I just returned from Fred Anderson Field of Hornet Stadium within the Alex Spanos Sports Complex and had a few observations from today's Sac State football scrimmage. It was a beautiful morning, with temperatures in the mid-eighties thanks to a frequent gentle breeze. The Hornets began their warm-ups promptly at 10:00 with music pumped out of the athletic facility that drifted across the field. At 10:45 am, offense lined up against defense for kick-off.
The starting quarterback was no surprise as #11 Jason Smith took the field. He and another quarterback were the only two to wear red jerseys with no numbers. As best as I could tell, the other was #14 John Loeliger, now a senior who had transferred last year from Diablo Valley College. Besides playing safety last year, he did briefly play quarterback in the Northern Arizona game. If I recall correctly, Coach Sperbeck was pleased with Loeinger's performance in Spring ball. The other two quarterbacks who took reps was UCLA transfer #9 McLeod Bethel-Thompson, now a senior and #19 Dominic Carmazzi, the freshman out of Jesuit High and kid brother of former San Francisco 49er and Div. I-AA All-American out of Hofstra University, Gio Carmazzi.
The running back situation held the most intrigue, especially after yesterday's Sac Bee's article. Evander Wilkins, #2, started the scrimmage but did little to impress in the initial plays. He would shine later though in the 2 minute drill that included an excellent run after the catch plus some hard running between the tackles.
After yesterday's hype about freshman #24 Sam McCown and his break away runs in recent scrimmages, the 5' 7" running back seemed today to get easily swallowed up and only had small gains to show for his efforts.
If anyone really impressed today, it had to be #30 Terrance Dailey the recent transfer out of University of Washington. Though he started third in the pecking order in today's scrimmage, he made the most of his opportunities. With the offense rather anemic through the first sequences of plays, Dailey began to move the ball with strong and shifty runs for nice gains of 10 plus yards. It appeared as if the coaches left him in there until the defense figured out how to stop him. He also had an impressive run after the catch. Dailey could be the answer to replace Brian Hilliard with the hard running needed between the tackles.
I did not see #8 Jake Croxdale carry the ball.
At wide-receiver, #17 John Hendershott must of have made a good impression on the coaches. The Diablo Valley College transfer displayed steady hands with some good catches and running.
In the two-minute drill, the wide-receivers were easy to remember as they lined up wide left; #15 Ronald Richardson (jr.), #16 Matt Larson, juco transfer from Santa Rosa, and #17 Hendershott.
Noticeably absent today was #81 Chase Deadder. Now a sophomore, Chase made some huge catches against that "school across the causeway" and looks to be a key receiver this year. Maybe I missed him. I don't know. Now that I think about it, no Dylan Lane #87 either.
Hit of the day:
I believe it was sophomore and defensive back #25 Deionte Gordon flattening out #16 Matt Larson.
If you were to throw at me the numbers 6' 3" and 260 lbs, I would would most likely ask if he played offensive or defensive line. Wrong. Meet true freshman Connor Derby; the kicker. Out of Casa Grande HS, Petulama, Derby, #68 looks like a defensive end but who can t-off on the ball.