TULSA FOOTBALL REACHES MID-WAY POINT OF SPRING DRILLS
March 16, 2012
Tulsa, Oklahoma - The Tulsa football team is at the half-way point of spring drills as the Golden Hurricane had its seventh practice of the spring season Thursday afternoon, and now take a week off for Spring Break.
Head Coach Bill Blankenship has been pleased with the first two weeks of spring practice.
"This is essentially the half-way point for us with seven practices and Thursday's workout was the most significant scrimmage time we've had," said Blankenship. "We made the quarterbacks live in the scrimmage session which we thought was important. We need to see how they handle being tackles, being flushed out of the pocket and all those kinds of things."
Blankenship thought that the offense and defense each did good things in Thursday's scrimmage session, calling it a `split decision".
"I thought the day started out belonging to the offense. We saw big plays by Keyarris Garrett and the running backs played well. As the day wore on we went into some drills where we placed the ball on the defensive 30-yard line for the offense and put the defense in a bind, and the defense won three out of three. I thought it came out to be a split decision today between the offense and defense," added Blankenship.
"We've put in a lot of work, but a lot of progress has been made. I think we're a better team after seven days, but I think we're a long ways from being what this team can be. The real optimistic half of us as coaches think we've had a good spring so far, and then the other side says we have a long way to go before we're ready for Iowa State," said Blankenship.
The Hurricane will return to the practice field on Tuesday, March 27 for its eight practice of spring drills and the first of the final eight practices. The Annual Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 7, at 1 pm at H.A. Chapman Stadium. There is no admission charge to the spring game.
BLANKENSHIP TALKS ABOUT A FEW AREAS OF THE TEAM . . .
On the progress of the Offensive Line (three starters graduated, but six lettermen return):
"Jared Grigg has really solidified himself at left tackle. He's been a calming influence for a guy that hasn't played a lot, but he's a senior and played enough this past season to gain a lot of confidence. Brian DeShane has looked good at the right tackle spot. I really like Jake Alexander. I think he's proven himself at the left guard spot. With three-year starter Trent Dupy at center, there are four spots that are pretty solid. We're still trying to find that other spot."
"Stetson Burnett (sitting out this spring after undergoing knee surgery late in the 2011 season) and is expected to be back in the fall) is a piece of the puzzle we hope to have this fall. Coach (Denver) Johnson is pretty good about not trying to count that chicken before it hatches, but we know that Stetson is a great player."
How has finding a replacement for Curnelius Arnick at MIKE linebacker been progressing:
"We've been splitting some time there. Donnell Hawkins has looked good at times. He's played well and Trent Martin has done well. I think coach (Brent Guy) will tell you that they both have had their moments. I think Trent may be a little more consistent, and right now Donnell is playing more athletically."
Every time we've talked the name Keyarris Garrett comes up:
"Keyarris has really turned himself into being a playmaker. He is significantly bigger and thicker and amazingly faster. To use a baseball analogy, he's a tough out for the defense. That's a match-up problem that I think a lot of people will struggle with. He's getting in the mix with Bryan Burnham, Jordan James and Thomas Roberson to be one of the top 2-3 receivers."
How has Thomas Roberson progressed this spring after red-shirting last year due to injury:
(Roberson played as a true freshman in 2010 and caught 30 passes for 367 yards, a 12.2 average and 2 TDs) "So far this spring, Thomas has looked better than he did as a freshman. His maturity is at a different place. He's just so smooth. We just need for him to play himself into shape."
REMAINING SPRING SCHEDULE: MARCH 27th (Tuesday), afternoon workout 29th (Thursday), afternoon workout 30th (Friday), afternoon workout 31st (Saturday), morning workout
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