Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Jadeveon Clowney could get time at MLB
By Edward Aschoff
If you thought Jadeveon Clowney was dangerous before, wait until you see him this fall.
South Carolina's sophomore defensive end wreaked havoc as a backup last season, but with a starting job in hand, the Gamecocks' coaching staff wants to make sure it can get the most out of Clowney. Coach Steve Spurrier said after Monday's practice that he plans to move Clowney all around the field, including middle linebacker.
"We’re going to move him all over the place,” Spurrier told reporters. “We have to put him where hopefully he’s most of the time one-on-one with somebody -- inside, outside, middle linebacker. There are all kinds of things you can do. It’s a pass-rush game out there now, as everybody knows.”
This just gives Clowney, who accounted for 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks in his rookie season, more room to roam around and more opportunities to frustrate his opposition. This doesn't just say something about Clowney's skill, it says something about his maturation within the Gamecocks' defense. Remember, he was lost at times as a freshman.
Now, he's more comfortable and will have the chance to make even more plays this fall. It's a scary thought, really.
Spurrier also announced that true freshman cornerback Rico McWilliams is out for the season after suffering an injury in practice.
“Rico probably will have to have surgery, so it looks like he will be out this year," Spurrier said. "It’s an unfortunate injury, but no way we could have prevented that. Just two guys running down the field and he accidentally stepped on Shaq (Roland) a little bit and twisted his knee up real good.”
Wright leaves practice after hit
Arkansas wasn't full contact on Monday, but that didn't prevent an injury to an important member of the Razorbacks' defense.
Senior linebacker Tenarius Wright, who moved from defensive end this spring, left practice early after colliding with running back Knile Davis. There was no diagnosis for Wright on Monday night, but the staff will continue to evaluate him.
“I didn’t even know he was hurt until after practice,” Davis told reporters. “I saw he wasn’t in there. We’ll see. I don’t know what happened to him."
Davis added that he didn't think Wright's injury was serious.
Arkansas is already down one linebacker, as Alonzo Highsmith missed his second straight practice with a hamstring injury.
Kentucky's quarterback race heating up
While sophomore Maxwell Smith left spring as the projected starter for the fall, he's finding out that fall practice is a whole new animal.
Senior Morgan Newton is back after sitting out the spring following shoulder surgery, and he seemed to impress Sunday. Newton was the starter for most of last season before an injury cut his season short. Newton struggled through most of the games he played in last season, but is looking for one last chance to make an impact at the quarterback spot.
Freshmen Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow are also competing for time, making for a pretty crowded quarterback spot.
“Still hard to evaluate the quarterbacks after three days, especially when you are installing, so we will take it slow,” coach Joker Phillips said. “We have two weeks before I would like to get it done, which means you have two scrimmages. But we have seven days of installation that we are building up to the first scrimmage, and we will see if it shakes its way out then, but probably not. Making the decision after the first scrimmage is probably way too soon.”
Miller back at Vols practice
After missing spring because of academic issues, junior defensive lineman Corey Miller was back on the practice field for Tennessee on Monday. Miller had to rededicate himself away from the field before he could get back on it, and it appears he got on the right track.
"I changed my focus and just had to get my mind right," Miller said. "I'm just glad to be back, and it's nothing but looking forward from here on out. It hurt me not being with my guys, so I got back this summer and took it full fledge, all the weight on my shoulders. I just have to get back at it."
Miller, who has played in 25 career games, has moved around the defensive line, but expects to stay at end this fall.
Miller will have a bit of a fight on his hands to earn playing time this fall, but coach Derek Dooley was just happy to get him back.
"This is his second chance," Dooley said. "He kind of messed up in the classroom, but hopefully he learned from it, and hopefully everyone else learned from it, too."
For more on Tennessee's Monday practice, check out the Vols' official website.