I was impressed. The talent Kirby and his staff have assembled is elite. And the talent shows up at every position group. With JT Daniels spinning it, this 2021 team has the look of a contender.
My Top G-Day Observations:
- NO REASON TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT O-LINE: Coach Luke is working with a stockpile of talent. At left tackle, Truss looked improved and Salyer was rock solid. Amarius Mims was more polished than I had anticipated and he looked comfortable with the 2’s at LT. Warren McClendon and Broderick Jones handled the right side. Tate Ratledge looked strong inside, competing with Shaffer & Webb. Van Pran and Erickson were both impressive at center.
- TIGHT-END DARNELL WASHINGTON looks ready to have a breakout season. Fit and comfortable in the scheme now, this guy is a beast. He is such a mismatch advantage and I can’t imagine Monken not getting him 10 targets a game.
- CORNERBACK IS STILL THE #1 CONCERN. Ameer Speed looks like a sure thing to start at one corner spot. The other corner position looks wide open. Jalen Kimber was the best man cover guy, among the young dudes. Lovasea Carroll and Kelee Ringo aren’t quite there yet.
- JALEN CARTER IS DOGS BEST DEFENSIVE LINEMAN. The super sophomore lined up inside at tackle and outside at end and looked good mixing it up. Relentless and competitive. A hand full.
- INSIDE LINEBACKER IS A STRENGTH. Nakobe Dean will lead the team in tackles and both Quay Walker and Channing Tindall were busy taking care of business. This trio will shine.
- THE WIDE RECEIVERS LOOK LEGIT. Adonai Mitchell stole the show at G-Day, with his playmaking skills. I got to see Jermaine Burton, Dominique Blaylock and Rosemy-Jacksaint running routes and catching the ball, in pregame warm-ups. The guess here says all 3 will be full go at the end of the summer. Kearis Jackson is a player. Arian Smith is dangerous. D-Rob is dependable. Justin Robinson turned some heads this spring. I was impressed with slot receiver Ladd McConkey, who made some noise at G-Day. Brock Bowers is a big receiver masquerading as a tight-end. That’s 10-deep. Impressive.
- RUNNING BACKS ARE EXCELLENT RECEIVERS! Zues, Cook, Milton and Edwards caught 22 balls. Daniels recognizes good receivers when he sees one. Loved to see him checking it down to the backs and getting them involved.
- CARSON BECK SHINED AT HIS COMING OUT PARTY! This was our first chance to see Beck play ball and he was impressive (22-31 with 2 TD’s) getting the ball down the field. Like his mobility too. He’s earned the back-up job. Vandagriff got a few snaps and showed off a good arm and the ability to make a play outside the pocket. The QB competition next spring will be interesting.
- COACH SMART LOOKS READY TO OPEN UP THE OFFENSE. Coach Monken dialed up 60 passing attempts, his QB’s threw for 680 yards and they went for forty-one 1st downs. JT Daniels has earned Kirby’s trust and watching this offense is going to be fun.
- THE EDGE RUSHERS HAD A QUIET G-DAY. Adam Anderson and Nolan Smith must be laying in the weeds, as it relates to the Clemson game. Need these two guys to show up big on game day.