SAN ANTONIO – Thursday was the last full practice for the East squad, which will have a walk-through on Friday in preparation for the Army game. There was a lot of action to document since the East spent a lot of time doing team drills. The quarterbacks and defensive tackles stood out the most. Here are the top 11 players from Thursday's workout.
6-3/275, Philadelphia (Miss.) Philadelphia
The Mississippi State commit was the best defensive tackle in practice either stuffing up the middle on run plays or breaking through the line and pressuring the quarterback. Boyd is a strong player and has a way of exploding into blockers and then brushing off them and getting into the backfield.
6-0/215, Witchita (Kan.) Witchita East
He runs for big gains, he comes out of the backfield and catches deep passes and Thursday he was successful catching screens, following his blockers and using his speed to blaze down the field. There is no question that Brown, rated as the top running back by Rivals.com in the 2009 class, has backed up his ranking this week. He is a constant threat to break a big play.
6-1/180, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
Brown was slowed with a lower back injury earlier this week but he's come back with a vengeance the last two days and had a number of big catches in Thursday's team drills. The Ohio State commit had the nicest catch in practice when he went deep and caught a pass from Aaron Murray over the outstretched hands of safety Willie Downs. Brown also had a nice grab on a pass from Newsome.
5-11/154, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely
Carter got beaten a few times in Wednesday's scrimmage at the Alamodome but he bounced back Thursday and made a lot of plays – including an interception on a pass from Newsome that was intended for Logan Thomas. The Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely recruit is wiry but has strength and speed and is physical with the receivers. He has to watch out, though. Sometimes he's a little too aggressive.
6-7/347, Richmond (Va.) Meadowbrook
The massive Richmond (Va.) Meadowbrook five-star recruit moved to right guard because Chris Burnette has a minor ankle injury and the East offensive line did not miss a beat. Moses was solid all day and flattened a defensive end on a run block that got the attention of teammates. If he uses his power and physical ability, Moses can block anyone.
6-2/207, Vero Beach (Fla.) Vero Beach
Rarely out of position, Motta moved down from safety to linebacker earlier this week when players got into town after having travel issues and the Notre Dame commit has not missed a step. Motta is always around the ball, has great technique, uses his strength and almost always makes the play. He had nice tackles on running back Kendrick Hardy and Logan Thomas in practice and continued his strong week.
6-0/198, Tampa (Fla.) Plant
Murray came on strong late during team drills with long passes to Brown and a nice throw to Thomas. The Georgia pledge also threw a nice pass to Bryce Brown that went for a good gain. East coast Terry Smith said Murray was the best quarterback in the huddle this week. He's been hot and cold but when he's hitting his receivers probably no one at the Army game is better.
6-3/217, Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy
The Penn State commit threw a few nice passes especially to Brown and North Carolina pledge Josh Adams, but Newsome was most dangerous running the ball. From the shotgun formation, Newsome has good vision when the pocket collapses and has quick enough feet to escape from rushing defensive linemen for big gains.
6-4/217, Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara
Savage had impressive passes to Jeremy Gallon and Corey Brown during 7-on-7 and then followed that up with more nice throws during team drills. The Rutgers commit hit three consecutive passes to Corey Brown, Je'Ron Stokes and Orson Charles in the scrimmage and also had a nice ball to Thomas late in practice.
6-3/274, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney
The defensive tackles played well at practice and many made nice plays but Simon, an Ohio State pledge, had the best stop when he broke free, charged through the line and stopped Bryce Brown in his path. Simon has been productive all week and although he's not the highest-rated tackle on the team he has staked his claim as one of the more consistent ones.
6-1/290, Princeton (NJ) Hun School
Stockton's forehead got busted open early in practice but a bandage was all that was needed to stop the bleeding and get him back on the field. The Notre Dame commit bounced right back and was active all practice, making plays, getting into the backfield and hunting down the running backs. He doesn't look that athletic but Stockton has light feet and a good motor.