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  1. “Andrew McNulty is our starter,” McCarney said. “I was really disappointed in the consistency of DaMarcus Smith when we did give him an opportunity. He does have talent, but the attention to detail is something he needs to make major, major improvement on. If he does, then he has a chance to contend for the top spot. If he doesn’t, we will get what we saw the other night.” Smith made one of the biggest plays of the night for UNT when he hit Carlos Harris on a deep ball for 61 yards. The junior couldn’t build on that throw and finished the night 3-for-11 for 70 yards. Smith threw an interception in the end zone after hitting Harris on the deep ball. McCarney said he has no plans to play Smith this week. “He will make a play now and again, but there will be some issues and mistakes,” McCarney said. “He made far too many mistakes. What you saw in the game is what we see in practice. He is inconsistent and makes too many mistakes. He has talent, but he is not putting himself in position to be a No. 1 because of those things. He knows that. Andrew McNulty gives us the best chance to win right now.” read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/sports-headlines/20151005-football-mccarney-says-unts-sticking-with-mcnulty.ece
  2. IOWA CITY — North Texas quarterback Andrew McNulty never has seen the pink locker room, but he’s spent hours of his life cleaning up Kinnick Stadium. Like all athletes in the Iowa City Community School District, McNulty cleared sections of cups, peanuts and garbage on Sunday mornings after Iowa football games. That was part of the responsibility for playing football at Iowa City High. “I just remember pulling up and hearing the noises of the leaf blowers and being really early in the morning,” he said. McNulty, a senior, will dress in Iowa’s famous visiting locker room this Saturday as he leads the Mean Green (0-2) against the Hawkeyes (3-0). It’s a challenge he never expected when he left Iowa City to play for Coach Dan McCarney, but it’s one for which he’s prepared. “I’m excited for the opportunity,” McNulty said. “We know that we have a tough opponent, and they’re off to a really great start this year. We have a lot of work in front of us.” It’s an unusual journey from Iowa City High to North Texas, but McNulty has made it work. In high school, McNulty backed up A.J. Derby on the Little Hawks’ 2009 Class 4A title team and then led City High to the 4A title game the following year. As a senior, McNulty was a first-team all-state utility player, passing for 1,438 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushing for 1,137 yards and 14 scores. But there was more to McNulty than just statistics. He had qualities that enabled players to follow him. Iowa junior offensive lineman Steve Ferentz competed alongside McNulty at Iowa City High. In a game against Cedar Rapids Xavier, Ferentz recalled how McNulty completed five of six passes on a 70-yard drive lasting 63 seconds in a last-second victory. “Just the way he orchestrated everything, it was incredible,” Steve Ferentz said. “For a high school quarterback, we didn’t throw the ball very often but at a time we really needed it, he was right on target the whole way down the field. He managed the clock, he managed everything and got everyone in the right places. It was really impressive. “I’d say even to this day, he’s one of the best guys I played with, just as a leader. It really is a privilege to play with a guy like Andrew McNulty. It was awesome.” Read more: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/sports/north-texas-mcnulty-recalls-city-high-roots-20150923
  3. What was long seen as a foregone conclusion became official this week. Andrew McNulty will start at quarterback for UNT when the Mean Green open the season at SMU. There are a lot of UNT fans who are not particularly pleased. I get that. Western Kentucky has one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football in Brandon Doughty, Louisiana Tech has a former five-star player who looked like a star in Week 1 in Jeff Driksel and UTSA seems to have a freshman with potential in Blake Bogenschutz, who just so happens to be former high school teammates with UNT wide receivers Tee Goree and O’Keeron Rutherford. UNT has a guy who many hoped would come in and win the job in DaMarcus Smith. The problem was he missed pretty much the entire offseason and is way too far behind to catch up. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/09/its-time-to-jump-on-the-mcnulty-bandwagon.html/
