Day three is in the books for the North squad and some players can hang their hat on a gr..."/> Day three is in the books for the North squad and some players can hang their hat on a gr..."/>

Senior Bowl, Day 3: North Squad Practice Notes


Day three is in the books for the North squad and some players can hang their hat on a great performance. To start the practice, Rashad Carmichael of Virginia Tech was on the sideline in sweats. I’m unsure of the diagnosis, but it seems to be either a high ankle sprain or illness.

Below are some highlights and lowlights of today’s practice:

Titus Young of Boise State stuck out early and often. It was his best day of the week as he was making brilliant adjustments to the ball and catching everything. I did not record a single drop for Young on the day, but did note two spectacular catches. Young is so fluid in and out of his cuts and was using his quickness to torch defensive backs all practice long. Young was clearly the best receiver in his group today. Dwayne Harris of East Carolina was up and down at practice. He had two blatant drops but made up for them with two fantastic catches.

-Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick struggled early in practice. His first two passes of the day were way off target, but he appeared to settle down as practice went on and ended up having a solid day. Jake Locker of Washington, like Titus Young, had his best day of the week. The inconsistency in his accuracy and constant checking down during 11-on-11 drills was still there, but he was more comfortable and looked great in his dropbacks. Ricky Stanzi also improved today if not for any other reason than he didn’t stick out with high throws on a regular basis.

-Late addition Richard Sherman of Stanford continued to really impress. He showed better feet than a few of the smaller corners and he is the most willing tackler of the bunch. Sherman has shown the ability to play corner, but could also be a fit at safety in some schemes at the next level. If Sherman came in to the day as the safety, he would hands down be the most impressive on the North. That isn’t a knock on him either as he has still been one of the better corners. His change of direction and length will allow him to play wherever he decides. The only knock on Sherman would be that at times he can get overaggressive.

-A few more notes on defensive backs: Joseph Lefeged of Rutgers gave way too much of a cushion during one-on-one drills and his footwork still looks sloppy. He has been tripping over his own feet all week. UNC’s Kendric Burney has impressed me and showcased a great jam at the line of scrimmage on numerous occasions today.

-Jalil Brown had a bit of a let down at today’s practice after looking good yesterday. Brown found himself trailing receivers and getting turned around too often. Brown also was overly aggressive with his hands and would have been flagged for holding or pass interference a handful of times. However, on the week, Brown has been one of the top two North corners.

-As a whole, the tight ends have excellent hands. Lee Smith of Marshall, Mike McNeill of Nebraska, and Wisconsin’s Lance Kendricks have all shown they are reliable targets underneath. The tight end group has also been impressive with their inline blocking.

-From the little I have gotten to see from the linebackers, I was impressed with UCONN’s Lawrence Wilson today in coverage. He was hanging with the tight ends and running backs and had a great play on a pass break up of a Colin Kaerpernick pass. Casey Matthews of Oregon was having a rough time in one-on-one drills against the running backs. He struggled to get off the blocks and was handled by DeMarco Murray. Murray also blew by Matthews during passing drills.

-Murray is easily the best running back representing the North team. He is very quick with great hands and has shown great strength. His strength was shown off when he stuffed Casey Matthews in one-on-ones, as previously mentioned. Murray keeps his legs driving and refuses to give up when the ball is in his hands. He has only been held back by injuries in his career, but all of the talent it there. Kendall Hunter of Oklahoma State is the most impressive blocker out of the running backs.

Ryan Kerrigan finally showed off his talent today. He owned Colorado tackle Nate Solder all practice long. Kerrigan had been one of the bigger disappoints of the week until he went off today. Not only was he winning his battles in one-on-one drills, but he was also a standout during the 11-on-11’s.

-Christian Ballard showcased his quick play recognition during 11-on-11’s quickly changing direction and chasing down Kendall Hunter on a screen pass. The star of the week so far, Cal’s Cameron Jordan, showed that he is not only the best player on the field, but he hustles more than anyone else out there. He has also impressed members of the media with the way he handles any questions. The guy has impressed people in every aspect this week.

-Most impressive offensive linemen today were Pitt’s Jason Pinkston, Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi, and Boston College’s Anthony Costanzo. An impressive note is James Brewer of Indiana controlling Cam Jordan while playing offensive guard, however, once he moved back out to tackle he continued his struggles.

-All of the offensive linemen had their way with Pierre Allen and Ian Williams who haven’t impressed all week. You can see offensive lineman licking their chops and being eager to face Allen and Williams in one-on-one drills.

-The worst performance along the line today belonged to Nate Solder who was dominated by Kerrigan as mentioned earlier. His only wins came across Jeremy Beal of Oklahoma and Casey Matthews. Despite beating Beal, Solder was too high in his stance. He also appears to struggle anytime he is forced to go right. Solder told Chris Maier at, that the transition to right tackle has been rough for him.

For extended coverage of the Senior Bowl, be sure to follow Senior Bowl Coverage by Football Alliance on Facebook with additional coverage with Mike Margittai.