Senior Bowl: South Observations

Vince Williams (Robert Mayer/USA Today)

Skill-position players often get the hype, but the defenders made an impression at times during the South squad's practice Tuesday afternoon.

Here are notes and observations from the South squad's Tuesday afternoon practice:

  • FSU linebacker Vince Williams talks a big game on the field, but backed it up Tuesday with some good showings both against the run and the pass, including a pick-six late in team scrimmage. He talked about becoming a more balanced linebacker this week as one of his primary goals.

  • Safety Shawn Williams (Georgia) had a big hit on wide receiver Quinton Patton but Patton hung on to ball during the 7-on-7.

  • Defensive backs B.W. Webb (Williams & Mary) and Robert Alford (Southeastern Louisiana) were the kick returners.

  • Defensive tackle John Jenkins continued to dominate at times with a variety of bull rushes and pass-rush moves, but he also showed he isn't too big to chase after a ball carrier 30 yards downfield, despite weighing 358 pounds.

  • Patton continues to impress. He had another big day capped by a beautiful catch on a long ball over Robert Alford (Southeastern Louisiana) who had good coverage. Patton excels in route-running and can finish the play with strong and attacking hands with the ball in the air.

  • Baylor's Terrance Williams is one of the top receivers at the Senior Bowl. He also impressed with tremendous blocking against Cal cornerback Marc Anthony to turn a nice run by Florida's Mike Gillislee into a big gainer.

  • Alabama safety Robert Lester made a nice play during full-team work with a pass breakup, manning up against Baylor standout Terrance Williams.

  • South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore was in attendance, watching the South practice.

  • The Rams spent a good part of their Tuesday checking out safeties. Baccari Rambo, of Georgia, was the one they focused on most, both during and after the South team's practice.

  • Scouts were moaning and groaning – or rejoicing at the free time to check their mail – at the pace of the full-team scrimmage. The offense was running plays at a rate of about one in every 45 seconds. The North's scrimmage ran at a much faster clip. A faster pace means more plays and more chances to impress.

  • During a 9-on-7 drill, 6-foot-4 tight end Vance McDonald was a frequent target for quarterbacks, mostly on shorter routes. The former Rice standout caught about a half-dozen passes during the period but also had two drops.

  • Drops weren't limited to McDonald. Wake Forest fullback Tommy Bohanon, Duke receiver Conner Vernon, Georgia receiver Tavarres King and Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton also had drops.

  • Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson showed some poise during 11-on-11s. After dropping the snap, he scooped up the ball, rolled to his left and completed a pass to Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera.

  • None of the running backs were especially good during a one-on-one blitz drill, but give them credit for hanging in there against hard-charging linebackers who outweigh them by 30-or-so pounds. Gillislee and Bohanon had a couple of impressive wins.

  • Cal center Brian Schwenke plays with a tenacious disposition. On at least a couple of snaps during a one-on-one period Schwenke beat his man and then shoved him face-first to the FieldTurf.

  • Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton struggled to get off press coverage at the line of scrimmage and create separation once in his routes. On the plus side, did have a sliding catching on a crossing route.

  • Georgia defensive back Sanders Commings showed solid coverage when he is able to the sideline to assist, but he struggled when it came to keep up with receivers coming out of breaks in space.

  • Clemson RB Andre Ellington and Alabama OL D.J. Fluker were not in attendance for the South Team's practice Tuesday.

  • Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope was there in sweatpants nursing an injury, as was Southern Miss LB Jamie Collins, who was seen getting his leg wrapped earlier in the day.


    Jamie Newberg, John Garcia, Bill Huber and Tim Yotter contributed to this report.


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