The Bobcats practiced inside Wednesday morning for the third time during fall camp. It was conducted in periods in Walter Fieldhouse, with a total of 24 periods over two hours and five minutes. Here are The Post’s observations:

Attendance:

Not present: Elijah Ball (leg injury), Tyler Tupa (leg injury)

Injured: Tariq Drake (thigh injury), Griffin Hites (leg injury)

Attendance notes: 

  • Durrel Wood went through every drill today except for team drills. He didn’t wear shoulder pads because of the NCAA acclamation period. 
  • Coach Frank Solich commented on both Ball’s and Tupa’s injuries after practice today. Ball was seeing the team doctor who did his surgery last season, but it doesn’t sound promising. For Tupa the original prognosis on his knee is not as bad as Solich was originally told. We will hear more of a time-table for him in the days ahead. 
  • Drake exited a team goal line drill late into practice and could be seen icing his thigh and watching practice. 
  • Hites exited practice after colliding with Evan Croutch. He never returned.
  • Cole Irland and Adam Notestine were in the stands yet again. They will be removed from the not present list since they will probably be redshirted for the season. 

Observations:

Sights and Sounds

  • At least five NFL scouts were at practice this morning for almost the entire session, which is rare for this early in the season. It proves how far the program has come over Solich’s 14 years in Athens. 
  • Jake Hale was wearing a No. 32 practice jersey. It could just be a one day thing, but fun to note because it was previously worn by current Miami Dolphin, Quentin Poling. 
  • Today was the first time that the Bobcats wore shoulder pads, which made for more eventful team sessions. As defensive line coach Pete Germano said, “Football, in my opinion, doesn’t start until we put pads on.”

7-on-7

  • The worst part of the day for the quarterbacks — and the best part of the day for the secondary — was the 7-on-7. Throughout the period, which featured 15 snaps, two interceptions were thrown. They both came from Nathan Rourke, who was intercepted by Jalen Fox and Marlin Brooks. 
  • Javon Hagan was quick to find the Bobcats’ new turnover belt, which he handed to Fox when they exited the drill. Fox then walked up and down the sideline with the belt over his shoulder until he went back in. 
  • In total, Rourke was 4-of-6 in the period. The two interceptions happened back-to-back to start the period. Rourke exited quickly to converse with quarterbacks coach Scott Isphording. He reentered with four straight completions to Andrew Meyer (two), Papi White (one) and Keevon Harris (one). 
  • As said previously, Quinton Maxwell has the backup quarterback job, so there’s no surprise he’s taking the most reps behind Rourke. In the 7-on-7 period, he was 5-of-6 with passes to Hunter Edwards (two), Bryan Long (one), Isiah Cox (one) and Noah Hoffman (one). 

Redzone Situation

  • Rourke was 5-of-6 in a red zone situation period, but it was a three-quarters-speed reps for the most part. A whistle would be blown after about five to 10 seconds signaling the line would be breaking in a game. 
  • He completed passes to Meyer (two), White (two) and A.J. Ouellette (one). Quinton Maxwell also participated in the situational period, completing passes to Harris (one), Julian Ross (one) and Connor Brown (one). The one to Brown was a touchdown. 
  • Those plays all took place on the offense’s side of the field, all starting from the 20-yard line. 

Third-stringers

  • As the Bobcats usually do, they ended practice with third and fourth stringers. Except, today it was much more competitive with shoulder pads on. Still, the Bobcats can't tackle until Friday with full pads.
  • Throughout a 15 play period, Joe Mischler and Naylan Yates traded snaps at quarterback. Mischler took 13 of those snaps and impressed, completing 4-of-5 passes. He connected with Jerome Buckner (two), Shane Hooks (one) and a touchdown to Camryn Snow (one).
  • Every time Ohio ran the ball in this period, the ball was handed off to O’Shaan Allison. The true freshman running back from Malvern, Pennsylvania, impressed in his seven carries. Odds are he will redshirt with a backfield with so much depth, but he looks like a back with the strength to run it up the middle and enough speed to break free. 

Defensive line

  • As camp progresses, the true outlook will start to show. Three days in and after the first day of camp, there seems to be eight guys in the mix. As Germano said earlier, he can’t really evaluate everyone until they start hitting. After the first scrimmage on August 17th, the depth chart will take form. 
  • Here are the players who have been in the defensive end mix: Will Evans, Chukwudi Chukwu, Austin Conrad, Amir Miller and Amos Ogun-Semore.
  • Here are the players who have been in the defensive tackle mix: Andrew Payne, Cole Baker, Brian Arp, Kent Berger and Zach Burks. 

Secondary 

  • With more experience in the secondary, it hasn’t been piecing together who will start, but who will step up when a player goes down in October. Javon Hagan and Kylan Nelson will likely be the best duo of safeties in the Mid-American Conference this year. 
  • Fox and Brooks made smart plays in practice today, and redshirt freshmen De’Vante Mitchell continues to impress. He intercepted Maxwell on a deflection. It’s those heads up plays that carry over from circuit drills that will get him into the game. 

Next Up: 

The Bobcats return to practice Thursday at 8:40 a.m. It is open to the public and will be held at Peden Stadium. It will be Ohio’s second day wearing shoulder pads.

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