  4. McNulty has been named the starter, so I'll be rooting for him to succeed. What should we expect from him? I'll use this post to talk about what he does well, and what he needs to work on to be successful in his second year as a prolonged starter. It's basically an exercise in hoping for the best. He's our QB now, so we gotta throw support behind him, to the chagrin of many. McNulty's Inconsistencies McNulty is probably the most divisive player on this forum. I hear a lot of comments about McNulty and his inability to move the offense, and his lack of arm. I won't argue these statements. These concerns are well founded and based on fact. He struggled in 2014 to move the offense. His numbers were poor in comparison to conference mates. But some of these concerns might be overblown, and not entirely his fault. I think what jumps out at me the most that is entirely on McNulty - and what I have been harping on - is inconsistency. One moment he'll make a great play downfield, or move the chains with his legs. In the next drive, he'll overthrow a sitting receiver, or won't see the open man. That's up to him to fix. If he is able to reduce his inconsistencies, and correct issues, he could potentially make the jump from bad QB to an average CUSA QB. But it will take the help of his WRs, o-line, and Canales (we'll get to that later). Now that he has been announced as starter, let's take a look at some tape. The hope is to look for what McNulty can reinforce, correct, and use in 2014 - a more Good McNulty than a Bad McNulty. But it's all based on the hope that he can make the leap. Good McNulty First we'll take a look at some Good McNulty. The next few GIFs are taken from the UTSA vs UNT game last year. In this play, UNT is running a 12 personnel set in the shotgun. The RG is immediately beat, and every receiver is covered as the DT is bearing down on him, including the dump off to the RB. McNulty tucks and runs to the right, baits the DE to outside, then turns upfield. If he continues to run, he will be lucky to make it back to the LOS before he encounters the first defender. McNulty still has the ball tucked, but keeps his eyes downfield. He spots the open receiver one on one down the sideline and chucks it to an open spot over 40 yards downfield. Here begs the question, because he had to sling it off balance, did he not have a chance to aim? Or did his arm strength prevent him from throwing the receiver in stride? I'm going with: he reacted, he didn't have the time to gauge the receiver's position and speed to be accurate, and was able to just throw it where only the receiver could get to it (but I understand that it could be just plain arm strength). Regardless, it's a heads up play that kept the chains moving, and a play he had to make several times due to pass protection issues that lingered all season. This is an example of where McNulty can prevail if he doesn't stop to think. This next clip is of the game vs FAU (ugh I know). Again a 12 personnel formation with 2 WRs on the far side of the field, and Marcus Smith stacked up (from the looks of it) as an H-back behind the TE on the near side. McNulty drops back in an extremely clean pocket. Smith beats the safety, and McNulty digs the ball out of his hip and drops the pass over the safety and LB in a spot where only Smith can grab it. He is comfortable in the pocket, drops back in rhythm, decisive in his throw, and doesn't hesitate. In many plays throughout the season, McNulty has shown that he can successfully be an aggressive gunslinger. But many plays throughout a game become offset due to inconsistency mentioned above and issues mentioned later. Baaad McNulty Now let's take a look at some of the issues that plagued him last season. This clip versus Rice is a combination of McNulty's error, and playcalling. In fact, I saw many playcalling issues in the Rice game that I had to add a section just for it. UNT is in a five wide empty set, trips left on third and short. Rice is sitting in what looks like a dime defense. What McNulty does well is release the pass in rhythm at the top of his drop back. What he doesn't do well is he stares down Harris the entire time he is dropping back, waiting for the moment he gets open. The DB reads it the entire way, and McNulty's pass is off-target, hitting the DB in the numbers. Not good. I will comment on the fact that the play had the trips receivers running right at the DBs as some sort of downfield screen pick play, so all the DB covering the middle of the field had to do was trot right over and cut Harris' route. Here's the thing though, Harris slowed down on his route. This makes me think that he was supposed to sit on the route closer to the numbers to keep some space between he and the DB, and let the blockers downfield clear a way for him, while McNulty should've passed the ball immediately. So I think what happened was, it should have been a downfield screen, while McNulty thought it was a dig because Harris drifted instead of sat. Miscue. Here's a clip of McNulty's hesitation/indecision. Five wide empty set on 1st down. Rice is in a dime package. Although the O-line falters after a few seconds, it's enough time for McNulty to look/stare left and immediately throw Caldwell on the numbers, or Terrell low for a short gain. Let them use their own skills to get extra yardage. There's hesitation since the DBs are just sitting on the routes, but Caldwell created enough room after making the corner turn his hips upfield. McNulty's one second hesitation led to all receivers being covered, and McNulty sacked Playcalling and Teammates Here's some "in defense of" talk. After looking at some highlights of opposing teams, it's just not all McNulty's fault. Many plays were designed to move the ball far down field, even on 1st and 10. In this next clip, UNT is third and very