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  1. 9 points
    If anyone attended the scrimmage and wanted to share their thoughts, let's try it in this thread. Here's what I saw... The scrimmage began a little late, with the action starting a little after 9 am. Thankfully it was held indoors. Appropriately kicking things off was a session with the various kicking candidates who rotated attempts starting at roughly 30 yards, and extending out to 50. O'Leary and Gasser alternated, and then Fitschen and newcomer David Albert took turns. O'Leary looked strong. Gasser was short from 50. Fitschen is a lefty who's been around a while. Looks like he's got a really powerful leg. Albert hit one from 50. I don't know what that all will mean come September, but those are the names presently in the kicking battle. Kato and Alex Ramart split virtually all the QB snaps. Drew Hodgson saw very limited action. They wore red jersey's, so they couldn't be hit. The offense/defense portion of the scrimmage began with the offense basically at the 20 yard line, running 8(?) plays each, and then moving back to the 20 and re-starting with the other QB. The 2nd half of the scrimmage was devoted to red zone plays, again alternating QB's. Zips fans should be pretty excited about their 2018 QB situation. Both Nelson and Ramart looked eminently capable of running the offense. As expected, there were a lot of designed running plays with Kato. Ramart, while not the runner, acquitted himself well when he had to use his feet. Said Bowden after the scrimmage, "As much as we're excited about Kato, we haven't really talked about how excited we are about Ramart. He's 6' 3", 215 pounds and in addition to his passing, he runs the ball well. He's not a typical "Louisville type" running QB, but he's big and strong. I liken him to that Florida Atlantic QB (Jake Driskel). A smart runner with good size that drives you crazy if you don't account for him. It's exciting to have two guys who have now been with our program a little while, that can play the game like Kato and Alex." Both Ramart and Nelson showcased strong arms. Ramart threw a nice deep ball the MTB on his first possession that would have been on the money, had Traylor-Bennett not been held. He later had a deep one to Kwad that was dropped. Kato's best deep toss of the day resulted in a 30+ yard grab by Andre Williams. Williams took a big stem forward in solidifying a starting position. He showed sure hands, and looked comfortable catching balls along the sidelines and in the slot. He's also very elusive after the catch. Said Bowden, "We saw as a back up last season that Dre was going to be something special." Ramart threw the only INT of the day. Under pressure, he tossed a ball into traffic that was picked by Bubba Arslanian. A name to watch on the defensive side of the ball is Andy Jean-Baptiste. The 6' 5", 267 pound JUCO transfer looks like he'll make an impact in 2018. Dylan Meeks saw some time at defensive end. Jamal Davis had an active day. Said Bowden, "He's still learning to play with his hand down, but he's got as much talent as anyone on our team. He could've had two or three sacks today if the quarterbacks weren't wearing those red shirts. Sampson on the other side, he's got some real ability too. We've just got to continue to grow them." When asked about the goals of this scrimmage, and the spring overall, Bowden said "I told our coaches I want to find the top eleven guys on offense and defense. and then we need to find those next eleven. We're evaluating the talent level of the team, and identifying which guys we can count on in the fall." Bowden also said it was a good time to experiment with some different looks on both sides of the ball. "We're trying a few different things ...just throwing some plays and formations up against the wall and seeing what sticks." One of those trials looked to be lining true freshman Keyondre White in the wildcat as the potential successor to 2017 short-yardage specialist Manny Morgan. On White, Bowden said "He's 233 pounds...we haven't had a runner like that for a while. He's got those big hips and he's tough to tackle. He's got a place here for sure." Bowden also mention he's following the track exploits of Devanier Floyd, "He's 220 pounds and ran a 10.9 the other day." Abe Alce also enters the picture this summer at 250 lbs, so the 2018 Zips will definitely have a different, more physical look in the backfield. There were only two scholarship running backs available today. Keyondre White and Van Edwards shared the load on the ground. Former DB Caleb Green got a few carries at RB too. He actually looked pretty good. ZipsNation medical specialist Dr. Z reports Deltron Sands is 75% healed, and will be ready to go for the fall. The Coach spoke in general terms about the scrimmage when he stated "We saw some guys today that made some plays...we didn't know those guys could do what they showed." But it was clear he was caught by surprise at the physicality of Maverick Wolfley's (West Virginia transfer) play from the H-back position. With Kobie Booker out for a family commitment, and Newman Williams out