Appalachian State University football conducted its third of 29 preseason practices on Sunday. The two-and-a-half hour practice was split almost evenly between Kidd Brewer Stadium and the Sofield Family Indoor Practice Facility, where the workout moved when lightning was detected in the vicinity of Appalachian's campus. For the first time this season,
the Mountaineers donned shoulder pads to go along with helmets and shorts for Sunday's practice. While contact was limited, there was a marked uptick in intensity from Friday's and Saturday's already spirited practices with the addition of pads to the equation on Sunday.
• Redshirt freshman wide receiver Sean Price and true freshman defensive back Dante Blackmon were locked in an entertaining battle during 1-on-1 drills. Highlighting the back-and-forth competition between the very talented youngsters was a terrific catch by Price who, despite outstanding coverage by Blackmon, was able to haul in a perfectly placed pass by Jamal Jackson.
• Jackson was impressive throughout the day, making several pin-point passes and putting his athleticism on display. A highlight came during the 11-on-11 period to close out the day when he hauled in a high errant snap, spun away from several converging defenders and scampered for a long gain on the broken play.
• Senior running back Steven Miller had a strong showing during 11-on-11 drills. On the fourth play of the period, he beat defenders to the edge and turned down the right sideline for a 20-yard-plus run. Later, he gained 10 yards on a screen pass.
• Redshirt freshman Kameron Bryant, one of three signal-callers vying for the backup role behind Jackson, showed flashes of his potential on Sunday. During 7-on-7 drills, he made a very nice throw to true freshman Malachi Jones on a flag route for a big gain and during the 11-on-11 period, he showed good athleticism on a 15-yard rush.
• True freshman running back Tysean Holloway made one of the best runs of the afternoon when he showed great cutting ability and speed on a powerful 11-yard gain.
• All-America middle linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough was all over the field during 11-on-11 drills and was in on at least two tackles for loss, made a sack and scooped up an errant pitch in the backfield for a fumble recovery that likely would have been returned for a touchdown during game conditions.
• Junior linebacker Karl Anderson was active throughout the afternoon, earning him a lot of reps with the first team.
• True freshman linebacker Greg Hall made one of the best individual plays of the day when he stripped the ball out of Holloway's hands and made a mid-air recovery of his own forced fumble.
• Junior defensive back Patrick Blalock made the only interception of the 11-on-11 period when he stepped in front of a pass intended for Jones from true freshman Paul Magloire.
True freshman offensive lineman Matt Privette (head) and Blackmon (knee) both left practice with injuries. Privette was transported to Watauga Medical Center for further evaluation following his injury while Blackmon's injury will be evaluated further on Monday.
UPDATE: Matt Privette was released from Watauga Medical Center on Sunday evening. His playing status will be updated on Monday.
Appalachian holds another practice in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on Monday. All practices are closed to the general public but GoASU.com will have exclusive updates from the practice field throughout fall camp.
Appalachian State University football practiced just under two-and-a-half hours on Monday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The fourth practice of fall camp was held in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts and was a little less physical than Sunday's workout, with the first day in full pads and the first two-a-day practices of the year coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
• While the Mountaineers ratcheted down the physical nature of practice just a bit on Monday, the intensity and tempo remained at the very high level that it has been at throughout fall camp. Head coach Jerry Moore said that conditioning work that the team put in this summer has played a big part in the lightning-fast pace observed through the first four workouts of camp. Moore explained that the Apps' great physical condition has allowed them to maintain a high-energy level throughout practices and allowed the coaching staff to make more efficient use of the time on the practice field.
• Some of the best plays of the afternoon were turned in during 7-on-7 goal-line drills midway through practice. Early in the period, all-America cornerback Demetrius McCray made a jaw-dropping interception on a fade pass in the corner of the end zone. The offense went back to the fade pattern later in the period and, this time, junior wideout Tony Washington made an acrobatic catch of a well-thrown ball by Jamal Jackson, leaping to haul in the pass before coming down with both feet in bounds for the score.
• Jackson and Washington hooked up for another dazzling play early in the 11-on-11 period that wrapped up the afternoon, when the junior quarterback hit his classmate in stride down the right sideline for a long touchdown pass. Washington displayed great speed on the play when he blew past the secondary en route to the scoring connection.
• Not to be outdone by his counterpart, junior wideout Andrew Peacock also had a couple of big moments during 11-on-11 work. On the first play of the period, he gained several yards on a reverse and several plays later, he caught a pass from Jackson on a crossing route for a first down.
• Appalachian's defense utilized the blitz quite often during 11-on-11 work and it paid dividends throughout the period. In particular, blitzing Mountaineers twice caused errant handoff exchanges that were scooped up in stride and taken back for scores by junior Patrick Blalock and freshman Tashion Singleton, respectively.
• Singleton and fellow rookie Kevin Walton both picked up sacks on the blitz.
• Redshirt freshman tackle Thomas Bronson and senior linebacker Brandon Grier sliced through the line of scrimmage to combine for a tackle for loss.
• Linebackers Jeremy Kimbrough and Karl Anderson turned in one of the biggest plays of the afternoon when they sniffed out a screen pass and combined to stop the pass-catcher for a big loss.
• Thanks to pressure from redshirt freshman Davante Harris, fellow redshirt frosh Chris Shaffer picked off a pass and returned it for a big gain.
• Matt Privette (head) and Dante Blackmon (knee), who left Sunday's practice, remained out of action on Monday. Privette is day-to-day while Blackmon's status likely won't be determined until later this week.
WHAT'S UP NEXT
Two of the milestone days of fall camp are coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Mountaineers will strap on full pads for the first time this season and on Wednesday, Appalachian holds its first two-a-day session of the fall. All practices are closed to the general public but GoASU.com will have exclusive updates from the practice field throughout fall camp.
Photo Courtesy: Jeremy Kimbrough, ASU Athletics