long with less than 50 seconds left at end of the first half with no timeouts at Rice's 45. UNT is in 10 personnel shotgun formation with trips bunched left. Rice is again in dime (every damn time!). McNulty is hit in 3 seconds, which is still enough time to get a pass off. Except no one is open. Everyone begins their route downfield. What ends this play quickly is the fact the RB breaks his protection and doesn't bump the DT on his way upfield, leaving the DT to just eat McNulty unencumbered. Terrell runs a delay on his route and the inside receiver runs a corner route, leaving Harris to break free on a post route. By the time this happens, though, McNulty is bracing for impact. Even if McNulty had been able to have 1-2 more seconds of a clean pocket, Harris would have been triple covered by the ball's arrival. What am I getting at? You're ahead a TD, you're 21 yards away from a first down, no timeouts. Get into field goal range. You're (Canales) allowing too much time for a play to develop downfield when your QB has been getting pressured, hit, and sacked all game. Get some yards, hurry it up and kick a field goal and increase your lead by two scores. This next, and last one (I promise) is a combo of playcalling and WR play. UNT is in 11 personnel, shotgun, 3 wide. 2nd and 10 UNT is on their own 44ish. I think Rice is in nickel. What Canales has been trying to do is clear out the middle of the field this game, which he has been doing successfully, but it's taking too long. The TE eats up 3 defenders downfield, leaving Terrell and the slot receiver one on one on the near side. The RB goes into the far side flat, taking a LB. Two things happen. Terrell is supposed to be left open underneath on his dig route. He rounds out his route, though, which allows the CB who was 5 yards away easily cut him off. The second thing that happens is that when the RB hits the flat, the X receiver (Harris?) runs a curl route, I guess, stutter stepping his way 5 yards up field. He doesn't explode off the line - was he trying to pick the LB covering the RB? Either way, he's covered by both the corner on top, and then the LB underneath. There's nowhere for McNulty to go, and by the time anything develops, it's too late. Knowing that the other receivers where clearing the middle, and with the CB 7 yards off Terrell on 2nd & 10, I think Terrell should have been given a slant route for a quick short gain. Final Thoughts There are plenty of more examples for both sides of McNulty, including playcalling and WR play, but this is getting way longer than I expected. My takeaway here is, if McNulty can improve on his decision-making and hesitance, it could offset deficiencies in playcalling and WR play, but ultimately the coach needs to call better plays, and WRs need to get open. Only Harris and Smiley are starting from last years group, we have the addition of Goree, and we've got Thaddeus (awesome name) and Khan (ditto) on the two deep. Hopefully with one more offseason under their belt, the WRs' route running is improved. I also hope that this uptempo offense will change the way Canales calls plays. I also hope that the pass protection improves. Nickel and diming the defense (pun intended?) doesn't mean you're going to get stacked boxes, as shown by Rice. UNT's desire to go 5 wide often on early downs really hurt them. McNulty's arm can make enough plays 35-45 yards downfield. I'm not concerned about that. Call plays that get the ball out of his hands at the end of his drop, and receivers beat coverage. Use our awesome RBs (Wilson>>>>>>>Prescott Line). If that happens, McNulty's play is something that won't be the reason the season falters. Cater to his aggressive gunslinger mentality. He can fit the ball in those tight windows. We seen it. I'm rooting for Big Mick to lead us through the Golden Arcs...
  5. There isn’t a bigger question for UNT heading into the 2015 season than how its quarterback situation will play out. The Mean Green used three starters last season, including Andrew McNulty. The senior started the last six games of the 2014 season and enjoyed some success along the way. His performance has raised the question: Can he have a breakout senior season like Derek Thompson did in 2013, when he led UNT to a 9-4 finish and a win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl? UNT coach Dan McCarney said he believes McNulty is capable of doing just that during Conference USA’s annual media day in Florida in his interview broadcast on the league’s website. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/07/mccarney-sees-potential-for-mcnulty-to-break-out-like-thompson.html/
  6. Let's say McNulty gets the start against SMU and fares well. We win comfortably and he goes on to have a DT senior type season and we get to a bowl. It happened with DT. We saw a huge bump up in his play and abilities in his senior season. If McNulty gets the job done, will you move into his corner and support him 100%? Let's face the facts. McNulty will start the season at QB for our Mean Green. I know that many have their reservations about this but I think at this point it may be time to put our full support behind #5 and give him a chance to prove himself.
