Practice started early and that condensed the viewing session for media. Instead of 20 minutes, it was only five minutes. The only portion seen was individual drills. The Hogs skipped the Fast Ball Start that has been the staple of August camp.
Basically, about 20 minutes of practice was shaved off Thursday’s workout and the plan was to get into Rice preparations after the media left.
I did watch the tight ends briefly during that limited viewing, enough to see that all were accounted for, including Blake Kern in a green “no contact” jersey. He’s moving around full speed and will do most of the work scheduled Thursday.
It’s clear that Landon Rogers has embraced tight end. He was popping the dummies during the blocking fundamental drills that I watched.
Defensive lineman Tre Williams and wide receiver De’Vion Warren, who had been in green jerseys, are now back in normal “full go” jerseys and both moving well. Warren had a hamstring injury that kept him out of Saturday’s scrimmage.
The one notable absence was wide receiver Treylon Burks. He did not practice, but I’m told he will be working with his teammates in the next several days and is expected to play against Rice.
Here is the list of players practicing, but in green jerseys:
Ty Clary, Blake Kern, Jalen Catalon, Dalton Wagner, Trelon Smith, Zach Zimos, Myles Slusher, A. J. Green and Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan.
None of those players would miss a game if there was one this week.
One thing I did watch with interest as I was leaving was some of the work with the offensive line. I was struck with how much trimmer Jalen St. John looks from what I recalled from last spring. Not only did he look slimmer, but quicker. I believe he may be the player who turns into something out of the class from last year. Marcus Henderson was the one who jumped off the page early last year. But now I think St. John may sparkle before any of them. I’m told St. John has impressed with real character and heart this August.
Of course, St. John is toiling behind the best player in the O-line, left tackle Myron Cunningham. But the way St. John has played clearly has influenced how new players are being stockpiled in other places besides left tackle. St. John might be the man there next year.