with a meniscus issue, Wolfley took the opportunity for extended playing time to steal the early Saturday morning show and provide a rude awakening to multiple would-be tacklers. The biggest roar from the sidelines came when Wolfley steamed up the sideline and completely flattened a Zips CB. If you like hard-nosed, old school football you're going to love watching Maverick Wolfley play at InfoCision over the next four seasons. Another surprise was the play of former QB Nick Johns, who caught several mid-range passes (1 TD) from the H position. At 6' 3", 230 pounds he was a favorite target for both QB's today. Former Zips defensive coordinator (under Lee Owens) Joe Trecey was once again seen coaching along the sidelines? In addition to Akron, he's had stints as defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, UCLA, YSU and some other schools. Word on the street is he's not going to be the Zips DC, but will be a defensive position coach. Alvin Davis was a healthy scratch today. Jest is back and looks to be in better condition than his freshman season. So the overall takeaways from today's scrimmage? We have a deep, veteran defense. We're a little thin at WR, but reinforcements are coming. And MTB will shake off the rust at some point. We have two great young QB's. The depth at H-back might get the Zips playing some 3 WR + TE sets this year? Maverick Wolfley is a beast. We got out of the scrimmage healthy. Apologies if there are any errors above. The scrimmage was very fast-paced, with no time outs. The seating in the Stile Center is very low, and it's tough to see the action when it's far away. It was tough to keep up at times.
  2. 7 points
    Scrimmage Observations Made it to the 3/22 practice/scrimmage and here are my observations/thoughts. Disclaimer: I was mostly watching the QBs/Offense and these are in random order/stream of consciousness Warren Ball was on hand to watch practice Nick Johns working as TE Maverick working at TE UGIII may be bigger and faster than he was last year (could have just been my close proximity to the players) Bubba Arslanian is a beast too (see comment below about height/weight on spring prospectus) Mykel Traylor-Bennett looks to be fast and explosive coming off the line - he had several deep ball opportunities during the scrimmage Defense is ahead of offense (which is true 100% of the time in Spring Football) This was their first day in full pads so still very early in the process RBs and LBs/DBs cracking pads today despite first day in pads Offense looks to be installing some different personnel packages and formations 19 looked like he had a good day - very shifty in and out of breaks and with ball in hands 7 is FAST looks more decisive and really fast. did I mention he was FAST? TEs all got significant work/opportunities and looked good =) TB gave the boys the Spring Break safety brief after practice 13 Defense (Butler) led team prayer after TB spoke There was only 1 TD in the scrimmage so we'll be looking for more consistency and efficiency out of the offense going forward. Neither the 1st team offense nor the 2nd team with some starters sprinkled in did a whole lot as far as moving the ball effectively. To be fair, the play list was scripted so it wasn't like they were playcalling for down/distance, etc. @LZIp mentioned being curious about listed weights on the Spring Prospectus. My thoughts: I don't know if this is true for every player, but I know for sure there are several who have gained considerable weight compared to their reported weights on the Spring Prospectus. I think they just have the heights/weights listed from their 2017 fall measurements (this is the case for a couple of the guys) and may update the roster later.
  3. 5 points
    We could play Arkansas Pine Bluff, Urbana, Malone and Binghamton if 4-0 were worth anything besides being the MAC November Champs.
  4. 5 points
    Found one! Christian Jackson Channel Banks Jeremy Roscoe Eric Hester LePear Toles Daniel Utomi Jimmond Ivey Deng Riak Jaden Sayles Mark Kostelac Emmanuel Olojakpoke
  5. 5 points
    E-man is supposed to get medical clearance to go back to full contact practice this week. He is hitting the weight room hard to put back the muscle mass he lost during his time off. At this time the future looks bright.
  6. 5 points
  7. 5 points
    The JAR is still structurally fine. I posted a report on this site 2-3 years ago that detailed the report conducted by that independent party that conducted the feasibility study on the cost of repairing the Rubber Bowl. Long story short, the Rubber Bowl was totaled. Building a new basketball arena while continuing playing football games at the Rubber Bowl wasn't an option. The option was either build a new football stadium or disband the program. Infocision was built at a cost of $61 million. That's really cheap compared to most other stadiums built and renovated in that same time period. Could have they built it a little smaller and saved a few million? Probably, and honestly they should have. It still would have only saved a few million dollars at most. Not enough to fund a ~$70 million basketball arena.
