DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon
At Wednesday’s North practice all three quarterbacks looked sharp early throwing against air. Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib looked the sharpest in terms of anticipation, and later delivered a pretty deep throw to Harvard H-back Kyle Juszczyk. During early drills, North Carolina State QB Mike Glennon threw behind Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton, who adjusted nicely to make the catch. Miami Ohio’s Zac Dysert looked more comfortable today than he had all week, and made a couple of strong deep throws during drills, including one to Oregon running back Kenjon Barner. Unfortunately, later in the practice Dysert held the ball too long and attempted to scramble, and followed that up by losing a fumble under pressure. Glennon also fumbled in team drills, but not one of the three QBs threw an interception all morning. They appear to have finally developed some chemistry with their receivers.
In line drills, Texas defensive end Alex Okafor continued his strong week. At one point he got into Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher’s chest and drove him back several yards, drawing “ooohs” from onlookers. Later, Fisher had to tackle Okafor to keep him from getting by. Okafor also proved to be a nightmare matchup for Wisconsin tackle Ricky Wagner. In fact, there hasn’t been a lineman down here who has been able to handle Okafor consistently. On the offensive side, Notre Dame center Braxston Cave has been unable to block any defender all week long. He is constantly grabbing after being beaten off the snap.
Syracuse tackle Justin Pugh practiced at guard. At weigh-ins Monday he had surprisingly short arms, so a permanent move inside may be in the cards. However, at one point while lined up at left tackle, Pugh did a nice job staying in front of SMU’s Margus Hunt.
Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan showed some strength today and beat San Jose State’s David Quessenberry with an inside spin move. Quessenberry is another tackle who has spent much of the week practicing at guard.
Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin opened eyes by getting good separation all day, but looked awkward catching the ball. However he did make one very nice diving grab, and left Nevada safety Duke Williams in his wake while hauling in a deep TD pass.
Barner easily beat Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene on a flare to the sideline. Barner will be a huge mismatch in the passing game due to his speed.
Connecticut cornerback Dwayne Gratz was beaten deep by Kansas State wide receiver Chris Harper, who isn’t exactly a burner.
At one point Harper shoved a defensive back to the ground to make a catch on a pass from Glennon.
During team drills, Wheaton made a beautiful adjustment to catch a pass thrown behind him by Nassib.
Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson had a ball glance off his fingertips down the sideline.
Utah State cornerback Will Davis appeared to have rebounded early in practice, but later got torched deep by Glennon and Elon wide receiver Aaron Mellette.