We're a couple possessions into Kent State's jersey scrimmage Saturday morning, and each of the No. 34s are putting together a great day.
Wearing the defensive white No. 34, junior Richard Gray has turned the early stages of this scrimmage into this own personal highlight reel.
Gray looks to be every bit as explosive off the ball as former MAC Defensive Player Of The Year Roosevelt Nix. Together, they're giving defensive coordinator Jon Heacock a lot of speed inside.
Gray tore through the offensive line and into the backfield to wrap up Dri Archer in the backfield for a four-yard loss early. A couple plays later, Gray again broke through almost unblocked and swatted down a pass from David Fisher.
Then a couple plays after that, Gray brought him down but Fisher somehow got rid of the ball at the last second and threw it away.
Gray met Fisher for the third time in about two minutes when Fisher juggled the snap for just a second and couldn't get away from him.
The other No. 34—blue, for sophomore Trayion Durham—still looks like a truck despite losing at least 20 pounds, as he says he has.
Durham caught a couple of swing passes to the outside and turned a two or three-yard gain into six or seven through sheer force and contact. Everytime, he's fought for an extra two or three yards and always falls down forward.
As I'm typing this, Durham just displayed a nice stiff-arm to turn a small screen pass into a 25-yard gain.
Other early notes:
Cortez has hit 1-2 field goals, both from 50+ yards. The second attempt missed wide right.
Drops have been an early probem. Chris Humphrey, tight end Casey Pierce, Tim Erjavec all have dropped passes in the first couple possessions.