  8. 5 points
    I know nothing about the situation. BUT if I had a nickel for every false rumor I have heard about an Akron athlete... I'm just a fan, and I am more pumped about next season than I have been in more than a decade. I can't imagine if I were a solid contributor this year, how excited I would be for next season. 💪🏽
  9. 5 points
  10. 4 points
    According to the 247Sports page that @NWAkron(?) previously shared, we only have 1 outstanding offer left, which is Neftali Alvarez. We'll see what he does (he'd be one helluva get), but look at who we've lost out to. Rutgers, South Carolina, Xavier, Northwestern, Bucknell, and Colorado (I don't count Duquesne because I'm assuming those "offers" by Akron were made under Dambrot). All P5 schools and a Bucknell program with quite a bit of tournament notoriety in the last decade. The recent exodus of Akron players (Patton, Cotton, Parrish) is not a fluke/accident. They are re-tooling/upgrading, and I'm sure they have players in the pipeline that we don't know about. The sky is not falling.
  11. 4 points
    Ehh.. Bet if a job in Texas came up he would have some connection there too
  12. 4 points
    Recruiting class of 2017 showing out in this highlight Ramart - throw TD Burkhart - catch TD & block for Wolfley run Wolfley - nice catch & run Williams - catch & run & Arslanian - hitting Williams with some authority Brimage - with tackle for loss
  13. 4 points
    The Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed receiver Jerome Lane.
  14. 4 points
    Thanks a bunch, Cap'n; Great write-up! I was going to say exactly the same thing so no need for my practice report Just a couple of things to mention: You questioned how many (8?) snaps in the first session. I didn't count so not sure 100%, but that was the plan as I understood it We were told warmups at 8:30, scrimmage at 9:00 so I'm glad they were running a tick late as momma and I got out of the house a little later than we would have liked. My abbreviated practice report (as to not duplicate what CK already covered) LOVED the work by Maverick and Johns. I agree with CK that Wolfley is really fun to watch; he punishes DBs as they try to tackle him. Kyron Brown has his side of the field on lockdown and Butler had a good day with a great PBU The change from silent snap count to QB calling the cadence resulted in converting a 3rd and 6 into a 3rd and 1 via hard count getting the D to jump Keyondre White brings a wallop - He runs hard and finishes forward AND... Van is still FAST (I think I mentioned this 2 weeks ago) Overall was excited by the offense and their progress from 2 weeks ago Team tempo, energy, and camaraderie seem to be quite good When they ran the wildcat, it was Keyondre taking the snap, Maverick in the backfield with him, and Kato split out wide Davon’te Jest is very quick off the ball; he broke up several plays getting into backfield Can't wait til the 21st - see you all there! Thank you for detailing the QB competition from an outsider's perspective. I know my bias and I have refrained from commenting in detail lest I misrepresent the situation. I thought they both looked markedly better than they did 2 weeks ago but that was expected as they're digesting quite a bit of new info and getting used to the timing with new receivers.
  15. 4 points
    Not surprised. He always looked uncomfortable. Good luck to him! I'm very happy to have another scholarship available for Groce to use.
  16. 4 points
    Yes, this is exactly where I want to go.
  17. 4 points
    I would contend that, just because Hipsher and Crawford didn't win, KD shouldn't be considered our "ceiling." KD was a good guy. Very good MAC recruiter. Good MAC coach. And in the MAC, being somewhere between good and very good will get you in the Championship game more often than not. Just look at all the crappy coaches with full scholarship benches that couldn't beat the crippled Zips this year...it doesn't take John Wooden to get to the MAC Championship game. Huggins won at Akron in the 80's. His body of work then, and beyond shows he was the best Zips coach in the JAR-era. His tenure was short (5 years) but the guy has won big-time wherever he's gone. Against the best-of-the-best competition. Any AD would take Hug over Dambrot. The oft-maligned Hipsher had some good years too. But unlike Dambrot, the MAC during Hipsher's tenure was brutal. Bonzi Wells, Gary Trent, Brandon Hunter, Wally Sczerbiak, Tamar Slay, Antonio Daniels, Theron Smith ...the MAC was pumping out some NBA talent back then.
