A few posts ago, I got some questions about Marcus Allen and William Bullock. So, I thought I'd get back at ya.
Allen has been a contributor right off the bat at camp. I got to practice at the tail-end of Friday's workout, but he still made some plays that stood out, including a couple nice grabs along the sideline that went for decent gains. On one catch, Allen dragged his back foot in bounds before being knocked out. It was solid.
“Marcus Allen has been strong so far,” NMSU coach DeWayne Walker said. “He'll play a significant role in our offense.”
Allen is a bit smaller than I initially thought, but he's built well and it looks like he has some skill to go with it.
As for Bullock, he is not at Aggie camp at the moment. Walker said that Bullock has some academic holdups with his old junior college, El Camino College, and is waiting to clear those hurdles before suiting up for the Aggies. The coach did say that he expects Bullock to join the team soon.
The receivers haven't been bad so far, actually I think there are some surprises here. Marcus Anderson will get snaps, as will Allen. Darrius Preston continues to get looks. Todd Lee and Julius Fleming are playing some.
The one concern I have is tight end. Kyle Nelson has dropped at least five balls the last two days of practice, at least from what I've seen. While everyone points to the quarterback play, it's just as much on the receivers to make plays when the QB puts the ball where it needs to be.
Speaking of quarterback play, it seems like, at least from what I've seen, that Jeff Fleming has a leg up for the starter's job.
Fleming looks better to me this fall than he did in the spring and he has a stronger arm than I remember. He's a pretty good athlete and can move a little. It seems like he's made a few more plays than his fellow competitors at the position. One that stood out on Friday was a 60-yard bomb to Preston for a touchdown.
Defensively, the team will have a completely different look. The first two plays of seven-on-seven drills saw Davon House break up consecutive passes, one a deep throw down the right sideline in the endzone, intended for Preston.
E.J. Cannon chased down a runner in the middle of the field. Jamar Cotton got in the backfield to bust up a passing play.
“The defense picked it up,” Walker said. “We’re moving with the energy and the intensity that we need in order to be effective.”
Walker also went out of his way to praise the running back position following Friday's workout.
“I like that group,” Walker said. “I feel real good about what our backs bring to the field.”
We're talking about the two headliners in Marquell Colston and Tonny Glynn. They play well off each other and are very close on and off the field. Expect good years from both. The key? They need to stay healthy.
But there is more than just them.
Donavan Roberts continues to look good. He broke off a long run during seven-on-seven, taking the carry into the gut of the defense, spotting the hole and breaking it left to the outside for a long TD run.
“That's what he's doing now,” running backs coach Earnest Wilson said. “He's spotting the hole and hitting it. He's playing well.”
Some say that he Donavan is a pounder who will move the chains for you. I think he has more big-play ability than people give him credit for. If he keeps this up, he'll see the field.
Walker also said he was happy with the play of Seth Smith.
At fullback, Brandon Perez is the unsung hero. Big, physical and unselfish. Would you expect anything less from the big bruiser?
Last year Brandon carried the ball more than he did in the past. This year, he's ready to roll with the punches.
“Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I'll do,” Perez said following Friday's practice. “If it's blocking and things like that, I'll do it. If they want me to run the ball, I'll do that too. It doesn't matter. It's about the team.”
As for Glynn, it was a tough 2008 season for him. After a productive 2007, last year saw Glynn struggle to get on the field and, when he did, he fumbled. Tonny was a forgotten man last year, but he kept his head up and is getting a fresh start with a new staff. I'll have a story on him in Sunday's Sun-News as well as on our online edition sometime on Saturday.
Till next time.....