Unfortunately for KSU, the story from Wednesday's practice didn't come on the field. Defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix had his left hand heavily wrapped and didn't participate in any drills, instead wearing sweats and a T-shirt. Nix says he broke his hand on Monday, already had surgery on it and will be back for the summer. His spring is likely done.
Offense still feeling out new scheme
The process of the offense getting up to speed is coming along in baby steps. From an understanding standpoint, progress is surely being made, but from an execution standpoint, Wednesday didn't exactly look sharp.
It's really not fair to judge an offense five practices into spring ball to begin with, let alone one with a new head coach and a couple of competitors to be the new quarterback. So let's keep that in mind and not kill everyone off before April is up.
The offense did have a very sloppy practice, though. Multiple snaps were botched, both from the shotgun and from under center. At one point, back-up center Jake Witucki and quarterback Colin Reardon fumbled two straight snaps from the shotgun and a third with Reardon under center.
Fisher and starting center Phil Huff messed up a couple of snap exchanges as well. Reardon, especially, spent much of practice chasing fumbles.
As for the quarterbacks, it was feast or famine. Both Fisher and Reardon had a couple of perfect throws on down-field routes—Fisher had back-to-back passes that made you think of old NFL Films clips on tight spirals, and Reardon fit a ball through a window not much wider than the length of a football. At other instances, though, each seemed uncomfortable. Both had miscommunications with receivers or poorly judged a certain angle the intended receiver would take. Neither quarterback has taken charge.
Fisher's two picture-perfect deep balls were followed by a Luke Wollet interception two plays later. Wollet dropped back and then jumped Josh Boyle's route. Boyle, by the way, made a terrific catch on Fisher's first great pass. With Darius Polk draped over him, he made hauled in the pass with one-hand. Polk loved it and tipped his cap, in a way, to Boyle.
As for Wollet, he had a hell of a practice. Aside from the aforementioned pick, he made another great play when Boyle hauled a pass in but bobbled it for a few steps as he ran. Wollet charged in and lowered his shoulder on the ball, knocking it loose before Boyle could get a good grip. It wasn't all great, though. Later, Trayion Durham sprinted up the middle on an inside run, met Wollet head-on and ran him over. Wollet did get him down, but not after Durham had advanced 2-3 yards past him. It was quite the hit and the best play of the spring so far.
Wide receiver Tyshon Goode has started to take part in a bigger percentage of practice this week. Goode had spent nearly all of KSU's first four practices on the sidelines swinging sledgehammers and doing some light footwork drills. He's now on the field for much of practice, though it's apparent he isn't 100 percent yet. Coach Paul Haynes said on Friday they'll be very cautious with him, so as to not lose him for good.
Haynes behind his O-Line
When asked if anyone had stood out during practice, Haynes again pointed to KSU's young offensive line, again putting confidence in that unit.
For the last couple of practices, the first-string line has been fairly stable, but it's very possible changes are coming. Reno Reda has been at left tackle, with Pat McShane at left guard and Phil Huff at center. That part of the line might not be in pen, but maybe dark pencil. Max Plunkett continues to get more reps at right guard ahead of Anthony Pruitt and Jason Bitsko is getting a lot of time with the first-team at right tackle.
Play of the Day:
Reardon and Fisher had some great throws, but Durham running over Wollet had the entire team excited, and with good reason.
Quote of the Day:
"He was off balance, so I just lowered the shoulder, and you heard the boom."
- Durham, on him running over Wollet