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University of Akron Zips blog

Camp notes - Thursday, Aug. 20

By mrasor Published: August 20, 2009

Football
Coach J.D. Brookhart watched an agonizingly poor performance at practice last week.
The team practiced at 2 p.m., rather than 9:30 a.m. It was the day the players moved out of the dorms. And it showed.
Brookhart wisely made a mental connection: This sort of thing happens all the time during the season. The team might practice at a different time because of a conflict. More commonly, the Zips (and most MAC teams) play an unusual amount of weekday games.
He thought, if a break from routine is what knocks my team off its game, then we need to fix that habit. As a result, the Zips practiced indoors today at Stile Field House, rather than on Summa Field. Unlike last week's 2 p.m. practice, this one was "pretty good," Brookhart said.
Notes...
Six players who signed with Akron in February are not on the current roster. Two others are on the roster, but they are probably not eligible for 2009.

    The list:
    1) Chris Henderson, DL What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "Non-qualifier out of high school. His opportunity is huge if he gets his grades in line. You watch him on tape and he was a fullback who was fast, athletic. He's paying his dues. The upside to him is tremendous." Where is he now: Currently on the roster, Henderson did not pass the NCAA Clearinghouse. The team is appealing.
    2) Jordan Houser, DB What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "Because of not getting test scores, he did not get attention. He did not give out his tapes until he took his tests. I've known his coach for a long time, and I appreciate that. We'll put him at corner." Where is he now: Although he is currently on the roster, Houser did not pass NCAA Clearinghouse. He is expected to join the team in January after fall semester grades are released.
    3) Jake Brandt, OT What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "Can play o-line, d-line. He's that type of athlete. A number of Big Ten offers. He's in line with what we've done at our offensive line position. We take tall, athletic tight end bodies. Tremendous athlete at that position." Where is he now: He showed up to camp and decided it wasn't for him.
    4) Jake Delmonico, DB What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "Jake earned his scholarship in camp. He's a competitive son of a gun. We'll start him at corner. We'll move him to safety if need be. He reminds me of John Mackey." Where is he now: Same as Brandt.
    5) Josh Couch, P/K What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "Big time talent. John (Stec) has got one more year here, then Josh has the opportunity after that. Big kid, too. 6-2, 220. Big-time potential." Where is he now: Grayshirting in 2009.
    6) Abdullah Homayed, LB What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "He's a linebacker right now. This is going to be a big kid, huge frame. He brings his hips when he tackles. Neat family. I can't imagine how big he's gonna end up getting." Where is he now: He came up just short of the required credits to pass the NCAA Clearinghouse. Brookhart said there are three players in this situation, and Homayed is one of them.
    7) Grant Williams, TE What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "We saw him down at Ohio State. He came to our camp in late July and solidified what we thought we was — an athletic wide-out/tight end." Where is he now: Although Brookhart did not mention him by name, it's likely he's in the same situation as Homayed.
    8 ) David Anderson, LB What Brookhart said on Signing Day: "David Anderson reminds me so much of Troy Gilmer. We are really excited about Troy for next year. (Anderson is) physical, likes to run. We got a steal with him." Where is he now: Although Brookhart did not mention him by name, it's likely he's in the same situation as Homayed.

    Other notes from camp...
    Plays worth mentioning... Dale Martin, whom the doctors have cleared for full contact, caught a swing pass from Matt Rodgers that would have been enough for a first down. Martin showed off his hands a few times today. ... In the 7-on-7 drills, Jeremy LaFrance made a nice cut and sprinted downfield, where Chris Jacquemain lofted the ball right into his hands. ... Richard Sandilands caught a Rodgers pass on a deep crossing route. Sandilands, a walk-on, always seems to stand out in scrimmages, but rarely plays during games. ... Rodgers scrambled right and pitched a strike to Dashan Miller as they both ran toward the sideline. It was Charlie Frye-esque.
    According to an ongoing survey of sports information directors, Akron has one of the largest contingents of foreign-born players in Division I-A with five. Utah State is the only team with six. The foreign-born Zips are Joe Vidovic (Bosnia), Igor Iveljic (Bosnia), Branco Rogovic (Serbia), Hasan Hazime (Venezuela) and Viktor Rajek (Slovakia).
    Iveljic and Rogovic are competing for the kicking duties. Brookhart said Rogovic is the leader on kickoffs. The two are tied in regards to the field goals and PATs. Soon, the coaches will name a winner. They will go off the accuracy numbers, but they will also judge the race on feel.
    Today, I spoke with another of the foreign-born players, Hazime, who attended Vanier Prep in Canada, the same school as Jabari Arthur. Although he had not met Arthur prior to coming to Akron, Hazime said Arthur was a "big legend" at Vanier. Eventually, the two met after Hazime came to Akron. The game in Canada is different than in the United States. The defense gets 12 players. Also, the field is longer and wider, which means teams prefer to open up the field with passing. As a defensive end who loves to rush the quarterback, the quick and agile Hazime felt at home. Brookhart has praised Hazime for his improvement in the offseason. The coach said it took some adjustment because "it's a different game down here." As for the rest of the defensive line, Brookhart said the injuries are nothing major.
    Brookhart said the surprise of camp has been Norman Shuford (or "Shu" for short). The freshman running back's vision and quickness have impressed coaches so much that he is certain to get playing time early in the season, particularly while Alex Allen recuperates from his hip injury.
    The team will probably release a depth chart next week. The defensive backs are looking like this: Miguel Graham and Manley Waller are the starting cornerbacks. Diamond Weaver and Marvase Byrd will provide sturdy depth as they continue to improve at the position. At safety, Jalil Carter and Tyler Campbell are the starters. I assume Wayne Cobham will see time, as well.
    Another cornerback who might contribute right away is Emmanuel Lartey, a late 2009 signee who had scholarship offers from ACC, SEC and Big East schools. I don't know how I missed this, but Lartey's signing is big news. He is the No. 50 cornerback in the nation, according to Scout.com. Lartey wore a red jersey today as he recovers from a minor injury, but he should have full clearance by the end of the week.
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