The first thing I heard when I walked down the sidelines of today’s open practice came from Lamar Thomas’ mouth. “You’re trying to be too perfect. You don’t need to,” Thomas told Garrett “Juice” Johnson.
LT is one of the more animated teachers on the coaching staff. Sometimes he does it rom the sidelines, other times he’s using a pad against his players. He also has a way of interjecting himself into teachable moments.
During the preliminary warm-up portion of practice, the offense walked through plays to give every player an opportunity to get loose. Freshman Zy’Aire Hughes finished his rep and came to the sideline confused. There to greet him was Ryan Timmons. The senior was prepared to answer Hughes’ question before he even asked it. Unsure about the proper steps in a flat route, Timmons took the time to show Hughes exactly how it’s done.
LT stepped in to make sure Timmons was telling him exactly what he needed to know. You’d never think he’s a micro-manager, but LT can’t keep to himself.
On the defensive side of the ball, it was fun to see the members of the secondary build one another up and hand out advice. Even though they’re a young unit, a year or two of experience feels like ten for the newcomers.
Yesterday 4-star freshman cornerback Jordan Griffin said Derrick Baity had been a “tremendous help” in his first few months on campus.
“Derrick Baity has taken me under his wing. I’ve been looking up to him a lot and working hard each and every day. Taking things from his work ethic and implementing it into my game,” Griffin said.
Today I spotted Baity handing Griffin some advice on the sideline. Ten minutes later, Griffin jumped a hitch route to intercept a pass down the sideline and return it to the end zone for six.