Entry #7: Attending Practice
Last Wednesday, I attended my first spring practice of the year with my mom. It felt good to be back at North Carolina. It was a beautiful day and had me craving football.
Everyone had advanced — T.J. Thorpe was better, Marquise Williams was better; everybody is working hard. And it just made me happy and made me want to be out there with them even more.
Watching Marquise, T.J., and Travis Riley out there it’s as if we’re still at the Shrine Bowl practicing. It’s like we’re away from home, in a hotel room, and we’re just chilling. The only thing added is school.
Marquise threw me a couple passes. I didn’t have my gloves on, so it kind of hurt.
I haven’t seen the playbook, but it seems like they run the same offense we ran at Smith High School, which benefits me. The best I could tell, they have a similar playbook.
So what I took from that practice, really, was the intensity level and how fast things really do work. It’s going to help me out a lot going to the practice now and knowing that.
While I was there, I watched the receivers and the tight ends, and I also watched the running backs and quarterbacks on how they do things and how they work. Watching the whole offensive unit and how it works together benefits me more than just watching the tight ends.
When I did watch the tight ends, I’m licking my chops and thinking “playing time.” I’m ready to go in there and take over. Right now, there are only three scholarship players for two tight end positions. So I think both Jack Tabb and I will walk in there and get a chance at a whole lot of playing time for our freshman year.
I learned the formations that they use, but what I really try to take away from the practice is how everybody reacts and how it feels to be a team. Everybody out there was the man at their high school, but they come together as a team on the football field for North Carolina. When you get hit, no one is there to hurt you – they’re just doing what they’re supposed to do.
Before practice, Butch Davis and I had a little talk. He was a little upset that I didn’t come in January. He said, “Man, could you imagine what you could be doing right now?” I told him, “Yeah, I know. I apologize.” He responded, “Don’t even worry about it. You’re still coming in May, right?” I told him I was. He said, “That’s all the time you’re going to need.”