The University of Akron is down one quarterback as of Tuesday’s spring practice session.
Zach D’Orazio, a redshirt freshman from Avon Lake, is being converted to wide receiver. If Tuesday’s practice serves as an indicator, it will be a permanent change.
D’Orazio caught everything thrown his way from several quarterbacks during the course of practice, making difficult catches, but more importantly, snagging the easy ones.
“We’ve been contemplating that from the very first,” UA coach Terry Bowden said. “We really wanted to make sure that we felt like our quarterback situation was comfortable. He’s been a more-talented athlete than the others from Day One.”
Bowden’s assessment of the decision? So far, so good.
“He made a great impression his first day at wide receiver,’’ Bowden said. ‘‘He made four or five impressive catches. He’s got great hands. He’s physical. He’s big (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and he’s fast. He’s one of the faster guys on the team.”
The defensive unit — especially the backfield — played tough in a team scrimmage Tuesday.
Cornerbacks Bill Alexander, a junior from Whigham, Ga., and Emmanuel Lartey, both stood out in the session.
“Our depth is in the defensive backs. We’ve said all along our front seven is really depleted,” Bowden said. “I think we have some people in the defensive secondary who can play winning football for us. We just don’t want them to have to make the plays.”
Albert Presley can be added to the list of defensive players who stood out. Presley, who transferred from Dean College in Boston, Mass., pressured Zips quarterbacks on numerous occasions, grabbing what would have been a sack in a game situation and coming close on several other occasions.
Offensively, it looks as if last year’s starting quarterback, Clayton Moore, is starting to get comfortable and gain some confidence in Bowden’s spread offense.
George M. Thomas can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Zips blog at https://ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.