  7. As the 2015 football season approaches, we will look at each position on the Mean Green’s roster. Today we begin with the quarterback spot. A look at the UNT’s pecking order: 1. Andrew McNulty 2. DaMarcus Smith 3. Josh Greer 4. Connor Means Outlook for the 2015 season: UNT struggled at the quarterback position last season, running through three starters while ranking near the bottom of Conference USA in most passing statistics. UNT finished 12th out of 13 teams in passing efficiency (112.4) and 11th in passing offense (172.8). Greer contributed to that total while starting the first three games of the season before UNT turned to Williams for three games. UNT then gave McNulty a chance and stuck with him for the final six games of the season. McNulty and Greer both return, but Williams left the program. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/07/unt-quarterback-breakdown-mcnulty-in-position-to-hang-on-to-job.html/
  8. DENTON — The trips to Iowa State are what Andrew McNulty remembers most about the genesis of a relationship that would shape his life in ways he never imagined. Back when he was growing up in Iowa City, Iowa, McNulty would pile into the car with his father, Jim, and brother, Ted, for drives across the state to Ames to see Dan McCarney’s Cyclones play. Jim McNulty and McCarney were teammates at Iowa in the early 1970s and have been friends ever since. “I remember the games, and particularly when they beat Iowa,” McNulty said. “I had a lot of fun at those games.” Years later, McCarney, still chasing wins and bowl bids, is leaning on McNulty, the kid who used to come by the locker room and then his house after games, to help guide the way. McNulty made his second start at UNT and first since 2011 last week, when he threw for 287 yards in the Mean Green’s 30-20 loss to Southern Miss. The performance helped him hang onto the job heading into Saturday’s game at Rice. UNT (2-5) has little margin for error if it wants to make a run at a second straight bowl game. McCarney is pinning the Mean Green’s hopes to a large extent on McNulty, who UNT’s coach has known since he was crawling around in diapers. read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/unt-mean-green/20141022-relationship-between-unt-coach-qb-s-family-comes-full-circle-decades-later.ece
  9. Let's make this more scientific. Andrew McNulty Josh Greer Dajon WIlliams Connor Means Quinn Shanbour Josh Cousins
  10. In other news and notes of the day … – Dan McCarney said that he has not settled on a quarterback and talked a little about where UNT stands. The battle is still down to Andrew McNulty and Josh Greer. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/08/unt-practice-notes-video-coming.html/
  11. John Chelf made the right decision. Heading into his final year of Division I football this fall at North Texas, the City High graduate initially enrolled at Iowa as a walk-on. After two years in the Black and Gold, the wide receiver transferred to North Texas, also as a walk-on. The journey was long, and playing time was spare. Questions of doubt entered his mind. Until this spring. For his performance in winter and spring workouts, including the Mean Green's spring game April 12, Chelf earned a scholarship for his final semester of college. "Going into my fifth year, it was really do or die time," Chelf said this week. "I knew if I didn't play to my capabilities now, I would live the rest of my life knowing I didn't ever really perform how I was capable of. Being a senior and needing playmakers to step up, I focused this spring on making sure I put my best foot forward. The coaches responded well to it and gave me the scholarship." Despite opportunities to go to a Division II program, Chelf chose the path he had always wanted to take: playing for a Division I team. So after a senior year with 44 receptions, 1,054 yards and 15 touchdowns at City High, Chelf walked on at Iowa. Two other City alumni and his best friends, A.J. Derby and Ellis Jordan, also were on the Hawkeyes' roster. But after two years, Chelf sought a new, fresh chance in Denton, Tex. Another former Little Hawk and friend, quarterback Andrew McNulty, was on scholarship at North Texas and encouraged Chelf to possibly make the move. North Texas' coach, Dan McCarney — a City High grad, himself — was open to Chelf walking on at his program. Read more: http://www.press-citizen.com/story/sports/college/2014/04/26/chelf-finally-finds-home-north-texas/8168585/
  12. Who is Andrew McNulty? I think this is a question that we will get answered pretty soon. Will he lodge himself as the next Mean Green starting QB or will he be a backup guy? Andrew has great bloodlines as his father, Jim, played WR for Iowa and his uncle, Ted, was a first team Parade All-American QB in Bloomington, Indiana. His brother Ted was a 6-5 tight end for the Kansas Jayhawks. Andrew played behind AJ Derby at Iowa City. Derby was a 4-star player that had offers from every top school in the country. Now he has spent three years behind DT who had a good career at UNT and led the team to a a bowl victory and 9-4 season. He's a good student, teammate and has given great effort in the offseason since he arrived. This will be the first season we really get to see what he can do under the center. I think all of the Mean Green fans hope that he will have a great season and lead us to many victories.
