It's difficult to make any strong statements after one practice session. But if anything, Thursday's opener of fall camp for Idaho was a good opportunity to get a first look at newcomers and see the progression of guys who have been in the program for a year or two. See my notes below and my story from Moscow here.
Before I get to some high-level reaction, a correction: In my preview post earlier today, I listed center Mike Marboe as a true sophomore. He's actually a redshirt freshman, and he was the No. 1 center in practice today. For some reason -- maybe because he got a lot of reps last year in practice -- I had in my mind that Marboe didn't redshirt last year. But he did.
Now, for an update on today:
- The Vandals went for a little over two hours, mixing in position drills and combined workouts. Brian Reader's touch was evident for most of the day -- he had a couple of really nice deep balls to Justin Veltung and Armauni Johnson in particular.
- Reader had a few interesting comments regarding new running backs coach and former WSU QB Jason Gesser: "Just having his insight every single day is great, having a guy who’s done it before. He’s really similar to Coach (Jonathan) Smith, who was here before. Having a young guy in there who’s seen it in kind of a new style of how things are going in football these days. Just little things he can help you with, just another set of eyes that’s done it before. Last year I kind of had Nate (Enderle) for that. And having Coach Axman helping as well as Coach Gesser is just huge for the (QBs)." Gesser looked as energetic and upbeat as you might imagine on first day of practice.
- As a group, the defensive linemen really stuck out to me. Quite a few of them looked big and lean and surprisingly quick during individual drills. "It's a better-looking crew, isn't it?" Akey said afterward. From Michael Cosgrove: "Every year I’ve been here ... the group’s been getting bigger and bigger. But I think this year’s the first time we’ve had a group where all 13 or 14 guys in the group could probably play. I think before we’ve always had 10 or 12 guys, but only like six of them you could really count on to play." Cosgrove, a three-technique defensive tackle, said the battle for the nose tackle starting spot should be intense. Karel Kearney started with the first team during practice, but Ryan Edwards and Quayshawne Buckley are there too.
- Speaking of Buckley, a 300-pounder listed as a sophomore, I asked Akey to give me a rundown on his background. Here's what he said: "Quayshawne is a young man that put himself into school a year ago. Had to go through school and make grades and get the credits through the course of the year. He was able to get that done. That gave him the opportunity to play football. So this is his first chance playing college football finally. It’s been a dream of his. He’s a big ol’ kid, and he’s got a chance to factor in that mix. So that’s another guy with size we’re adding to defensive tackle position."
- Receiver Robert Hatchett III, who was arrested over the weeked for allegedly driving under the influence, is currently serving a suspension, Akey said. He did not practice or appear on the sidelines.
- Marcel Posey, a wideout recovering from knee surgery last season, practiced with a hefty brace. Said Akey, "I’m happy for him. I think he’s healthier. I think he’s feeling more confident with that his body can do. I’m anxious to see … if we can get the ball to him. So I think that’s a good addition."
- Conrad Scheidt started alongside Tre'Shawn Robinson and Homer Mauga at linebacker. Korey Toomer, John McKinley and Brad Marboe got a lot of reps with the second team. I asked Robinson about replacing Robert Siavii, and he replied, "Actually I see Conrad and Korey both playing a big role this year, because those guys are both really focused. Korey has a lot more confidence this year. He’s doing a lot better."
Aaron Grymes and Matthew Harvey were the first-team corners, followed by Tracy Carter and Kenneth Patten. Dion Bass and A.J. Annelus also saw time; Bass looks more mature than a true freshman with his build. At safety, Gary Walker had an interception and Quin Ashley had a nice breakup.