MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO - A third of the spring season is in the books for Middle Tennessee football. The Blue Raiders closed out their fifth session with a 24 period practice inside Floyd Stadium on Saturday.
"I thought today was our best practice of the five," said head coach Rick Stockstill. "I was extremely pleased with our intensity and our focus. I thought we did a great job playing physical and playing with great effort. I thought we were better today than we were on Thursday."
As with most spring practices, the Blue Raider coaching staff is looking for daily improvement. One of the more important parts of these drills is to help with consistency.
"We've got to get more consistent at the backup quarterback position," Stockstill noted. "Austin (Grammer) and Shaun (White) have got to become more consistent. I think Logan (Kilgore) has had an excellent spring. I am very pleased with our first offensive line and Jordan Parker. They have done a great job. We are making progress in the secondary."
Another key component of these offseason practices is to instill physical and mental toughness.
"We've still got to take advantage of these next 10 days," said Stockstill. "We've got to train our bodies and minds that nobody is going to out-work us. We are going to be relentless, play with great effort and intensity. That's going to be a big focus every day."
26 Jordan Parker, So., RB
25 Reggie Whatley, r-Jr. , RB
5 Jeremiah Bryson, r-So. , RB
29 William Pratcher, r-Sr., RB
*Chudi Echetebu, r-Fr., RB
44 Corey Carmichael, Sr., FB
82 William Wilson, r-Jr., FB
41 Chase Pennycuff, r-So., FB
Kamani Thomas, Fr., RB
Shane Tucker, Fr., RB
Coach Stockstill on position: "This is a very deep and talented group. We have guys that are tough, competitive and can help the offense in the passing game. It's an experienced position with explosive ability."
Parker: Set MT's freshman rushing record a year ago ... Ranked fifth in the conference in rushing and tallied four 100-yard games ... Powerful runner with ability to break off long runs ... Has a great attitude and is a smart player who wants to be great ... Gained 12 pounds in the offseason ... If he stays humble and keeps working then expect a brilliant career.
Whatley: A game-breaker who doubles as one of the best kickoff returners in the country ... A First Team All-SBC pick in 2012 ... Ranked 4th nationally with 30.5 yards per kick return ... Coaches appreciate how he practices and plays ... He loves football ... Gives offense a different look from Parker with his explosiveness and wiggle.
Bryson: Had some productive plays as a freshman last year ... Is a very similar player to Reggie Whatley as a guy who can make a defender miss ... Has added weight and strength ... Catches the ball well and is a smart player.
Pratcher: A fifth-year guy who comes into 2013 with a chip on his shoulder after seeing limited time as a junior ... Provides experience and leadership and the coaches like his attitude and work ethic ... May not be a player more excited about the spring to prove himself.
10 Logan Kilgore, r-Sr.
15 Shaun White, r-So.
11 Austin Grammer, r-Fr.
A.J. Erdely, Fr.
Coach Stockstill on position: "We know what we have in starter Logan Kilgore so solidifying a backup and number three will be a focus. Shaun (White) and Austin (Grammer) are inexperienced but talented. This will be a very big spring for both players to see how they develop and learn the offense. Both will get a lot of work in order to bring them along faster."
Kilgore: Coming off his best season as a Blue Raider and ranks in the top five in nearly every career passing statistic ... Has back-to-back 2,000-yard passing seasons ... Coaches want to see him run the football more in 2013 to help the offense. They would like to see 30 to 40 yards a game rushing from the position so the "wildcat" formations will not be as predictable.
White: Has a very strong arm and is athletic ... Getting command of the offense and improving his decision-making will be a focus. Has lots of talent and coaches feel his accuracy will improve when his decision-making quickens.
Grammer: This is his first spring and has enjoyed a solid off-season ...
Every day will be a learning experience so he will have to stay patient ... Needs to develop a quicker release which should happen once he feels more comfortable running the offense.