  18. 4 points
    There are about 10,000 more pressing issues in the city of Akron than a new arena for the Zips. Would I love one? Absolutely, but to say that Lebron doesn't care about the city because he won't help fund an arena is asinine. If you haven't seen his foundation is currently in the middle of founding a school for at risk children. He just announced a partnership with Verizon to bring more technology into a bunch of the other schools around here. Both of those accomplishments are more than just about anything else that has been done by any other person and it is without mentioning the hundreds of kids he has already helped.
  19. 4 points
    Ummm, wasn't this Antino's last year of eligibility? As such, I don't get the "entering the NBA draft" thing. I like Antino, but I think he's going right after LiAngelo Ball in the NBA draft. I hope the Sports Law Group has connections with GMs in Turkey.
  20. 4 points
    So you 2 plan on staying with your current employer for the rest of uour career? Even if another employment opportunity with greater pay and better working conditions is available?
  21. 4 points
    Is this Buffalo thread now extended to the women who just made it to the Sweet Sixteen along with Central Michigan. How 'bout those MAC women whipping the Seminoles and Buckeyes!?
  22. 3 points
    Tyler Cheese signed with the Zips!
  23. 3 points
    Haha. No worries, you seem like a genuinely good dude. We probably attended UA at roughly the same time. Wilson was the dean of the law school for a period when I was there. He seemed to me, extremely capable of his expanded presidential duties and was genuinely liked. I don't think I'm going too far by saying we were glad he was our law school dean for the period that he was there. I certainly wish him the very best in his westward endeavors. However, I would be remiss by not emphasizing that the board of trustees would be well advised to look in house again in their search for our university's next president, however, that's not to say they shouldn't turn every stone. This university and this community require and deserve a capable person who understands the unique challenges that Akron faces and who values and recognizes the collaborative potential of the city, the university, and the surrounding community above all else. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats. In fact, my future donations demand another community valuing, global reaching, progressive, education first president as opposed to some "Carpetbagging Texan hypocrite hatchet job." Keep Akron Educated (and weird)!
  24. 3 points
    Cayman Islands Classic. Nov 19-21, 2018: Clemson, Creighton, Georgia, Boise State, St. Bonaventure, Illinois State, Georgia State and Akron.
  25. 3 points
  26. 3 points
    After searching I notice that there has not been ANY update since January on this board about Emmanuel's health condition. However, about a month or six weeks ago, I noticed a video from the university which featured an interview with E-Man. I think I originally found it on Twitter -- but I don't think it was produced by the MBB staff. I'll continue trying to find it, but the intro to the short (maybe 2 minute) clip detailed the medical situation with Emmanuel, and noted that it was not a congenital or chronic heart problem, but rather a clot caused by a piece of tissue that detached form the area around his heart valve (best as I can remember). It described how it became apparent when E-Man partially lost his vision during the game prior to the surgery. This loss of vision somehow was the tip-off to doctors about the nature of his problem, and they knew how to treat it medically. So, the apparent good news is that the doctors don't expect a likelihood of any continuing problems associated with this specific occurrence, and I guess it means he's able to continue playing and conditioning as before January's surgery, and it shouldn't effect his long-term health I hope I'm properly restating what I listened to on the video -- given my non-medical background. I'm surprised that no one has ever linked it on here! Did anyone else see this??
