Air Force went to Falcon Stadium for a scrimmage, and it was mostly third-team players and freshmen getting the reps. As coach Troy Calhoun explained, most of the camp has been dedicated to getting the starters and primary backups ready – considering how few practices the team has and the relative inexperience on the team – but the staff also has to make sure the younger players are ready just in case. Here’s some highlights:
- The Falcons are a bit thin at receiver. Ty MacArthur, Dontae Strickland and Drew Coleman were out with undisclosed injuries. Mikel Hunter and Brandon Hirneise already weren’t with the team. I assume the three injured players will be back soon, but it’s never good to have cluster injuries like that. Chris Jordan has had a good camp, however. He could be a factor this year.
- Linebacker Stephan Atrice ditched the red jersey, so he should be back to normal reps soon. He was nursing a hamstring injury. He needs a good week to reestablish his starting spot. The Falcons have been rotating players at that outside linebacker spot opposite Alex Means – Steven Sumpter was with the first team today.
- The offensive line has really stood out in camp. Although there was two starters and experienced backups returning, it was a unit that lost three starters. You wouldn’t know it by watching practice. They will be a strength of the team this year, which shouldn’t be a surprise anymore.
- In quarterback news, Dano Graves has been working ahead of fellow freshman Jaleel Awini through most of camp. I like what I’ve seen from both those players, but it’s worth noting they’re fourth and fifth on the depth chart. I really like what I’ve seen from sophomore Kale Pearson, who is the primary backup. He has had a strong camp and has to be considered the favorite to enter next offseason as the starter after Connor Dietz graduates.