Monday football practice quick hits

By Zach Greenwell

Not a whole lot of news to report from Western’s football practice today, although we’re starting to see a lot more of quarterbacks Matt Pelesasa and Kawuan Jakes volleying for the starting job.

Jakes has really looked much better over the last couple days, and I’d say today was probably the best he’s looked so far in camp.

Jakes scored on a scramble of about 30 yards as soon as I arrived at Houchens-Smith Stadium, and he was able to make several solid short passes — basically chipping his way down the field.

Head Coach Willie Taggart said that Pelesasa didn’t have his best practice last night, and to be honest, I feel like Jakes has tightened that race considerably over the past couple days.

We’ll gain more perspective into that situation tomorrow when the quarterbacks become available for interviews for the first time after Tuesday’s practice.

A few other notes:

— Not only has the entire offensive line boycotted interviews until the Toppers win a game, but they’ve gotten their coach involved too. Offensive line coach Walt Wells was geared up to talk to me for a few minutes one-on-one today, until he was urged not to do so by his players.

I’ll have a feature on the veteran offensive line and their silence in a little bit, with some interesting quotes from Taggart and tight end Jack Doyle — assuming the O-line doesn’t find  a way to get the story off the Web.

— Junior running back Bobby Rainey has been wearing a yellow jersey in practice, and Taggart explained today that the jersey signifies that Rainey is not to be touched during drills.

Taggart said his first year at Stanford, when his running back corps went through six starters because of injury, persuaded him to protect Rainey, one of his biggest playmakers. Look for more on that in a notebook in a while.

— A few guys that stood out to me in practice today — running back Keyshawn Simpson, receiver Marcus Vasquez and defensive back Tyree Robinson.

Robinson was especially impressive, breaking up a pass in the end zone and intercepting another. If there was any position where I would expect some freshmen to break through, I’d imagine it would be in the inexperienced secondary.

Check later tonight for full coverage of today’s practice.


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