Day two of McNeese Football fall camp is in the books and may have just been better than day one.
The universal observations are that all teams possess energy, enthusiasm, and fly around the ball through the first few days of camp. But this McNeese Cowboys’ squad is no cliché.
Thursday’s outing in helmets and shorts leading up to Friday’s first day in shoulder pads was just as hyped up as Wednesday’s first day and the competition on both sides of the ball, between both sides of the ball, continues to build.
“We installed more today and there weren’t a lot of busts on either side,” said head coach Lance Guidry. “I thought the wide receivers and cornerbacks in one-on-ones was spectacular. The offense made some great throws and great catches. The intensity was real high. I thought the defensive backs battled back in some half line and some pass skell.”
Following Wednesday’s practice, Guidry pointed out three freshmen that posted some good snaps. On Thursday, another newcomer, transfer cornerback Kyree McLean out of Central Lakes College, made some noise in both one-on-ones and in team work.
“Kyree McLean and Darion Dunn had the best day at the corner,” said Guidry. “That’s a redshirt freshman and a transfer JUCO kid, and that’s kind of what we thought he would come in here to do. It was good to see that.”
Running back David Hamm, who missed all of last season with personal issues, had the big run of the day when he took a handoff up the middle and was barley touched as he burst for what would’ve been about a 70-yard touchdown run.
“That was a big run,” said Guidry. “That was one of our very few blown assignments on defense. We ran the execution on defense but we didn’t run the scheme correctly. Hamm has a lot of speed and he has power. He’s the type of back you have to get him to the line of scrimmage without getting hit. He does that and gets to the backers, you’re going to have problems handling him.
“I thought both sides were pretty balanced today,” said Guidry. “We had some good runs in there, some sacks and some pass break ups. There was also a strip on the running back, which is always good.”
That strip came in the team period nearing the end of practice with running back Benjamin Jones had the ball ripped from him at the line of scrimmage by freshman defensive lineman Cody Roscoe, who also recovered the fumble for the No. 3 defense.
That would be the only turnover of the day.
“It was another clean day,” said Guidry. “Not a lot of balls on the ground or interceptions and on defense, not a bunch of busted coverages or assignments. So a pretty solid day.”
The Cowboys will put on the shoulder pads for the first time on Friday.
DAY 2 NOTES
• Transfer safety Bryan Blunt of Garden City Community College suited up for the first time on Thursday. Blunt picked off eight passes and had 63 tackles at GCCC last season in helping the Broncbusters go 11-0 and win the NJCAA National Championship. Blunt is a New Orleans native and product of McDonogh 35.
Said Guidry on Blunt: “He was out there working at free safety. He took a couple of snaps but not a lot. We’ll work him in more and more. Trying to get his position whether he’ll play free safety or weak safety. He’s a big kid who should be playing down in the box like a linebacker, so he may be suited better as a weak safety.”
Guidry says Blunt (6-1, 205) will bring physicality. Says he’s a great blitzer. He likes to be active on the run but can also play the ball in the air. He’s a Wallace Scott-type player – half safety, half linebacker.
• QB James Tabary was on target for most of the day, throwing just one incompletion in the team period. That incompletion came on the first play on a deep sideline route that was well defended by sophomore cornerback Colby Burton.
• Marval Bourgeois, Micah Udeh and Jalen Bowers each had a sack during the team period.
• All kickers during the kickoff period pinned the ball deep in the opponent territory with many kicks into the endzone.
• Trent Manuel was a perfect 3-for-3 in field goals, hitting from distances of 27, 31 and 36 yards.