After the first spring practice of 2013, Gary Patterson seemed to be in high spirits.
“This is finally a year where we’re a little bit older,” Patterson said. “The last two years, we’ve been young. This year, we have guys who now know what they’re doing.”
“As a general rule, I don’t have much optimism. But in the last three years, and with everything that’s gone on here, this has probably been the best since the Rose Bowl as far as I feel.”
Patterson said plenty, but did not allude to who he favored in the battle of quarterbacks.
“I don't know who the number one guy is right now,” he said. “It's only day one. Tomorrow is day two."
The Frogs practice Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. Here are a few other highlights from Friday’s practice:
Verrett injured, Moore will not see practices
Jason Verrett did not see any playing time Friday and likely will not participate in practice until after spring break, Patterson said. Verrett’s injury occurred after the bowl game, and Patterson said the All-American would “definitely” be back after spring break, if not a practice or two before spring break.
Running back Jordan Moore, who hurt himself in the post-season before the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, did not practice either. Patterson said Moore, along with “six or seven other guys,” will not participate in spring practices due to assorted injuries.
B.J. Catalon and Nebraska transfer Aaron Green are the only two running backs who are healthy and playing in spring. Moore and Waymon James, who is recovering from an ACL injury, will be back in full force with the team in the fall. Incoming 4-star signee Kyle Hicks will be a part of the corps too, with 3-star signee Trevorris Johnson in the mix as well.
Position changes continue
As previously noted, positional changes have been a key part of Patterson’s spring strategy. In addition to changes such as Jonathan Anderson to linebacker and Deante’ Gray to receiver, Kolby Griffin has switched from cornerback to safety. Patterson said Kevin White may be seeing time at the safety position as well, citing the depth LSU transfer David Jenkins brings to the cornerbacks.
Patterson said Jenkins had “probably 30 picks” as a scout team player last year. Jenkins sat the last season out because of NCAA rules about transfer players.
Fast, Heavy Lifting Athletes
Transfers will play a large role in spring practice, as they will fight for starting spots. Wyoming transfer Josh Doctson and Florida transfer Ja’Juan Story will be in the mix for receiver positions, Patterson said.
Patterson said Story has been beefing up in the gym, squatting 640 pounds in the weight room. Patterson also said Story, who stands 6 foot 4 and weights 220 pounds, ran a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash.