What a shock. From the visitors on the sidelines to the action on the field, Tuesday’s practice was filled with news. And notes. So read on for both.
• Before we get to practice, we wanted to guide you to our usual summary of Paul Wulff’s press conferences today. … You can also find a video summary of the local press conference here. … And we also have out Pac-10 notebook if you are interested. … OK, now that’s out of the way, we can move on to today. We’ll start with the end, or near the end of practice, when the starting defense was working against the scout team. Leon Brooks was the running back for the scout team and he took a pitch around the left end, sprinting as fast as he could. Remember, Brooks is 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds. Chasing him parallel to the line of scrimmage is linebacker Myron Beck. Well, Brooks won the race to the corner. And Alex Hoffman-Ellis yells at Beck, “you let Jiminy Cricket out run you?” … There was much more, including the return of Chima Nwachukwu to practice, though in a yellow jersey. … The go-to-guy Jim Moore was at practice today. … Toni Pole also showed up at practice just days after being released from the hospital. He was wearing a bandage on his left leg. … Paul Wulff mentioned this, but freshmen Bennett Bontemps (at receiver) and Tracy Clark (defensive back) were running with the twos and working with special teams. … If you still wonder why C.J. Mizell doesn’t start, maybe this will clue you in. Early in practice the defense was doing a tackling drill where a runner carries the ball between cones and the defender must close, break down and make the tackle. Mizell’s first attempt was about half speed and he barely made contact with the ball carrier. He was told to do it again. Same effort. Again. Same effort. Now other players are yelling, because the drill has ground to a halt. Again. Same effort. Again. Same effort. Finally, Mizell was told to start running, which he did around the defensive practice field. Slowly, until the drill ended. … Some players suited up but didn’t do a lot of team contact, including Mike Ledgerwood, Bernard Wolfgramm and Brandon Rankin. … Finally, this little statistical note. Freshman Marquess Wilson has the third-best yards per catch average among the 100 or so NCAA receivers ranked by catches per game. Wilson is averaging 21.62, trailing only Hawaii’s Kealoha Pilares (23.35) and Joe Adams of Arkansas (22.93).
• That’s all for tonight. We’ll be back in the morning. Until then …