Yes, today is the first day teams who participated in spring football can practice. For our area, that means Denton, Guyer and Lake Dallas will be hitting the practice field today. Well, Guyer already has; Denton and Lake Dallas kick off practice this evening.
But if you ask Guyer coach John Walsh, what happened on Monday and will happen for the next three days is hardly considered practice. It’s more like glorified 7-on-7 football.
“Evaluations are real slim on non-padded days,” Walsh said. “We can’t wait for Friday to get here.”
Friday is the first day teams who began workouts on Monday can work in pads.
Anyway, as uneventful as today truly was, there was plenty to watch and look out for in the coming weeks before the Wildcats start their season on Aug. 30 in a home game against Cedar Hill. Follow the jump for more details.
Jerrod Heard looks more like a man than a 16-year-old: Wow. Talk about a transformation. Heard, who looks to be one of the top QBs in the nation in the Class of 2014 looks bigger, stronger and faster than he did as a wiry sophomore. And judging by his thoughts after practice, his familiarity with the offense will make it a seamless transition into his second year of starting under center.
Guyer is always strong, but this year could be different: Whenever I’m out at practice I like to chat it up with Bryan Kegans, who was formerly an offensive line coach for Guyer but is now a full-time strength and conditioning coach. The former Texas Tech offensive lineman said this is the strongest bunch of kids he’s worked with since Guyer has been open. That says a ton for a program that has always been known to win games in the trenches.
D.J. Breedlove has a chance to be very special: Going along with the winning games in the trenches theme, Guyer has always been a program that wants to run the ball first, and throw it when the opportunity presents itself — a sort of throwback offensive philosophy, in a way. The list of running backs at Guyer over the past three seasons has been a distinguished one: Jamaine Wilhite, Treavon Walton, Sebastain Williams. That’s a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns in the past. But junior D.J. Breedlove could be the best yet, and it’s pretty much a consensus opinion, no matter who you ask. Breedlove has the rare combination of quickness, shiftiness, speed and power and he’s also versatile. Look for him to be used a lot as a wideout, as well as in the backfield.
The defense has questions to answer: The Wildcats have always hung their hats, defensively, on their ability to stop the run. And while that shouldn’t be a problem in 2012, they’ll have to prove themselves. With only three returning starters, there’s a lot to prove. All four defensive linemen are new to the fold, as are the three linebackers, who seem to be led by senior Terence Belton, who will step into the big shoes of Dominic Ramacher and Blake Terry at middle linebacker.
Ellis Jefferson is already dealing with injury: One noticeable absence at the first day of practice was senior wide receiver Ellis Jefferson. The Arizona State commit sat in the background watching his offensive teammates run through plays after tweaking his hamstring. Walsh said if it were a game, Jefferson would unquestionably be a go, but he was held out of practice for precautionary reasons. No word on when he’ll get things going, but I wouldn’t imagine it’d be too long.