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Football: Ohio practices in the rain, other observations from day nine of fall camp

Ohio held its ninth practice of fall camp Monday following a day off after its first scrimmage.  

A new week of practice also brought new weather. For almost all of their first eight practices, the Bobcats have had to deal with heat that resulted in fatigue and raised tensions among the players. Fortunately, the weather for Monday’s practice was overcast with a light rain throughout the morning. The Bobcats had a new energy in Peden due to the rain, and it showed on the field. 

Here are The Post’s observations from Ohio’s ninth practice of fall camp: 

All work and a little play 

Monday’s cooler weather raised spirits during practice, and the defense’s attitude during tackling drills proved that. 

The Bobcats decided to have some fun and after each player tackled a dummy, they performed an extra “finishing move” before moving over for the next round of tackles. The Bobcats hit the dummies with punches, taunts and wrestling moves.

There were loud cheers for every tackle. Safety Jett Elad gave his dummy an extra slam to the ground after a big hit. Defensive end Bradley Weaver one-upped Elad when he suplexed his dummy into a mat. Finally, safety Tariq Drake capped off the drill with a big tackle of his own and then removed his helmet in celebration while he received cheers from his teammates.  

Ohio has had its nose to the grindstone since camp began, but on Monday it had some fun with its work. 

Additional wide receivers getting attention

Kurtis Rourke and Armani Rogers, both of whom received almost every snap at quarterback in Monday’s practice, worked closely with their wide receivers during team drills. The big names that come to mind in Ohio’s receiving corps include long-time Bobcats such as Cam Odom and Isiah Cox. As fall camp progresses, however, several of Ohio’s receivers have begun to stick out.  

Chase Cokley has become a frequent target for both Rourke and Rogers throughout fall camp. The redshirt fifth year only played in one game last season and is yet to record a reception with the Bobcats. Cokley caught a handful of passes Monday, however, and has frequently appeared in team drills. Although he hasn’t seen much action in regular season games, Cokley might be able to climb up the rotation during camp.

Perhaps the best catch of Monday’s practice came from Shane Bonner. The redshirt junior, made a beautiful contested catch from Rourke along the sideline toward the end of practice. The pass itself was nearly picked off, but Bonner came up with it in the end. 

Sieh Bangura is learning from the veterans 

Ohio has multiple running backs that are talented in different ways, and it’s difficult not to expect a powerful ground game this season. Sieh Bangura, a true freshman, only adds further depth to that ground game. He received a few handoffs Monday and piqued interest during Ohio’s first scrimmage.

Bangura is fighting for attention and snaps in a running backs room loaded with talent. He’s a young player in a seasoned unit, and he has to compete with veterans who are years ahead of him in terms of development. But Bangura isn’t worried about the competition. Fellow running backs like De’Montre Tuggle, O’Shaan Allison and Julian Ross have been helping Bangura fine-tune his performance. 

“They just give me pointers on everything I do,” Bangura said. “Their experience in college helps me get better and better every day.” 

The veterans have already helped Bangura to improve his game and become a more versatile runner than he was before camp began. Bangura hopes that their advice, as well as guidance from Tettleton and coach Tim Albin, can help him make an impact as camp progresses. 

@elifeaz   

ef195418@ohio.edu 

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