt and ineffective his first two seasons with the program. In his favor, the coaching staff was very high on him going into his freshman season two years ago. He's a Woody Widenhofer guy.
As for Stephon Hatchett, this guy was switched from receiver to defensive back last season. Now he's starting? For some reason, I do like him. First off, again, he kind of just looks like a football player. And I will say that Hal Mumme was high on Hatchett two years ago coming out of the team's preseason trip to Gallup. Hatchett earned his roster spot two years ago. Some guys are just football players. Maybe Hatchett is one of these guys.
As for the team's backups, the staff is trying to build depth with Alphonso Powell, Chris Buckner, Michael Zant and Ben Bradley. Again, I see some potential here. I think Buckner could do some things. He's an athlete. But there are still question marks and it's not like you can just hide your safeties out there. This is a huge position and guys are going to need to step up for the secondary to reach its ceiling.
Still, I think the DB's as a whole could surprise this year.
The receivers are going to need to step up too. They have good speed guys, but they're all small. Marcus Anderson will still be a big play guy. He had some nice catch and runs on Monday.
The team did seem to take more shots down the field on offense. Fleming seemed to get more snaps with the first team but Walls was out there too. It seems like a wash at this point.
Another area of strength could be at running back. I still like Marquell Colston and Tonny Glynn just got a raw deal last season. He was in the dog house and never was able to break out of it. But I still think Tonny can do some things if used the right way. That is, get him the ball in space and he can take it to the house. He's a big-play guy. I saw it two years ago. Both Colston and Glynn had nice scoring runs on Monday.