  13. There is nothing better when it comes to sports discussions than a list. A pretty interesting one came out today — NFL.com’s list of all 128 teams in major college football in order of the strength of their quarterback situation. My thoughts on where UNT stands are pretty well known. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/07/interesting-ranking-of-schools-qb-situations-heading-into-season.html/
  14. 1). As talented as QB Dajon Williams athletically, is he just not yet ready for prime time. First off -- he's just a redshirt freshman... so after his medical redshirt he will have 4 more years to play. I think sometimes we forget that, and his performance in the Idaho home opener game last season probably didn't help in terms of our expectations. Much like the Fall of 2013, Williams took UNT's first couple of weeks in Spring training by storm. He made great plays, plays that the other guys couldn't make. When it's just football, Williams excels. When it comes to the system and understanding a fairly complex Chico Canales offense, Williams can no longer just react using his instincts and athleticism to make plays. This leads to improvising which can lead to turnovers which we all know Mac utterly despises. read more:
  15. Andrew McNulty settled in under center on his second series during North Texas’ first major scrimmage of spring practice on Saturday and slowly drove the Mean Green down the field. The junior managed the offense, fed his running backs the ball and watched as Antoinne Jimmerson dove into the end zone at the end of a 14-play drive. The drive was just what coach Dan McCarney and offensive coordinator Mike Canales wanted to see from their quarterbacks and particularly McNulty, who perhaps is under more pressure than anyone else as the Mean Green prepares for the 2014 season. The Iowa native is locked in a three-way battle for the starting job entering his junior season at UNT and his fourth year at the school. The other two players in the hunt are sophomore Josh Greer and redshirt freshman Dajon Williams. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20140329-football-mcnulty-utilizing-experience-in-qb-race.ece
  16. Given where things stand at the middle point who will be given the QB start against the Horns?
  17. I was able to watch UNT's 2nd practice of the 2014 Spring Training from start to finish and am posting some of my thoughts. I will also be posting some pictures I took throughout the evening and tomorrow. These are the initial thoughts that stick out, I will answer questions that are posted and may post a few other things I saw and learned later on. First off -- unbelievably nice weather today. The team used the practice fields and for the first time I can remember in a long time the wind turbines sat still. It was a shorts and helmets type of practice as Coach Mac and the assistants are working their way towards the first full pad scrimmage which I anticipate will begin next week. Don't let the shorts and helmets thing fool you though, it is very physical and there was at least one minor injury directly from contact so it's not like a walk in the park. Keep in mind, this was just one day and as such all of these opinions should be tempered as such... I don't dispute a bit of the opinions shared by Mr. Silver Eagle or the other generous contributors from the 1st scrimmage. These are just my impressions from today and they can and will surely change as we move deeper into this Spring schedule. Quarterbacks I was extremely impressed with Dajon Williams today in particular. I really like the depth and players behind Williams (who ran with the first team mostly today) as well but more on that later. Williams throws a beautiful pass, has a nice quick release and accuracy in the longer range passes. He made a picture perfect pass to Darvin Kidsy on a deep sideline pattern that was the offensive play of the day, about a 55 yard touchdown that Kidsey took in stride. He seems to excel in the pressure situations and as one person shared with me has "ice water in his veins... Williams stands every bit of 6-4, but is extremely lean. I don't know if he has a body type that will ever become Derek Thompson big but he could stand to gain another 10-15 pounds. In terms of his durability, it is certainly a concern, but then again - who really knows until we see him take some big hits which likely won't happen until he steps on the field against the Texas Longhorns. Williams had the usual snapping miscues which frankly plagued all of the QB's on the day. Part of this was due to UNT giving #77 Travis Ellard a fair amount of snaps at center today and he struggled at times. He also had a couple of sacks trying to find open receivers. I don't put too much stock into this due to the fact they aren't in full pads/contact and that really is an advantage to the defense in my opinion. I just thought after an entire practice, Williams showed the strongest arm, best accuracy and mobility of the 6 QB's out there. Now on the others: I also liked what I saw from Josh Greer. He's a little taller than Williams, but not as mobile. He carries more weight --- looks more mature physically. He looks like a D-I QB. He also has a nice arm although I wouldn't