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April 14, 2006The Utes were back in full pads and tackle football was in full effect on Thursday at the McCarthy Practice Fields. The defense came with it's "A" game today and looked much better than the past few practices. With the defense stepping up, today's practice was the most mistake free outing of the spring.
The defense was on their toes today as they tried to make up for the past two days of sloppy practice. The first team defense matched up evenly as the first team offense and rushing yards were especially hard to come by today. Tailback Darrell Mack was back and ready to show that he has not yet conceded the starting job to Darryl Poston. Mack had great vision today as he hit the holes on time and broke to the outside when the play broke down. Mack's best run came on a handoff from Tommy Grady as he swept to the outside for a ten yard touchdown.
With the defense focused on stopping the run, the quarterbacks stepped up and played well. Brett Ratliff had another good day passing the ball going four for six in scrimmage situations. Ratliff zipped the ball to Brent Casteel on an out and up for a 20 yard gain. Casteel also caught a five yard dump pass from Ratliff, and juked one defender cutting his way to the middle of the field for a big gain.
Tommy Grady came out hitting his targets with no problems as he went four for five in scrimmage situations. Grady tossed a five yard pass to Marquis Wilson, who cut back and turned on the jets outracing the defense for a touchdown. Bradon Godfrey also had a spectacular grab as he went up high in the back of the end zone with a one handed snag for a touchdown from Grady.
Stars of the Day
Offense - Marquis Wilson shined in today's practice as he outworked the secondary all day long. Wilson had the move of the week, spinning off two defenders and juking another out his shoes before getting into the end zone for his third touchdown on the day.
Defense - Casey Evans was all over the field, and was keying on the quarterbacks all day. Evans made the defensive play of the day, as he picked off a Tommy Grady pass and ran it all the way back for a touchdown.
Sophomore receiver Freddie Brown injured his right shoulder after coming down hard on a reception. Brown didn't return to practice, but should be ready for Saturday's session. Linebacker Joe Jiannoni was in the pit today with an ankle injury. Cornerback Eric Weddle aggravated his hamstring injury and sat out a majority of today's practice.
Rivals 100 recruit Jason Munns stopped by today's practice on an unofficial visit to the U. Munns observed the entire practice and plans on taking a tour of campus tomorrow before hitting the Elite 11 camp this weekend.