Football preseason camp: Day 4

Aug. 11, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With a nice westerly wind blowing through the JU Practice Field, Day Four saw some fierce competition between the receivers and defensive backs as well as an appearance by all-time tackle leader Brandon Torre. After stretching, the four freshmen kickers practiced kickoffs, attempted PAT's and went through a shorter punting session. After individual work, the offense and defense split off for inside competition between the linemen while the skill players went against each other through the air. For the last half of practice, the receivers and defensive backs heated things up in 7-on-7 drills before ending the day with team competition and positional conditioning. The squad will start cracking the pads and helmets tomorrow for the first full practice in pads. The following is some highlights and quotes from Day 4:

Punt team: The punting position continued as freshman Chris Smith (Winter Haven, Fla.), Donovan Curry (Gainesville, Fla.), Brett Buxbaum (Orlando, Fla.) and Joseph Recktenwald (Deland, Fla.) each attempted three punts. Curry took top averages for the day (40 yds/punt) with a long of 45 yards. Buxbaum tallied the longest punt (50 yards) while also ranking second with an average of 39 yards per attempt. Smith finished with a long of 41 yards and averaged 37.7 yards per punt. Recktenwald started off strong with a 41 yard punt but finished with an average of 29.3 yards per kick.

PAT/FG: Curry and Smith were the only kickers to finish perfect from PAT distance. Recktenwald and Buxbaum each missed one attempt out of three.

All-time leading tackler Brandon Torre: "I'm working right now, looking for internships while getting my master's degree on-line (computer information/database management).

"I still have friends on the team and I heard they just had their first day with shoulder pads yesterday. I had the day off, so I decided to drop by.

"It's a little strange not being out there with the guys but I don't miss playing in this heat. The strangest part about it is the fact that nothing has changed. When I left high school and went back, it was completely different but it's the same old story out here. I also didn't have to prepare for the season during the summer."

"Setting the tackle mark in my last season was a great exclamation point to my career. I did nothing but have fun while I was out here and setting that mark just made it that much better."

Inside (O-Line vs. D-Line) & 7-on-7: On the Inside side of the field, sophomore running back Cecil Coltrane scored a touchdown. Senior running back Jerry Brant scampered for a score. Freshman running back Ron Harris also scored during the period. The defense made three stops at the line of scrimmage, including a fumble. WR vs. DB - Freshman quarterback John Solak went 4-for-12 with a 40-yard touchdown to freshman receiver Ricky Cantartesi. Solak also had a pass broken up by freshman corner David Berry. Senior quarterback Chris Horton went 5- for-13 with a 40-yard touchdown to sophomore receiver Geavon Tribble and junior receiver Michael Jenner. Horton was intercepted by freshman corner Roderick Clark. He also had a coverage sack by sophomore corner Robson Noel and had a pass broken up by senior corner Bryan Flowers. Freshman quarterback Chad Belcher finished 5-for-12 with a 40- yard touchdown to senior receiver Edrian Rogers. Noel also broke up one of Belcher's passes during the session.

Junior receiver Michael Jenner: "The receivers are looking strong this year. We lost Eldin Ferguson and Julio Santiago but we have me, Edrian Rogers, Nate Conner, Geavon Tribble and Chad Oubre back. We also have a couple of talented freshman running around too (Cameron Abdullah & Bryan Jackson) so we're a very strong unit this season.

"I only got to play half of the season last year, so my focus was to get in good shape over the summer so I could surpass what I accomplished last year (second leading receiver). I wanted to get stronger and faster coming into my third year with this offense. I feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed with what I'm doing out here.

"Having Chris Horton as the starting quarterback this year is a big plus for us. We threw together a lot over the summer and it makes things easier when you don't have to adjust to two different tendencies. The timing is a lot stronger when you have one quarterback as the focal point."

Skeleton Session (7-on-7 - O vs. D): FIRST ROUND: Horton went 1-for-4 with a completion to freshman receiver Chad Oubre. Junior linebacker Joey Rumph had a pass break up during the session. SECOND ROUND: Junior quarterback Jason Hohensee went 3-for-5 with a 13-yard strike to freshman receiver Matthew Bryant and a nice one-handed over the shoulder catch by freshman receiver Cameron Abdullah for a touchdown. THIRD ROUND: Freshman quarterback Ken Latessa went 2-for-5 with an interception by senior linebacker Justin Sturdivant, who ran it back for a touchdown. FOURTH ROUND: Belcher completed 2-of-4 passes including a nice 18- yard grab by Jenner. FIFTH ROUND: Horton went 2- for-3 in the last session.

Junior defensive end Sean Heverin: "We have a good group of defensive ends this year, including five new freshmen. The new guys are really athletic and can play. We also have me, Austin Knipp and Mirco Zanella back. Right now we're trying to get the new guys acclimated and get some of the rust off with the returners.

"I learned a lot of my moves from watching Jason Bense play. He had a great work ethic, he was a great leader and he was a tremendous athlete. I have some big shoes to fill on the outside this year.

"I had a strong finish last season so I wanted to make sure I kept my edge over the summer. I want to try and make good plays and keep a flawless technique each time I line up. The plays are going to eventually come if I can keep myself locked in on what I need to do."

Team (Offense vs. Defense): FIRST ROUND: Coltrane rushed for eight yards. Horton completed a pass to a sliding Jackson for eight yards. Senior running back Bryan Gamble scored on a screen play. SECOND ROUND: Hohensee threw a touchdown pass to Tribble. Freshman defensive lineman Raymond Gault make a tackle at the line. THIRD ROUND: A fumbled snap ended the session. FOURTH ROUND: Sophomore linebacker Tyler Thomas made a tackle at the line. Freshman running back Ron Harris scampered for 10 yards. FIFTH ROUND: The defense made a coverage sack and senior nose guard Ryan Young made a tackle at the line. SIXTH ROUND: Belcher completed a 10-yard strike to Tribble. Freshman running back Andrew Hepburn ran off 15 yards.

The Dolphins will return to the practice field at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Key Dates:

August 12 - First practice in pads, 3:00 p.m.
August 17 - Media/Picture Day: 1 p.m. at Milne Field
August 18 - First scrimmage, 2:30 p.m.
August 21 - First day of classes
September 2 - First game vs. Gardner-Webb at 7:30 p.m.