College Gridiron Showcase: Day 2 Observations (Wranglers)

Wranglers Hit the Field in the Afternoon for their 1st Workouts

Emory Hunt

Day 2 of the College Gridiron Showcase was as good as advertised in the afternoon group, as the Wranglers hit the field for a 2-hour practice, on a beautiful afternoon here in Fort Worth, Texas.

Running Backs Doing Well on Both Ends

The Wranglers have an impressive group of backs here at the showcase: AJ Ouellette (Ohio U), Tevin McCaster (Youngstown State), Dontae Strickland (Syracuse), Xavier Turner (Tarleton State), Aeris Williams (Mississippi State), Dom Bragalone (Lehigh) and Jonathan Hillman (Rutgers). All caught the ball really well during one-on-ones. And in 9-on-7, I thought they ran well also. Guys bring a variety of skills to the table. I love the explosiveness of Strickland and Williams. The suddenness of Hillman, McCaster and Ouellette was on display. And the feature-back-like vision from both Turner and Bragalone was impressive as well throughout the practice.

Ya “Herd” Me??

The Marshall Thundering Herd’s duo of LB Chase Hancock and OC Nathaniel Devers put together a strong practice. Hancock excelled throughout the 9-on-7 periords, while Devers was consistent during 1-on-1s.¬† I thought Hancock also showed very good ability in coverage as well.

Strength on the Perimeter

The Wranglers also boast an impressive group of wideouts led by Justin Sumpter (Kennesaw State) and Juston Christion (Marist). Both guys were excellent during 1-on-1s. Another FCS standout was St. Francis wideout Kamron Lewis. While Colorado Buffaloes star wide receiver Kabion Ento was one of the smoothest route runners out there.

A Hokie-Cavalier Partnership

Along the offensive line, both ACC and state of Virginia rivals OG Braxton Pfaff (Virginia Tech) and OT Marcus Applefield (Virginia) served as RG & RT during 9-on-7 and were able to perform well throughout the drill. Both players also were excellent during OL/DL 1-on-1s.

Practice Standouts:

DE – Justin Alexandre (6’5 255), Incarnate Word: Alexandre is explosive coming off the edge and shows a good understanding of how to bend and accelerate to the QB. He stood out in 1-on-1s.

TE – Cole Herdman (6’4 245), Purdue: Herdman makes catching the football look rather smooth and easy. He consistently worked himself open all day.

QB – Jacob Dolegala (6’6 240), Central Connecticut State: When you talk about a prospect that ‘looks’ the part, Dolegala has that look of an NFL QB. It also helps when you have the ability to put the ball wherever you want to on the field. I thought he threw the ball really well yesterday.

DE – Hunter Snyder (6’6 245), Florida Atlantic: He’s another rather explosive edge rusher that’s participating this week. He’s also surprisingly solid vs the run, using his length to disrupt plays during 9-on-7s.

S – McKinley Whitfield (6’3 210), Tulsa: Another taller Safety in this All-Star game that’s as fluid as a slot defender. Whitfield matched up well inside in coverage during 1-on-1s and showed good awareness during Pass Skel.

OT – Jerrod Brooks (6’6 290), UTEP: Brooks is a very good athlete that is capable of using his long arms to his advantage. He looked solid in both 1-on-1s and 9-on-7s.

DE – Jonathan Harris (6’5 290), Lindenwood: It seems as if every year there’s a strong defensive prospect coming out of the Lindenwood program. Harris can rush with both power and quickness.

OT – Brandon Hitner (6’5 305), Villanova: Hitner was hittin’ well during 1-on-1s. He had a devastating punch that put one defender on the ground immediately.

DT – Deshawnte Lloyd (6’2 315), New Mexico State: With his natural leverage, Lloyd found himself being a constant nuisance to the offensive linemen in 1-on-1 drills.

DT – Kalil Morris (6’2 315), Kent State: Every time you looked up, you saw the Kent State helmet making plays in the backfield. He’s explosive off the ball and works his hands extremely well.

DT – Ronald Ollie (6’2 280), Nicholls: Another squatty, but explosive defensive tackle, Ollie showed that he could work well in any technique along the interior. The versatility was impressive yesterday.

WR – Justin Sumpter (6’2 220), Kennesaw State: Despite coming from a triple-option offensive, Sumpter shows a mastery of route running, playing physical at the catch point and soft hands. I thought he had the best day of all the receivers in attendance.

Wranglers Practice Highlights

&nbspWR-vs-DBs and RBs/TEs-vs-LBs 1-on-1s

OL-vs-DL 1-on-1s

9-on-7 Drills

Pass Skel Drills

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