Coach J.D. Brookhart confirmed today that top-recruit Devoe Torrence has joined the team.
Before making the decision, the coaches investigated the opportunity and met several times with Torrence, who recently was acquitted of rape of a 12-year-old girl.
"We've always stayed in contact (with Torrence)," Brookhart said. "He was not signed because of an incident that the United States declared him innocent.
"We sat down and had a lengthy discussion. We investigated him, and we feel good about him."
Brookhart sees Torrence as a running back, where the Zips have a wealth of depth. However, the coach would not rule out seeing Torrence play this season.
"Everyone's going to get a chance," the coach said.
Other notes from camp...
My attention was focused on the quarterback competition. Although Chris Jacquemain enters fall with an edge over freshman Matt Rodgers, I expect Rodgers to overcome the incumbent junior. In the 30 minutes of scrimmage action I watched, Jacquemain threw three interceptions, picked off by Miguel Graham, Amin Kabir and Brandon Anderson.
According to Brookhart, Rodgers is further along than any freshman he's ever seen. That is saying a lot. And given that statement, it would be a crime to leave his potential sitting on the bench in favor of a junior whose ceiling is rather low. Today, Rodgers looked crisp on short passes. He didn't take as many risks as Jacquemain. About Rodgers, Brookhart added: "He gets it. It takes awhile to get it." In particular, Rodgers has learned the game very quickly. His recognition of protection schemes should benefit him.
Last year, when Jacquemain was floundering and Carlton Jackson was being a knucklehead, Brookhart's dad told him, "This might be the first time since fourth grade that you haven't been good at that position."
The only no-shows on Sunday were walk-ons. One of those walk-ons still may show up tomorrow.
The most open competition is for free safety where Tyler Campbell and Jalil Carter are battling to start. Brookhart conceded that he is worried about the entire secondary.
Despite that, he's sticking with his move of Andre Jones to receiver. "Andre is so good with the ball in his hands," Brookhart said. "He is an exciting player." Brookhart might have kept Jones at defensive back, however, if Bryan Williams flopped there.
Brookhart went out of his way to say Curtis Brown worked hard over the summer, after showing up to spring practice not in shape. Brown's teammates helped to motivate him.
There are a few rule changes this year. First, horse-collar tackling is prohibited. Second, kicking the ball out of bounds starts the offense at the 40-yard line, rather than the 30. Third, the play clock is now 40 seconds. It starts after the play. It will be 25 seconds on a change of possession. Brookhart has always been good at predicting how rule changes will affect the team. He took advantage of the longer kickoff distance last season by working to get his special teams to a higher level.
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