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Spring Practice #8 - March 31, 2011

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The Tigers were out in shells today for more of a pass-oriented game plan as they prepare for their first full-scale scrimmage this weekend. Coach Porter talked a little bit about the scrimmage after practice and said that he won't be able to get in the neighborhood of 100 plays because of the lack of depth, particularly in the offensive line. He wants to get as much quality work out of the team as possible.

Coach Porter has spoken highly of the offensive line after just about every practice, commending them for continuing to fight though each day and each play. With only two returning players with extensive game experience, the group is working with junior college transfers, freshmen and converted defensive linemen to build a strong front. Redshirt freshman Al Bond continues to work extensively at center and is working hard on gaining consistency in snapping the ball to Andy Summerlin and Will Gilchrist.

Coach Porter mentioned that he has been impressed this spring with the cornerbacks, particularly Lonnie Ballentine, Mohammed Seisay, Taurean Nixon and Lavaris Edwards. He likes the competiveness that these guys have had and also spoke about Seisay getting some work at safety.

"The last two days I have been really excited about what I am seeing out of our defense," said Porter. "We are seeing more chemistry and continuity with that group. I still think the offense in general is a little sloppy, so we need to clean that up. We will have a much better feel for it on Saturday because we are going to scrimmage over here and put it out there and let them play."

The defensive line is one of the positions that has the most talent, experience and depth. The line is led by preseason honors candidates Dontari Poe and Frank Trotter. Also seeing many reps in the line this spring are returnees Dasmine Cathey, Daniel Thomas, Johnnie Farms and Tommy Walker and junior college transfer Zach Gholson. Corey Jones, who played as a true freshman last season, has been out so far this spring with an injury, while redshirt freshmen Martin Ifedi and Devin Clark are working their way into the rotation.

"I am finally starting to see what I have been expecting to see out of our defensive front," added Porter. "They have been very productive as a unit."

The Tigers are at the half-way point in spring practice. They will have six more practices in the next two weeks, and close out the spring with the Blue-Gray Game at the Liberty Bowl on Saturday, April 16. Festivities surrounding the spring game have been announced and can be found HERE.

See below for a video interview with quarterback Will Gilchrist. Will talks about his role this spring and how he looks forward to the opportunity to guide the Tigers as well as how he and Andy Summerlin push each other every day to create a competitive environment.

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