Good crowd out for practice today, for the “Toast to the Host” event. And there was some hitting for the folks who came out, as the team practiced in full pads for the first time this preseason. Here’s a couple things:
- Links: Air Force’s fullbacks are physical, and that will be their strength this season. The competition will be interesting over the rest of the month, but as of right now I see no reason Wes Cobb and Mike DeWitt don’t start the season as the 1-2 punch. DeWitt was highly regarded last year before he hurt his knee in camp.
- The play of the day might have been Zack Kauth, leaping over Chris Miller in the end zone and getting a foot in bounds in the corner to get the touchdown. Talked to Kauth after practice, and will write something next week about him, but he talked about how he is bigger and faster. You can see it – he showed last year he can make plays and he’s more explosive this year.
- If Kauth’s catch wasn’t the play of the day, that honor might go to safety Jon Davis. On a short slant pass in one-on-one drills, Davis gave up the catch but reached in and ripped the ball away for an impressive interception. Between Davis, Brian Lindsay and Anthony Wooding, all three Air Force safeties have looked very good in camp.
- Cornerback Steffon Batts is becoming a daily mention in this space, and here he is again. Batts got a few reps with the first team when Anthony Wright sat out a couple drills (Wright seemed fine, he was doing conditioning running at the end of practice with the other veterans). Batts has made plays to get a long look, it’ll be interesting to see if he can keep it up as September draws closer. To reiterate, secondary coach Charlton Warren said that competition for the starting spot is wide open between Josh Hall, Miller and Batts.
- Haven’t written much about the offensive line, but will probably write about that group on Gazette.com next week. There’s not much to say because they’ve been solid, as expected. There are basically four starters back (Jordan Eason isn’t technically a returning starter but he played half the snaps last year at guard) and that was a good group last year. It’s certainly a lot different than last year, when a brand new line was a cause for concern. One thing to note is that right guard A.J. Wallerstein came into camp in excellent shape after a good summer (evidently he found time to work out in between climbing in a plane and yelling at incoming cadets). At roughly 290 pounds, he is strong and still quick – he should have a fantastic year.