Practice Report - Day 1
Aug. 6, 2010
Tulsa, Oklahoma - The newcomers for the University of Tulsa football team got their first taste of training camp as the newest members of the Golden Hurricane laced up their cleats and headed out to their first practice this morning at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Head Coach Todd Graham was beaming after seeing the fresh faces to the program on the field for the first time, even going so far as to call them "the best bunch of newcomers we've ever had".
Here are some other thoughts from Coach Graham after the first day on the practice field with the new Golden Hurricane.
On what he saw from the newcomers in their first practice:
The big thing was just getting them orientated and getting them used to the heat. The first thing I noticed is that they are very talented. There really is not one person who stuck out because a whole bunch of them did. We are going to have a whole lot of guys who are in this newcomer bunch that are going to be impact players on defense as well as a few on offense.
On the offensive newcomers fans should be looking out for:
Jake Alexander and Thomas Roberson are guys that we think were very impressive, and we think they have a chance to be impact players. Then at running back you have Ja'Terian Douglas and Derrick Hall who were both very impressive. We were also impressed with Kalen Henderson at quarterback.
On potential impact players on the other side of the ball:
James Roberson was a guy who was very impressive throughout practice. The newcomers up front - Darrell Zellars, Durrell Finch and Tyrunn Walker - are all explosive defensive linemen who looked very good. I was also impressed with Donnell Hawkins and Mitchell Osborne. We have a whole bunch of freshmen who are going to be in the two-deep (roster) and be impact players for us right away defensively. I'd also like to mention Lowell Rose at cornerback. He looked real good this morning. All of the guys looked so good in their first practice, including Luke Snider. DeWitt Jennings had a really good workout this morning. We've got a very talented bunch of newcomers, and we're also really excited about our upperclassmen.
On what makes this group so special:
One of the things I like is a lot of these guys competed for state championships in high school, so they know how to win. Naturally, your veterans are going to be your core guys that understand everything and are mature enough to go in day in and day out and know what it takes to compete. But I think this group of kids is going to be a special group. I think Thomas Roberson can have a big impact for us this year. He's a very explosive receiver and he's very talented. I also think the running backs we have coming in are going to have an impact for us. I just think we have some special guys in this group. We already have some pretty good guys here, as well, so the newcomers all know they're going to have to compete. On potential depth issues: We're going to be thin in numbers, but this is going to be the fastest team we've had. I also think we have a chance to be the most explosive. The key will be how we play up front on both sides of the ball.
On what the veterans need to do when it's their turn to practice:
These guys have competed every year. Most of these guys have been two- or three-year starters. Every year they have the new group that comes in, and they embrace it. Our guys are excited that we have guys coming in that are going to give us depth and make us better. We have to do a great job of staying healthy throughout camp. Down that stretch of Weeks 7, 8, 9, and 10, we have to make sure that we have these guys developing and getting better each week because they're going to be called upon to help us down the stretch.
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