MOBILE, Ala-The second full day of action in Mobile has come to a close as the North team worked out at Ladd-Peebles Stadium this morning, followed by the South team in the afternoon. Wes Bunting and I have been on hand for all of the day’s action.
Here’s a rundown of what’s been going on…
1. Brace yourselves, because you’re going to hear a lot about Ole Miss running back/wide receiver Dexter McCluster over the next few months. During the South team’s practice session Tuesday afternoon, there wasn’t a single defender with the speed to cover McCluster down the field. Although some may question his size (5081, 165 lbs), McCluster is just too explosive and too dynamic to go overlooked on draft day. In addition, you’ve got to like his competitive nature. After dropping a pass in 1-on-1s today, McCluster hit the deck and banged out ten pushups as punishment.
2. Don’t get yourself too worked up over all of the reports about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and the problems he’s had handling the center-quarterback exchange this week. Yes, with all eyes on his every movement, Tebow can’t afford to make mistakes. However, we’ve seen all six quarterbacks fumble the exchange at least once over the past two days. That’s what happens when quarterbacks and centers that have never before played together start working with one another. It takes time to get comfortable.
3. For the second straight day, Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford was the most targeted wideout at the North team’s practice. Ford has made a living in the short-passing game, creating separation on short curls and out patterns. All three North quarterbacks (Tony Pike, Sean Canfield, Dan LeFevour) are consistently looking in Ford’s direction.
4. It took roughly three minutes to figure out who the larger-than-usual crowd that was in attendance for the South team’s practice was pulling for. Every time an Alabama player (RB Roy Upchurch, DB Javier Arenas, TE Colin Peek) made a play, the crowd applauded. And let’s not forget about defensive tackle Terrence Cody. The guy could pass for Mayor down here with all the pictures he’s been posing for.
5. Speaking of Crimson Tide running back Roy Upchurch, we caught up with him after practice and asked what it was like to have an opportunity to work with Miami Dolphins running backs coach James Saxon. Said Upchurch, “He’s a guy that wants everything done correctly. He’s a guy that wants us to do it fast and go out and execute the right way. He gives us messages that are about more than football.”
6. Outside of Tebow and Cody, the most popular player with the media is Florida State safety Myron Rolle. You can’t go anywhere without seeing Rolle surrounded by a pack of reporters, who all want to know about what it’s like coming back to football after taking a year off to study at Oxford. Rolle is very well-spoken and very polished when it comes to answering questions.
7. The stronger arms belong to the quarterbacks of the South team (Tebow, Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson and West Virginia’s Jarrett Brown). While none of the three will knock you over from 20 yards away, the South guys have had more zip on their balls then the signal-callers from the North (Pike, Canfield, LeFevour).
8. If you haven’t already, check out NFP columnist Brad Biggs’ interview with Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount.
9. If you’re ever in Mobile, be sure to check out a restaurant called “The Brick Pit.” I heard about it on the Travel Channel a few weeks ago and dragged Bunting out there for dinner this evening. Put it like this: The Brick Pit’s draft stock is soaring right now.