JU avoids rain with early practice

The JU football team returned to the practice field again on Tuesday, starting with a morning practice to avoid the potential for rain in the afternoon.

The Dolphins did some live scrimmaging during the practice as they worked on being more physical up front offensively.

”We had a solid practice today and the kids really got after it,” said JU head coach Kerwin Bell. “We did a lot of film work over the weekend to go over our mistakes and what we need to do to correct them. I’m pleased with how we improved today, but we still have a long way to go.”

POSITION PREVIEW SPOTLIGHT – DEFENSIVE ENDS:The JU defensive line has long been a weakness, until last season.

For the first time in a long time, the Dolphins had talent and depth that created havoc throughout the season – and four starters return from a unit that saw six players start during the season.

On top of that, it is a young group as well. All four starters are juniors and sophomores, along with a young group that gained experience under fire last season.

“Our priority when we got here was the lines,” Bell said. “If they are great up front and demand double teams, they make our linebackers better against the run and our DBs better against the pass. This group has the potential to be good defensive line that will allow our linebackers to run around and make plays.”

At the ends, JU will start Rolando Fines and Shaun Lewis – each of which had stellar season. As a sophomore, Lewis led the unit with 60 tackles – including 18 for a loss, with 10 of those being sacks. Fines came on strong at the end of the season, recording the game-winning sack against San Diego.

Backing them up and seeing playing time is the group of Aaron Frye, Ray Gault, Bradley Burns, Cevonte Heagle and Daniel Delguidice.

“We’ve got a lot of talented guys that can play on the ends,” Bell said. “All of the guys that we have coming back we expect to contribute for us.”

For the two tackles positions, the Dolphins are fortunate to have players that possess speed, size and quickness.

Entering camp, Haywood Range and Kyle Morrison are the starters, with Fines, Gault and Frye will see some time at tackle as well.

“I’m excited to see what this group can do together,” Bell said. “Nixon has been working hard to come back from an injury last season and we feel like we have a lot of guys with the potential to be major players in this league.”