March 20, 2010

Inside the Huddle: Saturday's Tidbits

RECRUITING

The class of 2010 and Rich Ellerson's second full year as head coach have turned out to be a good combination. Obviously you don't know until they get to the prep school and West Point, but this is the fastest and most athletic class in some time to arrive on the banks of the Hudson.

Defensive end Julius Warmsley and running back Raymond Maples were up West Point couple weeks ago. Warmsley has gained some additional weight and he's been boxing down at the prep school with his tac offer and looks like he is ready to go.

The Black-Gold Game

The game will kickoff at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 27. However, at this point the actual format of the game has not been decided. With most of the heavy practices completed, typically the spring games under Coach Ellerson are more of a dress parade than they are an actual scrimmage. Meaning, it may be more mock game rehearsal situations.

The staff will have to be more cautious than usual when it comes to the workloads of some of the starters. Clearly the Black Knights are looking to conclude spring practice as injury free as possible. So, if there is live work going on during the Black & Gold game, you probably will not see a lot of players like Trent Steelman, Jared Hassin, Donovan Travis or Mike Gann.

ROSTER

Although the probability of seeing the number of cuts this season versus last will not be as drastic, there will be some tough conversations this spring.

Typically having a roster of 150 or higher is really hard to have any team building or dynamics, which is the problem the staff ran into last year. To have players on the same team not knowing a teammate's name makes little sense at all, not to mention the headache of the daily development and management of a Division I college football team.

Turning the roster size down was one of the first changes/decisions made by Coach Ellerson and probably one of the best thus far.

By the start of the 2010 season, there could be a Varsity and JV roster of 85 and 65 respectively.

Unlike in previous years, every day a competition under Ellerson, where the depth chart and board is moved around where no player is allowed to get comfortable.

It should be interesting to see how things sort themselves out as some of the older players that have not gotten on the field yet versus the younger player who are coming in with high expectation.

Speaking of roster and with the idea always to get the eleven best on the field, Nate Combs has been moved to the middle linebacker (Mike) from the Whip position. He has been outstanding at the Mike linebacker. He can run, athletic, and instinctive ability to tackle. Presently, he and Kingsley Ehie are getting reps at the one and two.

Bill Prosko is now at the inside Bandit position. Basically it has been a position switch between Combs and Prosko.

On the 24th, the team resumes practice after return from their spring break.


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