February 28, 2011

GBK's Inside the Huddle: Spring Practice 6


This past Saturday saw the Black Knights go through a full pad routine practice that was capped off by a fifty-play plus "show what you got" scrimmage.

"Got a lot of reps for a lot of guys and it was a healthy day of practice," noted Co-Defensive Coordinator, Payam Saadat.

Which is imperative to refining the 2-deep with the defense, as the offense seems to have more of an established group of returning veterans and fewer holes to fill.

So with just four remaining practices, along with the spring close out Black & Gold game right around the corner (March 9th), the unambiguous sketch
of the 3 deep or at least the players who are now beginning to separate themselves from the pack, albeit not by much.

GoBlackKnights.com takes a brief look at the front line players who are making some spring time noise, the second level at the linebacker spots and the secondary.

We will look at the players up front, not necessarily by specific positions (quick end, defensive end, bandit, nose tackle and whip), because with continuous evaluation of talent, there is constant changes relative to positions, at least as the team heads into the final phase of spring ball

So who are the guys now starting to get the bulk of work and reps up front? Leading the charge is mainstay Jarrett Mackey, along with Quentin Kantaris , Zach Watts, young brother Corey Watts, Chad Littlejohn who is now playing his 3rd position thus far and is getting lots of reps. Also getting significant time and looks are Clayton Keller, sophomore Brian Zalneraitis, Tom Houser, seasoned veteran Bill Prosko, Justin Shaaf and Kyle Maxwell.

Presently, these are guys up front that have demonstrated this spring that they have the ability to play and make plays.

"I don't think this counts out any of the other guys, but those guys may have another year off or another cycle of spring - fall practice or even show their talents on the JV squad … in order to show what they can bring to the dance," says Saadat.


At the interchangeable Mike, Rover and Sam linebacker positions, you have to start with Captain Steve Eriznger, freshmen Reggie Nesbit and Justin Trimble. You also have Kyler Martin, Lyle Beloney, Matt Luetjen along with newcomer Anthony Daniels .

Free Safety

At free safety there is a battle between walk-on Thomas Holloway and freshman Tyler Dickson. The two are getting plenty of opportunity to show what they have to offer, with Ty Sharder still on the injury shelf.


Waverly Washington, James Whittington, Casey Hughes are making strides this spring, as the seasoned trio of Josh Jackson, Richard King and Antuan Aaron continue to led the pack.


The players are working hard this spring, but this is a staff that pushes their players to get better each day, especially some of the younger players on the team.

Right now, the defense has two players that are cemented in starting roles; everything else is still up for grabs. Locked in are defensive end Jarrett Mackey and linebacker Steve Erzinger.

When viewing the potential 2-deep, the return from injury of players like A.J. Mackey and Nate Combs could obviously change what could be a the 2deep come fall practice.

Scrimmage this Saturday and spring concludes a week from Wednesday.

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