  27. 3 points
    I hadn't gotten to put my thoughts down yet, but my take is that these scrimmages are microcosms of football in general. Sometimes things don't work as planned; sometimes they work better than expected. I thought that the offenses (they primarily had a 1's and a 2's team with some guys mixing into both groups off and on) weren't as efficient as they had been the previous week. I'm not sure whether that means the offenses were worse or the defense was better this go-round, but it mimics the ebb and flow of football in general. In both last week's scrimmage and the one held this past Saturday, there were times that the offenses looked great; good runs on early downs keeping them ahead of the chains and passing game hitting key big chunks to move the ball effectively. Then there were miscues and turnovers that wiped out several drives. I thought both QBs were more effective on April 7th than they were on the 14th but I don't know the "why". TB mentions that they were running some plays that they hadn't worked on much in practice so maybe their comfort level with the plays and the timing for the offense as a whole was affected by the lack of practice with these plays. As TB stated, we have to eliminate the turnovers and I'm sure ball security will be a heavily weighted criteria determining who gets playing time and who does not going forward. The good news is that we've got an offseason and Fall camp to work out the kinks (I know they are working on it as there was a group of offensive players that went in to watch film together over the weekend). As TB stated in the video, during the Red Zone portion of the scrimmage, the offenses scored on every possession (he's taking some liberties with a couple of scoring plays that were not called as such by the refs, but I agree with TB that they were indeed scores despite what the refs saw). One specifically was on a seam route by Wolfley into the back of the end zone that the refs ruled out of bounds but it sure looked like he got a foot (maybe both) down before being pushed out by the defender. Overall, I've been really pleased with the efforts on both sides of the ball. The defense does appear to be outpacing the offense at this point but I expect that for every team early in the season. This is especially true because our offense (more so than the D) is looking to find the guys to step in and step up; they are having to replace more starters on that side of the ball. I didn't take notes this week but overall I am very excited for this year's version of the Zips.
  28. 3 points
    Yeah I'm down for the best player we can get at this point, regardless of position.
  29. 3 points
    This is confusing. Why do you keep bringing this up as if it was the coaching staff's plan to play a 6-6 post? KD left the cupboard bare. We had 3 eligible bigs, and two of them got hurt. The third was a freshman. Unless you're on a steady diet of Duke or Kentucky, you rarely see freshman bigs who are any good. Next year we'll have 4 bigs on scholarship. On a roster of 12, 4 bigs is plenty. Beyond that, one can only speculate how injuries +/or development will play out.
  30. 3 points
    If I ever see another ref call a T for hanging on the rim I'm going to have to resist the urge to run out on the court and immediately kick his ass.
  31. 3 points
    Jeremy Roscoe committed. http://verbalcommits.com/players/jeremy-roscoe
  32. 3 points
    I'll have some more photography of Mykel (and others) from this morning late today, or early morning.
  33. 3 points
    They were transfers, not redshirts. They practiced with the team, attended every home game and seemed very engaged. Can't imagine they'd pi$$ away a year.
  34. 3 points
    Not sure this is apparent to others as to why you posted this. Abdi Mohamed indicated on his twitter account (@_abdi_1) yesterday that he is transferring to Akron for the 2018 season.(thanks to TennZip for finding that).
  35. 3 points
    No 14-18 isn't where we want to go. Are you serious? We've had a coach who was great in the regular season and that didn't do us much. We didn't get real respect at a national level. Winning games in the tournament is what gets respect at the national level and what brings in better recruits and more money (in various ways). You don't know he will be quick to jump again and you don't know that other teams will be quick to hire him again. And lets be clear - his tourney success was not a one and done. He won multiple games in the tourney over multiple years. And by given the circumstances, I absolutely mean the financial distress. I "understand" your point in that you think a new football stadium shouldn't have been built. What you don't understand, or apparently forget, is the feasibility study that was done on the Rubber Bowl and the cost it would have taken to repair that. Someone else can go into more detail than I care to look up. The Rubber Bowl lasted 68 years, the JAR is only 34 years old. The Info is not extravagant by any means compared to our peers. FAU stadium, built in 2011 cost 70 million. North Texas stadium built in 2011 cost 78 million. Tulane's stadium built in 2014 cost 75 million. Of course, if you're suggesting we should have dropped the football program for the very slim chance that building a new basketball arena would have made us a Gonzaga or Xavier level program, then I have no interest in further discussing this with you dude.
  36. 3 points
    Again, I have to preface this with the fact I love KD. But I think the KD era showed us the ceiling for Zips basketball under KD. I think Groce may be able to take the Zips to a higher level than KD did, but only by building on the foundation KD laid. Before KD, Zips basketball was a disaster. So nothing but love to KD.
  37. 3 points
    I hope we can get one of these guards. I also hope a good enough one might already be on the team....
