BUIES CREEK, N.C. — Campbell's football team had another few firsts of the 2011 preseason camp and hosted the first two-a-day practice on Monday, Aug. 8, on the team's grass practice field. The second practice was also CU's first night workout of the preseason.
The Camels went full pads in the opening session during the morning. Again individual drills were worked on with the running backs and quarterbacks working on timing of handoffs, the receivers and quarterbacks working on correcting the timing of routes, the linebackers squaring off and went through one-on-one tackling drills, the defensive backs worked on dropping into coverage and quickly breaking on the ball, the offensive and defensive line used the blocking sled on keeping low in their stances and firing off the ball with power.
The team's full offense and defense squared off a few times through the practice. Among the individual highlights from the first time were linebacker Michael Rudisill picking off a pass, a 20-yard pass from quarterback Braden Smith to running back Rashaun Brown, defensive lineman Jeremiah Robinson getting sacks or close enough to the quarterback twice to force the end of a play and Smith completed a 12-yard screen pass to running back C.J. Oates.
The team then worked on punting with Ted Moore booming a few punts of over 40 yards. Kickoffs came next with Adam Willets showing off a strong leg and putting several of his kicks on the edge of the far goal line.
The Camels then went back to a few team oriented activities. A few of the highlights were defensive lineman Taurean Lynch picking up a sack and play stoppage, wide receiver Will Keebler hauling in a 12-yard pass from quarterback Dakota Wolf, running back Kurt Odom sprinting for a 13-yard gain and Smith hitting Keebler 35-yards down the field for a long reception.
CU ended the first practice with goal line situations. Rashaun Brown took the first carry up the middle for touchdown. On the defensive front, linebacker Milton Brown came up with a tackle for loss to thwart a potential scoring play for the offense and defensive tackle DeAnthony Williams had a quick burst through the line to stop a ball carrier in the backfield. The offense had the last word as Rashaun Brown ended the drill and the practice with his second touchdown gallop.
The Camels' second practice of the day was one held in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads. The team continued to work on fundamentals with foot work and hand placement being a theme of the practice. The team also went through punt block, kickoff returns, red zone offense and defense and the two minute offense. The two minute offense drill proved to be exciting as the first team offense and the first team defense matched-up against each other. The defense recorded stops on the first three plays including a sack by Taurean Lynch on third down to force a fourth and long situation. The offense got a huge lift and a much needed first down when C.J. Oates was able to haul in 30-yard pass down the middle of the field from quarterback Dakota Wolf to quickly re-energize the offense. The next play proved to be the difference as Wolf connected with receiver Harrison Jordan in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown.
"The morning practice went extremely well," Coach Steele stated. "I was pleased with our effort and thought we got a lot accomplished this morning. In the afternoon practice we were a little lethargic. We practiced right around the time when we will be kicking off against ODU so the temperature was a little high. We started off a little slowly, but we ended well. I felt that overall we got a lot of things done today. This is the time where you really need to learn to get through the difficult conditions that we are going to practice and play in over the next few weeks. I saw some good things today. I saw our defense make some plays with a couple of interceptions. Our defense also forced and recovered a few fumbles. Offensively at times we were very effective and executed very well. At other times we tended to get a little sloppy and we have to eliminate that now."
The Camels keep working toward the start of the season and have a 9:20 a.m. practice on Tuesday, Aug. 9. CU will have the team's second double session of the season on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 8:50 a.m. and 6:20 p.m.