Keith Nichol impresses as WR... Can you say "pass rush"? The Enlightened Spartan: Keith Nichol impresses as WR... Can you say "pass rush"?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Keith Nichol impresses as WR... Can you say "pass rush"?

Looks like the biggest take-away from Spring Ball 2010 is that Keith Nichol is fast approaching a go-to role as the Spartans' top receiving threat, just a year away from being the team's potential top QB entering the fall.

Said QB Kirk Cousins, "At 6-2, 220 pounds and possessing a 38-inch vertical, he's absolutely a mismatch receiver. Guys like that don't grow on trees. Keith did a great job today in using his body to go up and catch the football in traffic. " Coach Dantonio just gushed superlatives about Nichol following the latest practice game, in which Nichol caught four passes for 39 yards, but with two spectacular TD grabs. Cousins was 14-of-24 passes for 156 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT; backup Andrew Maxwell was 17-of-30 throws for 220 yards 3 TDs and 1 INT.

At wideout, Bennie Fowler led the receivers with six catches, for 66 yards and a touchdown. Mark Dell had five catches for 94 yards, Keshawn Martin had five catches for 71 yards.

On the ground, Larry Caper was injured - status is unknown, but early signs are that it isn't a significant injury. As a result, tiny true freshman Nick Hill (5-6, 182, Fr.) led all rushers with 79 yards on 17 carries and two TDs. Edwin Baker (5-9, 199, So.) rushed 15 times for 73 yards, while Le'Veon Bell (6-2, 230, Fr.) gained 36 yards on nine attempts, including a 20-yard TD run around left end.

On defense, yes there was a pass rush - both Cousins and Maxwell acknowledged the heat all game long. Tyler Hoover had a pair of sacks, Greg Jones had eight tackles, four of which were sacks, and linebacker Chris Norman added two sacks.

Other Notes: The defensive backfield is becoming solidified with Johnny Adams at CB and Trenton Robinson at safety. Robinson was very wishy-washy last year and blew multiple coverages in the Alamo Bowl, but the coaches believe he has made significant strides... let us hope so. Freshman offensive tackle David Barrent, who had back surgery in December, has been cleared to participate fully for the rest of spring practice. ... Redshirt freshman defensive end Denzel Drone continues to impress ... If opening day kickoff were tomorrow, the first-string offensive line would be: D.J. Young at left tackle, Joel Foreman at left guard, John Stipek at center, Chris McDonald at right guard and Jared McGaha at right tackle.

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