  38. 3 points
    The question posed, or at least how I inferred it, was what types of players the Zips are looking to add this off-season (assuming nobody transfers). I was simply stating that I feel the Zips shouldn't limit themselves to recruiting a player solely based off position. They need to get whoever is most talented. I feel Utomi and Ivey are the only locks to start next season. Everyone else is going to have to compete for their role in the rotation. I just personally don't see a logjam at any position. That doesn't mean one can't develop if a lot of guys develop over the offseason.
  39. 3 points
    I'm here guys. Yes, there is a fire sale going on at Illinois right now and it has nothing to do with the talent or character of these players. They either do not fit within the new system or in some cases they do not mesh well with the new coach, Brad Underwood. And Leron Black is looking to go Pro. Would I like to see some of these guys follow Groce to Akron? Absolutely!! But I would be very surprised if it happens because I don't think Groce rolls that way. He completely cut ties with Caris LeVert to the point of hurting his family's feelings because he doesn't want a reputation. The guys Akron would want is 5th year senior, Michael Finke and Sophomore guard, Mark Smith (Mr. Illinois). Finke is a true stretch 4 with size. He's 6'-10". He struggles on defense at times, but boy can he light it up from beyond the arch. He's a great teammate and distributes so well for a big. For one year, while Sayles and E-man are still developing this would be an awesome get. Mark Smith struggled at times as a freshman at Illinois, but the talent is there. He can score on all three levels and a great fit for what Groce runs. Te'Jon Lucas is a pass first, second and third floor general. But a very good floor general. On the good side, he is a tough defender, can run the offense, makes the right pass and finishes well at the rim. His weaknesses which really didn't improve much his Sophomore year is he is not a great shooter and below average from the free-throw line. It is so important for the point guard in Groce's system to be able to bury the NBA three. It forces the opponent out. As much as I do like Te'Jon and think he would be of value, there are guys Groce is recruiting now that would be better for Akron in the long term. I hope this helps.
  40. 3 points
    Warren is now the Academic Coordinator for Football, working for Athletics under Anne Jorgensen, so I expect he'll be at most of the practice sesions to begin the process of making sure they "make the grades".
  41. 3 points
    Like him. Don't like him. Savior. Place holder. Whatever the case, the Board of Trustees hopefully have learned from their mistakes. Scarborough was in an awful position of having to lay off all those employees, but he also had no sense of PR. Wright State has horrible finance issues and when their president was pushed out they put a provost or someone in as interim president. The interim then made all the tough decisions so the new president wouldn't have to be the one firing people. So maybe Wright State learned something from the Scarborough fail. No excuses for the Board this time.
  42. 3 points
    Jerome will be participating at the Akron pro day this morning. Good luck! 👍🏼
  43. 3 points
    And here's how much I care about Bill Connelley's "prediction" (though it is always nice to read about Akron Football): 2017 "predictions": Balsy's 2017 Prediction: 7-5, trip to Detroit. Balsy's 2018 Prediction: 8-4. See you in Detroit (again). Go Zips.
  44. 3 points
    They are playing in the Grand Cayman Islands Classic. http://www.caymanislandsclassic.com/
  45. 3 points
    Haven't had time to talk a whole bunch with him yet (their schedules are rather full). Will get a chance to download over spring break some but he's excited to be out there for sure. He did say that they've got some new wrinkles (formations, etc.) so maybe we'll get a look at those in the Spring game. I was hoping to get up to campus tomorrow so y'all send out the mojo for the snow to stop falling!I need a football fix
  46. 3 points
    I would feel better if we start getting commitments from recruits that a program of Memphis' caliber is targeting.
  47. 2 points
    I don't have much information to add to what you detailed as far as personnel groupings. It looks to me like they are doing exactly what TB mentioned; trying to find the best 11 on each side of the ball and then the next 11 after that. I think we have a lot more options at the receiver position but it'll be long into Fall camp before we start to see those position battles settled I'd imagine. On paper, we have guys to plug into the holes left by the graduating seniors but we'll have to wait and see if they are "better" as a group than what they fielded last year.
  48. 2 points
    Plus EMan and Sayles to an extent, and add the 3 scholarship players we are probably getting - whomever they are - to the roster.
  49. 2 points
    To be fair it hurts to be a kitten at all times
  50. 2 points
    You should be suspended from the board for a month for this.