Today was the first day in full pads for the Tigers and the squad practiced for about two hours on the grass fields at the Murphy Complex.
There was a lot of live action during the workout and the defense appeared to have the edge today, though Coach Larry Porter did commend the offense, particularly the line, for not giving in and continuing to fight to the end. He was pleased with the final period of action of the two minute drill, which saw the offense reach the endzone on a pass from Andy Summerlin to Tannar Rehrer.
"Today was a tough day for the offensive line," said Porter. "They fought to the end, and because of it, the offense finished this practice very, very strong. That is a compliment to the guys up front battling and staying with it."
There were a few nice offensive plays today during the various periods of live team work, including a couple of 15-yard receptions by Curtis Johnson and about a 20-yard reception by Tannar Rehrer. Junior college transfer Jamere Valentine seems to be getting adjusted well, and he made some nice offensive gains today. He had about a 15-yard reception and a couple of solid runs. Billy Foster also had a productive run that showed his sheer speed.
Darius Davis, who completed his eligibility this fall can't seem to get enough of practice and has been here the last couple of sessions to encourage the secondary. Another former Tiger came out today to check out the squad as former defensive lineman Clinton McDonald watched from the sidelines for a while. McDonald, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009, is in school this semester completing his degree requirements. He is expected to earn his degree from the U of M in May.
The Tigers will practice tomorrow afternoon at the complex instead of their usual Saturday morning workout, and are nearly halfway through the spring practice session.
See below for a photo gallery of shots from practice, as well as the post-practice interview with Coach Porter.