SAN ANTONIO – Wednesday marked the first day inside the Alamodome for the both the East and West squads in preparation for Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl and again there were several Texas commits that looked extremely impressive on the day.
The day started off with the players skills challenge pitting both teams against each other in a variety of football drills ranging from field goal kicking contests, a blocking sled obstacle course, and the pass catching gauntlet.
Here’s a look at how the Texas commits/targets fared. 2009 Texas Commits:
Tariq Allen, LB, Irvin MacArthur
It was a pretty quiet day for Allen, who did not perform badly he just did not do anything that really stood out. The more reps he gets in inside running drills and during team sessions, he seems to look a lot more comfortable playing in space or attacking the play downhill. When it comes to dissecting the play and having to start inside and scrape to the outside, he tends to get lost in the wash. He has been solid this week, but not spectacular.
Marcus Davis, CB, League City Clear Creek
The best thing Davis did on Wednesday was his performance in the “gauntlet,” a drill in which wide receivers and defensive backs run sideline to sideline and have a series of seven passes thrown to them while on the move. Davis showed off his impressive hands and reaction time by catching six of the seven passes thrown his way. During the scrimmage portion of the day, Davis looked good on special teams and one punt he sprinted down the field as a gunner even after a botched snap caused nearly everyone else on the field to stop playing. Davis also worked with the kickoff team and got plenty of reps on defense during the team session.
Calvin Howell, DT, San Antonio Warren
For people who routinely follow Texas recruiting, the closest comparison to Howell personality wise is Dan Buckner. Howell has been in high spirits all week and has helped lighten the mood at practice a great deal. Today he continued to show flashes on dominance in both pass rushing and in run blocking situations. Of note, he held of very well against double teams in the scrimmage sessions allowing the West linebackers to flow easily and make plays.
Alex Okafor, DE, Pflugerville
As hood as Okafor has looked this week, Wednesday might just have been his best day so far at the event. He looked very good in the scrimmage session in one-on-ones going head to head and massive left tackle D.J. Fluker. Okafor routinely disrupted running plays and got pressure on the quarterback during scrimmage session. He once again showed off his outstanding speed with his ability to flush West quarterback Tyrik Rollison out of the pocket and chase him down from the blind side. The whole West defensive line has been impressive this week and Okafor is big part of that.
Garrett Porter, OL, Odessa Permian
Porter was not working with the first team offense and saw his reps during the scrimmage session cut very short. He has been solid, but not spectacular and his lack of participation today really makes it hard to get a further reading on him.
Greg Timmons, WR, Aldine Eisenhower
Timmons had far and away his best day since arriving in San Antonio. The quarterback play was miles better on Wednesday, specifically Tyrik Rollison who seemed to connect really well with Timmons during the scrimmage. Timmons caught three touchdowns during the scrimmage and had a long on reception on post route when he beat Marcus Davis off of the line. The West has some very highly touted receivers, but this week I have been most impressed with Timmons and Mississippi native Pat Paterson.
Chris Whaley, RB, Madisonville
Whaley had his best day of practice in the scrimmage session. The thing that has hampered Whaley all week is that both Christine Michael and Cierre Wood are tailor-made spread type running backs because of their lateral quickness and their ability to pass protect and catch the ball out of the backfield. Whaley really came during the scrimmage sessions and looked good running between the tackles with his patience and acceleration looking good. 2009 Texas Targets:
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Gadsden (Alabama) Gadsden City
Kirkpatrick has been somewhat of a free spirit this week and has seemed to isolate himself from the rest of the team at times. But between the lines he has proven to be all business. Once again he showed a keen ability to be able to jam his receiver at the line of scrimmage and run stride for stride downfield with his man. He also has very good timing and seems to know when to go for the pick or when to just bat the ball away. Kirkpatrick, Cliff Harris, and Darius Winston seem to have the best ball skills of any of the cornerbacks in San Antonio.
Jarvis Jones, LB, Columbus (Georgia) Carver
Jones has had a quiet week and that has largely stemmed from a thumb injury which he sustained in the final game of his senior season. On Tuesday he began wearing a cast and today he left practice with the thumb giving him problems.