One of the more exciting drills each practice is the one-on-one. The drill heavily favors the offense as quarterbacks face no rush and receivers work on half the field against a single defender.
Wednesday the cornerbacks certainly handcuffed the wideouts.
Kenbrell Thompkins clashed with senior Camerron Cheatham in the first matchup. Though Thompkins got off the line well Cam never allowed him a foot of seperation. When the pass arrived Cam easily broke it up with a physical play.
Anthony McClung had a strong practice, as usual. Afterwards Head Football Coach Butch Jones mentioned McClung's performance as one of the memorable day one showings.
His first pass play was simple, but efficient. He caught a nice toss from Munchie Legaux for a six yard gain. His second reception was a fantastic 45-yard catch with Pat Lambert draped all over him.
McClung has to have the best hands on the team. The only other guy close is Chris Moore, who needs to establish consistency to earn playing time.
Don't forget last year McClung was Munchie's primary receiving target. It could have been related to the pair rooming together. Either way Munchie's arrival spelled the end of D.J. Woods' prominence and the continued ascendance of Slippery Anthony.
Demitri Beal forced two dropped passes. He has always been a physical player and earned his first letter last fall. Look for him to help at either safety or cornerback this season.
The best confrontation of this particular drill was Alex Chisum against Camerron Cheatham.
During the offseason Chisum began to assume the role of vocal leader. Despite McClung's statistical dominance and Thompkins' age this is the front man for the bunch.
Alex gets in the ear of the younger guys and encourages them through their mistakes. He has played winning football in high school and broke into the lineup his first fall. This season should be All-Conference caliber for young Chisum.
Through sixteen passes the defenders only allowed one score. Chris Williams was burnt by speedy Ralph David Abernathy. Few moves preceded his startling straight line burst. It only took fifteen yards for RDA to dust the dependable nickelback.
In all the receivers caught three passes out of sixteen attempts. Yes, it is terrible. However, during the first week receivers tradtionally have to get their timing refined. Quarterbacks are throwing to guys moving at higher speeds than during the summer.
Last season Zach Collaros and the offense were way behind the defense for the first month too. Too early to worry, but kudos to guys like Cheatham and Beal for locking down gifted receivers in an offensive drill.