say it is as strong as Williams. For a guy that is just joining the team in January he seems to be picking up the offense quickly. Where Williams is a leader more through his own actions, Greer seems to be able to rally the troops a bit more. Greer's size is a plus, he is not big but he seems to have more weight than Williams or Means. I also liked what I saw out of Connor Means. He is not up to the standards of Williams or Greer, but you have to keep in mind, he's really still just a high school senior out there! I thought for a really young guy he competed very well. He threw an interception and made some bad decisions at times. I liked his quickness and tempo. You can tell he is a good athlete and will only get better with time. I sense, barring some injuries etc. he will end up being redshirted but having two Spring-training sessions and all the reps he will accumulate plus the off-season program he could be a very nice addition to this program. Andy McNulty did not have his best day. In the passing drills, it seemed like his arm was not as strong as some of the new guys. He has some snap miscues which were not all his fault as well as some fumbles during handoffs which is to be expected to happen this early. There is no question that McNulty knows the Chico offense better than any of the other candidates but will that be enough to override the talent differences? I have stated my belief that the odds are McNulty will start against Texas but after today I am starting to wonder if he will be able to overcome the stable of talent UNT has brought in to compete against him. The other two guys are Quinn Shanbour a transfer from Oklahoma State and Josh Cousins a transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma. Both have lively arms. I could certainly see that Shanbour has a quick release, actually one of the quickest I have seen. Both are south of 6-foot which is likely why they are walking on to this program. I saw some nice throws in drills. Shanbour has excellent footwork on the cones and seems to be pretty quick on his feet. I didn't get to see as much out of Cousins. Both are as quality a walk-on candidates as this program has seen. I like the fact that both could very likely push the scholarship players. In a way, they are competing with each other. The scary thing for McNulty is I think both of them have better arms and are pretty close to him in height. Neither one got to see any of the live action situations against the defense as that time was reserved for the 4 scholarship players. Running back A lot of Jimmy today as Reggie Pegram was working through his knee surgery rehab. Jim Jim had some nice runs but again, in shorts it's really hard to gauge. I though Mark Lewis looked pretty good on some runs. He looks like he is in good shape and should be seeing a lot of time with Pegram out. I was pleasantly surprised to see Rex Rollins out there. He's wearing the red shirt so he won't see contact but man this kid can really fly. He has really gotten bigger and stronger than he was when he first arrived here. Jermaine Wilhite (#21) is a speedy scatback type that they appear to be using on some of the Brelan type of plays. Wide Receiver Darvin Kidsey, Darius Terrell and Carlos Harris made the most plays in my estimation today. The tall walk-on Adams from Granbury actually made a couple of nice grabs. Really wasn't able to evaluate this as well today as I was watching the QB's so closely. It was weird not seeing Brelan out there for sure. Tight End Marcus Smith caught my eye on a couple of plays and appears to be the guy. Cooper Jones has added some size; I would say he is probably closer to 240 now. One regret is that I didn't get to catch much of Wylie Reinhardt although I did see him and was impressed with his size and physique. Tanner Smith was out there doing his thing and looked good. Probably one of the best looking athletes on the entire roster is Chris Loving. He does not carry an ounce of fat and is every bit of 6-4, 260+. The sad thing is he is wearing a hand cast and is not going to be able to participate in Spring contact. To his credit he was still running around and hustling, running pass patterns etc. He's a guy that could definitely help this program and so it's a shame that he is unable to have contact. O-Line Antonio Johnson is alive and well! He was working with the first team and looks great. The main thing that caught my eye with the offensive linemen was big transfer #64 Sam Rice. He is a physical specimen that just stands out in a crowd. Huge guns, no fat, very active... wow this guy could be special. Just wish he could join in this season, but it is nice to have him working with the other linemen. It does appear that they are trying to look at Cyril Lemon at tackle and that is putting big 365 pound Shawn McKinney at guard. Funny story, I actually saw McKinney get angry today, at defensive end Daryl Mason who was pestering him during a scrimmage play. Mason (who is about 100 pounds lighter) didn't seem to press the issue. Travis Ellard was seeing a lot of snaps at center behind Kaydon Kirby so it appears that McKinney will be a guard full time, or at least that is the plan for now. D-Line Starting front four was Daryl Mason