KENT: Tuesday was Kent State football’s first day in full pads and also the first day with some real excitement with camp’s initial installment of the “Steeler drill.”
The drill pins three offensive linemen against three defensive linemen or linebackers and adds a running back sprinting through the hole. It’s three yards to the goal line, a lot of spirit from each sideline and a lot of bragging rights.
The offense won the first couple rounds before the defense got it together and stopped the offense short six plays in a row. The offense then ended the drill with a touchdown.
Redshirt sophomore defensive end Marcus Wright made a nice play to fight through two blockers to bring down freshman running back Julian Durden early, though Durden later got him back with a great power move to bulldoze his way into the end zone.
Senior C.J. Malauulu fought off a couple blockers and made a couple nice tackles, and said he had been eager to get the full pads on.
“You get to see who really wants it and who’s excited bout full pads,” he said. “Once we get the shoulder pads on, that’s the major difference.”
Malauulu was strong in his first season at KSU as a junior-college transfer. He 83 tackles, second on the team last fall behind Luke Batton (102), and was named to the second team on the All-Mid-American Conference team. He said his goal is to reach “triple digits” in tackles.
There’s one missed tackle on a particular running back, now with the Browns, that still haunts him.
“I watch the Alabama game all the time,” he said. “I wasn’t a starter then, but I wish I had that game back. There was a play where I missed a tackle on Trent Richardson and I was looking at myself [on film] and was like ‘That’s not me.’ I didn’t play downhill, wasn’t aggressive at all. If I had that play back it’d be totally the opposite of what happened.
“I felt like I was a little scared. Alabama’s always on TV and in the media. I think I gave them too much respect. My first Division I game in front of 100,000 people.”
After his transfer from Kentucky, wide receiver Eric Adeyemi was never able to find his footing in 2011.
He caught just five passes for 42 yards in eight games before injuring his foot during KSU’s bye week. Adeyemi said the foot was fractured, and he wasn’t able to return before the season ended.
“It was just perimeter, an out-cut, and I heard my foot crack,” he said. “Doc says it was a fracture, a slight fracture. I did treatment every day and tried to come back as soon as possible, but whenever you have pain, if you can’t tolerate it you can’t play.”
Now, he’s using it as prime motivation.
“I’m going hard, super hard,” he said. “Doing the little things even harder, watching film a little extra, doing everything a little better in my game so this year I can break out.”
Adeyemi has his opportunity after Tyshon Goode went down with a hamstring injury this week. Coach Darrell Hazell said Tuesday that Goode is receiving six treatments a day and will be held from practice for two weeks “at a minimum.” When asked of Goode’s status for Kent State’s opening game against Towson on Aug. 30, Hazell said they closer they get to game day, they more they’d have to play it day-by-day.
Freshman Josh Boyle and sophomore Chris Humphrey are playing well, but as of today Adeyemi has the inside track to Goode’s spot. Hazell noted Boyle as a guy he “really likes right now,” and Humphrey made a nice grab to fight off a would-be pass-interference call (Hazell didn’t throw the flag because it’s camp and the players needed a break) to haul down a 30-yard pass from David Fisher in a two-minute drill. He ended up just out of bounds after being pushed out but completed the play.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Kent State blog at http://www.ohio.com/flashes. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.