First-look scrimmage set Saturday
Tackle Dylan Bostick gets some instruction from line coach Andy McLeod. Play Video
Tackle Dylan Bostick gets some instruction from line coach Andy McLeod.
Many young players and newcomers will be under the coaching microscope Saturday when the JU football team holds its first scrimmage of the young preseason at D.B. Milne Field on campus.

“We’re going to try to play a lot of people,’’ defensive coordinator Jerry Odom said. “On defense, we’ve got some new faces, some younger guys that are playing and have stepped up into new roles. We’re going to see how they are.’’

Not only will Odom and the remainder of the coaching staff get a general look-see, they’ll also be evaluating specifics.

“We’ve got some returning starters, especially on the defensive line and secondary who will play some but we’ll play those other guys against the ones to kind of see where they fit in the rotation, how they fit in scheme-wise, how well they’ve picked up what we’ve put in so far,’’ he said. “When you go four days of installation and scrimmage on the fifth day, it’s always interesting to see what you might get.’’

Odom said between a quarter and half of the defense has been installed and work on the team’s nickel and dime packages will come next week.

“It will be a pretty basic scrimmage, there won’t be a lot of blitzing but we will play multiple coverages to see how we handle it against multiple formations,’’ he said.

Odom said thus far he’s pretty happy with what he has seen on the practice field.

“The guys are giving good effort and the mistakes that are being made generally are because they haven’t been exposed to certain things,’’ he said. “Knock on wood, we are making a lot of the same mistakes the next day.’’

For players, the scrimmage is their first opportunity to show their stuff in full pads.

“Scrimmaging is always exciting, but since this is our first one it’s going to tell a lot about who is ready to do what and who has been paying attention,’’ offensive lineman Dylan Bostick, who is making the move to left tackle, said. “It puts the X’s in line with the O’s. It’s going to show who’s ready. They eye in the sky doesn’t lie, simple as that.’’

Bostick said he likes the idea that the first day in full pads will be a scrimmage with game-like conditions.

“I think it’s good because you can get the tweaks out,’’ he said. “You’ve got a play, then another 50 plays so you can’t remember what you messed up on. It’s all about continuation. A lot of times in practice you’ll think about that one play you messed up and find yourself messing up other plays. With this, you can’t really do that, you’ve got to think about the next play ahead.’’

The scrimmage, open to the public, is scheduled at 10 a.m. At 2 p.m., Sea Best Seafoods will present Football 101 at the field for fans of all ages who will interact with JU players and coaches.

- Jim Nasella