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Zips football: spring practice report, Day 1

By George Thomas Published: April 2, 2013

The most important person on a football roster:  I’d argue the backup quarterback.

Because if your main guy goes does, whoever his understudy is has to come in and hopefully not miss a beat.

In Tuesday’s first day of spring practice three potential No. 2s – Steve Franco (Tyrone, Pa.), Dalton Easton (Key Biscayne, Fla.)  and Marcus Prather (Steubenville) – all saw action.

One day is far too soon to tell anything but basics and in that regard, each has a lively (Franco’s may be the strongest of the trio) arm and all are a wee bit rusty.  Even starter Kyle Pohl had to knock off some rust from the offseason.  What remains clear, however, from the inexperienced -- all are redshirt freshmen -- someone must rise to claim the spot.

Irish eyes

St. Vincent-St. Mary wide receiver Fransohn Bickley could be seen taking in the first practice today. Bickley, a speedy guy who drew interest from several Mid-American Conference schools, confirmed to the Beacon Journal that he intends to enroll at UA with the goal of eventually walking on for the Zips.

If that happens, Bickley said he’d be a slot receiver and return man for the Zips, the former is a huge need for the team given their suspect performance in the return game last year. 

Bickley played an integral part in the Irish’s Division III state football championship last season, but probably didn’t receive tons of notice because of his 5-foot-6 inch frame. 

“I wasn't looking for offers.  I was just trying to win a championship in high school,” he said. “In the summertime when I came to the Akron camp, I just enjoyed it so much it felt like home here.”

Lining it up

Just for the record when the offense took the field Tuesday morning, this is how they lined up to start – left to right:

WR – Keith Sconiers

WR- Zach D’Orazio

LT – Quaison Osborne

LG – Dylan Brumbaugh

Kyle Pohl (QB) Jawon Chisholm (RB)

RG – Drew Deneher

RT – Jarrod Pugjhsley

WR – L.T. Smith

WR – Jerrod Dillard


Slim pickings

For anyone  looking for spectacular play right out of the gate, think again.  It’s called practice for a reason.  With that being said, however, a couple of moments stood out for the Zips in their first session.

The first comes courtesy of running back Jawon Chisholm who not only hit holes with confidence, but with speed.  Chisholm looked faster than last season as he hit the backfield on more than a few occasions as he ripped off significant runs.

Defensively Malachi Freeman looked formidable at the corner, especially on one play when not only found the ball, but twisted his body so that he could adjust to it and grabbed an interception during the reps near the end of practice. 

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