and Chad Polk at defensive end although I also saw some Q Brown in that rotation. The tackles were Alex Lincoln and Austin Orr. The guy that stood out to me today was redshirt freshman Sid Moore who was running mostly with the second team. He's not real big, probably 260ish and he's not real tall, probably 6-1 or so, but man this kid is like a heat seeking missile on the field of play. VERY physical. Keep an eye out for him when the pads come on. There is a lot of rotation, but I liked what I saw from defensive end Daryl Mason who might be one of the best athletes on the team this year and looks to be in outstanding shape. I also like the size that Austin Orr is carrying right now. He has to be every bit of 280 and it is not fat. Another guy who caught my eye was Jerrian Roberts who showed some good speed from the outside rush. Linebackers This group is returning all-conference player Derek Akunne, and he looked great today. I spent a fair amount of time watching Oregon transfer Anthony Wallace and liked what I saw. He is bigger than Zach Orr, but I don't know if he is as quick. It's really hard to evaluate him but he looks like a guy that could excel against the run but not be as strong against the pass. Full pads will fetter that out for us. Good looking athlete for sure. I also really, really like the athleticism I saw from Fred Scott who will be battling Wallace for time. The outside spot could go a dozen different ways. More on that once we get a chance to see full pads. Defensive Backs James Jones is on the sidelines after his surgery but making a lot of noise and encouraging his teammates. Jones may not get on the field until this Fall but he sure is stepping forward as a leader on the sideline which is great. The biggest news in the secondary was a pretty heated exchange between wide receiver Carlos Harris and cornerback Kenny Buyers. I gotta say, Buyers held his own. I was just trying to get out of the way... note to Carlos, when you are fighting on the football field it isn't wise to take off your helmet. You can tell these guys can't wait to get into pads and let out some aggression. Interesting to see John Schilleci playing cornerback and I saw Coach Skladany spending time with him. The new DB coaches, Perry Carter and LaMarcus Hicks you can tell are feeling their way. Both are fairly quiet as compared to some of the more senior coaches but as with Joseph and Walters that will change in short order. Love what I am seeing out of Zed Evans at safety... he could be very good for us there and he was receiving a lot of praise from both Skladany and Carter for his play today. Beautiful sight for me was seeing #21 Freddie Warner roaming the practice field out there again. He was not wearing any type of brace which I found somewhat odd. He looks very fluid and very good thus far. He could be a HUGE boost to the secondary this season. Coaching and General Thoughts As usual, Mac was out there shaking hands with all of the visitors prior to practice starting. His energy level was sky high and the same thing for Skladany. There was more than a fair amount of fumbles today, some due to them trying out a new center but also some miscues between the QB and running backs. It happened on one play and Mac got very angry. Then it would happen again on another play and I thought Mac was going to explode. As I mentioned there was a bit of a friendly altercation between Kenny Buyers and Carols Harris and that led to one of the longest post practice Mac speeches ever. Defensive line coach Kevin Patrick is going to be very intense and I really enjoyed seeing him out there coaching with enthusiasm. I really admire and like how John Skladany will make a point to let a player know when he did something good... it is not overdone but sincere. You can tell it MEANS something to the player receiving it and is appreciated. It was neat to see Derek Thompson out there catching passes in the QB drills and kidding around with the players. The thing that stands out to me right now is the overall team speed. This is the fastest team from top to bottom I can ever recall. I was pleased with the effort and intensity. You can smell the confidence after the bowl win. As always, the real show starts when the full pads start up and we find out who is for real. I always appreciate hearing other GMG fans offer their observations and opinions during Spring training and look forward to these as practice and scrimmages unfold. GMG!
  18. Here's a little blog article I put together addressing the UNT QB situation as we head into Spring Training 2014:
  19. Vito released the two deep and there were a few surprises on it. I'm frankly surprised there haven't been more discussions regarding "Oz" being place ahead of McNulty post spring. It appears that Oz is starting to understand Coach Chico's system better. Frankly we may need both since Derek has battled injuries since he got here. In terms of eligibility, I think that Derek is a junior and will have two more years, Oz will be a junior and McNulty will be a sophomore but has a redshirt year left. If Oz could fill the #2 spot for us that might allow McNulty to get that redshirt year he missed back.
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