The first day of fall practice came and went. Players were excited, optimistic and ready to go -- shockingly.
There will be plenty that is said in done of the course of the next 25 days until UC his the field against Fresno State. The first day is rarely filled with much more than the first three emotions. We'll check back on those emotions after one week of 99 degree temperates at Higher Ground.
--- There was some big news out of the first day of practice as WR Kenbrell Thompkins was ruled ineligible for this season, but will get two years of eligibility.
The bottom line is, if this is the worst news to come out of UC camp prior to the game against Fresno State, they will be pretty happy. Thompkins would have contributed, but he wasn't going to be a starter and only really be relied on should there have been an injury to Armon Binns or Vidal Hazelton. (Knock on wood, altogether now)
--- Elsewhere on the ineligible front, Butch Jones said that tight end Travis Kelce would not be eligible this year due to a violation of team rules, according to Bill Koch.
Last year, running out of the wildcat formation he rushed eight times for 47 yards for a 5.9 average. He scored two touchdowns.
This is not an ideal revelation, but with Ben Guidugli and Adrien Robinson in place and a number of athletes who could thrive in a wildcat type formation, this wouldn't be considered a serious blow to the team.
--- Tommy G talked with Butch Jones after practice.
--- Brian Bennett continued his Opening Camp series with the Bearcats. Not a ton of new information here, but more solid BB.
--- He also put out his power rankings with UC second behind Pitt.
--- Isaiah Pead and Zach Collaros were both added to the Maxwell Award Watch List of the best player in college football. The list seems pretty subjective and you could argue for a few other players on the UC offense as well, not to mention USF QB B.J. Daniels, who was mysteriously left off. But considering Pead's 6.7 yards per carry last season, it's hard to go wrong.
Also, Armon Binns was added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.
--- If you want a feel for the energy of UC's first practice Monday, there is a great video up on Butch Jones' blog. After watching this, I came to a conclusion: I want Kerry Coombs to call me every morning and give me a motivational speech. Pretty sure I would be a 10x more productive reporter/blogger if I could make that happen.
--- USF lost receiver Colby Erskin for the year with a torn ACL. Not necessarily noteworthy on the surface, until you dig deeper and find out it was his fourth ACL tear. Coach Skip Holtz says he was apprehensive about letting Erskin back on the field, but Erskin and his father both understood the risks but wanted to play that badly.
Then, in the first week of practice it happens again. Gutwrenching.
--- Some days are special. Thanksgiving. Christmas. National High-5 Day. And apparently, today is Lazy Day. But today is special for another reason. Today, Madden 11 was released. Though, I think the last two partially go hand in hand. I will be picking up my copy before the day is up. I won't be alone.
I found this interview with some EA Sports folks and almost dropped my eight-legged turkey when I saw how much money they estimated John Madden has made for lending his name/voice to the series.
--- I can't help but share some random internet humor I strolled across. A video of a woman raging against McDonalds employees when they didn't serve her chicken nuggets is pretty funny in its own right. But the conclusion as the next car in line at 6:30 a.m. pulls up left me rolling.
You can almost hear the conversation: "Uh, I'm cool with my McGriddle."