Aug 12, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - One down, three more work-weeks to go for the UC Davis football team before opening the 2013 season at the University of South Dakota on Aug. 31, the first game for new head coach Ron Gould.
UC Davis is holding the first of four two-a-day practices today (Monday, Aug. 12) as it continues preparations. So far the weather has been cooperating and the Aggies continue to cross their fingers that warmer temperatures stay away.
Some news and notes as the practice week starts.
Practice Schedule - Two-a-day practices at Aggie Stadium are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Saturday this week while single practice are slated for Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Practice times are always subject to change but double-days will go from 8:45-10:50 in the morning and then 4-5:15 in the afternoon. Tuesday and Thursday's drills will run from 9:15-11:20 a.m. with Sunday's is slightly different, 10:15 a.m.-12:20 p.m. UC Davis will go in full pads Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings.
Shriner's Visit - An annual fall camp highlight is the Aggies' visit To Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento, this year scheduled for Thursday evening. Between 10-20 patients and their families will be invaded by more than 90 enthusiastic football players who will visit, play and - most importantly - bring plenty of smiles. Sometimes it's hard to tell who's having more fun, the players or the patients. Shriners does wonderful things for their young patients, most who have endured burns, spinal cord injuries or other afflictions. An Aggie smile goes a long way to helping on the road to recovery.
Gould Protege's Taking Off - Ron Gould's pipeline of running backs and fullbacks to the NFL is well-documented. Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks), Justin Forsett (Jaguars) and Shane Vereen (Patriots) are just a few that have made a home in the league. Two more - undrafted free agents C.J. Anderson (Broncos) and Eric Stevens (Rams) - are trying to add their name to the list this summer. Anderson, particularly, served notice on Thursday he wants to be in Denver's backfield plans when he rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries against the San Francisco 49ers. The Broncos have had an undrafted free agent find his way onto the roster each of the past nine seasons. Anderson hopes to make it 10.
Speaking of Broncos-49ers - Former Aggie punter Colton Schmidt - signed as an undrafted free agent by the Niners in July, released around the start of training camp and then re-signed a little later - had a nice debut last Thursday. Three kickoffs, three boots into the endzone including one in the fourth where picked up a tackle. His best kick, however, might have been the 57-yard punt - yes, 57 yards - that was caught at the 2 by the Broncos' Trindon Holliday. Holliday might've regretted that decision after San Francisco's Ricardo Lockette leveled him where he caught it. Schmidt's punt covered about 72 yards in the air from the point of his kick.
Fan Fest Scheduled for Aug. 24 - There will not be the annual Blue-Gold Scrimmage this year but the Aggie community will still be able to come out with the Aggie Football Fan Fest on Aug. 24. Practice that day is scheduled from 10:15 a.m.-12:20 p.m. with autographs and opportunities for fans to meet the players and coaches taking place on the field immediately after. More interactive activities are planned and the Aggie Pride Outlet will be having a Barn Sale.
Moving Fast at Practice - Aug. 24 will give Aggie fans a very good idea of how practices are running throughout fall camp. Players are seemingly always moving regardless what is happening, coaches are continually bringing high energy to every drill and time is maximized. Of course, not everything is smooth. Miscues during often result in players doing dreaded up-downs right on the spot before drills resume. Still, there is very little wasted effort during practices.
Jabari's Corner - Besides doing everything he can to get ready for the season, junior cornerback Jabari Howard has been busy interviewing the 15 Aggie seniors as part of "Jabari's Corner". His Q&A's with each one are giving fans a chance to meet the seniors getting ready for the last season. So far, defensive backs Dre Allen and Tre Sayles and quarterback Randy Wright have been featured. Defensive end Nick King, defensive lineman Khalid Jones and cornerback Jonathan Perkins are in the on-deck circle.