Ok enough of this looking back negative stuff.... eyes forward!
I finally made it out to the HPC this morning, and it turned out to be a good day to be there for Spring Ball. Lots of live action and full contact.
The boys were excited and passionate as a couple of skirmishes broke out between offense and defense -- no big deal. New OC got it all under control and got them to refocus that energy to the field.
Boltmann played both WR and QB as has been mentioned on these pages before.
For the most part, it was Kett, Zimmerman, Grover and Boltmann under center, in that order.
As far as what I like to call the "Santiago Test" (The feeling I got when I first saw John in live drills four years ago, the explosive bursts, abruptness, quickness and open speed) a few players I would say that stood out to me in that regard today were McKinney and Otis Weah. More on Weah later.
In skelly drills, the defense got off to a fast start and dominated.
Boltmann did show his ability to pull the ball down and run when the pocket broke down. Nice solid run.
Grover threw into traffic during one of his series and was picked off by Canady.
Also was really impressed with Grand Forks' own Derek Murph at DB... he had a really nice PBU on a rope from Grover to Toivonen.
It was more of the same from the defense during the next set of live drills.
Lots of TFLs, incompletes and QB hurries to go around.
Murph really stood out here on a corner blitz where his sudden burst met RB Weah in the backfield just after a quick hitter from Kett. Murph surprised and lit up the stout RB Weah.
Later, Canady picked up his second INT of the day off of Zimmerman and would have taken it for 6 had he not show boated a bit. Tovionen caught him from behind and stripped the ball. That said, I think it is safe to say Canady wouldn't try that stuff in game situation.
LB Steiger sealed the defensive domination with a sack of Zimmerman.
Each QB got a chance to lead the team down the field in the 11 on 11 live phase. As long as the offense was able to collect 1st downs they could keep moving. If not, the next QB got a chance.
At this point, the offense woke up and started firing on all cylinders, courtesy of freshman running back Weah.
Weah consistently took what appeared to be quick stops by the d at the line or short gainers and turned them into first downs or longer. One highlight reel run showed him breaking and busting through solid tackles for 40 yards. He would later do the exact same thing on a 20 yard run that should have been bottled up on the line. The end of this one started one of the aforementioned skirmishes.
Zimmerman also found his range and a favorite target in Maag on a 40+ pass and catch for a TD
Later, RB Teddy Sherva showed why he has been drawing kudos from coaches, as he took a delayed handoff from Zimmerman and scampered 20 yards for a TD
It was nice to see Haas back out there today. His size played a role in as least one play where his big paw knocked down a pass from Kett at the line.
Weah's running really impressed me today. The way he keeps churning and churning after contact. He is fast in open space too. Had a couple of dropped balls that he should have no business dropping.
As I said, I thought Murph looked really good today early. Faster than I remembered him being. Could be a good depth guy some day.
No QB stood out over the others today. They all had their moments good and bad. Sometimes their backs and receivers bailed them out.
Thought kicker Leach looked more confident and only missed one long FG out of about 7-8. Did not get to see his kick off distance much today but the ball really exploded off his foot a lot more on FG tries. Confident and straight for the most part.
It was pretty good day for the Hawks, I thought!