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January 11, 2005

Fatigue kicks in for the West all-stars

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Day one and day two of the West practice at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio almost had two completely different tones.

The first day of practice saw several hard hits and take downs by many different players on the West squad, where Tuesday seemed like a more scaled back practice in terms of overall hitting.

Following Tuesday's five-hour full padded workout West head coach John Barnes told Rivals.com he wasn't very happy with the way practice finished.

"I thought we came out and had a really solid practice in the morning half," Barnes said. "But the afternoon was basically a waste of everyone's time. We have to come out and have a better practice on Wednesday."

One of the more noticeable things about the afternoon portion of Tuesday's practice was several of the offensive and defensive linemen struggled with the unseasonably warm temperatures in San Antonio that topped out in the mid 80's.

Dallas (Texas) Kimball defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger showed some of the same dominating force he did in day one, but he wasn't able to carry it over the entire practice.

In the last portion of Tuesday's workout Granger had to sit out because he suffered what on-the-field trainers initially thought was a minor concussion. But early on, Granger couldn't be blocked and even though he faced two or three blockers on every play he found a way to make plays or disrupt the offensive line.

SCRIMMAGE HIGHLIGHTS PRACTICE
Towards the end of Tuesday's practice Barnes led his squad through a 20 play scaled back scrimmage.

Quarterback Ryan Perrilloux looked impressive at times and finished three-of-four on passes during the scrimmage. Mission Viejo, Calif., quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled at times and finished one-of-four passing, but he did manage to hit DeSean Jackson on an out route that was probably one of the more impressive throws of the day.

The only long pass completion in Tuesday's scrimmage came from Alabama commit Jimmy Barnes, who hit Wichita Falls (Texas) Rider receiver David Nelson for a 35-yard touchdown.

Nelson has continued to look like the most impressive wide receiver in the West camp, Jackson has also shown big play ability as well.

FITZGERALD MAKES A GUEST APPEARANCE
One of the bigger surprises of Tuesday's practice didn't happen on the field. Arizona Cardinal wide receiver and former Heisman Trophy runner-up Larry Fitzgerald made his way to both camps on Tuesday. Fitzgerald stayed at the West practice for the entire afternoon session sporting a nice three-piece suit.

CONGDON SHOWS SOLID LEG STRENGTH
San Diego (Calif.) kicker and Nebraska commit Jordan Congdon has shown unbelievable leg strength through two days of practice.

Congdon was kicking several field goals between 40 and 50 yards effortlessly. One of his kicks sailed 20 yards beyond the goal post and landed in the hedges just beyond the practice field. It took several different people to find the ball once it landed in the bushes.

Congdon was just recently named to the No. 1 ranked kicker in the nation by Rivals.com this month.

MILLER PLAYS NASTY
Probably the deepest position on the entire west squad is defensive tackle and one of the players that continues to stand out is Killeen (Texas) Shoemaker's Roy Miller.

During an inside run drill Miller drove his way through several double team blocks and even nearly got into with the No. 1 ranked center in the nation Josh McNeil.

Miller drove McNeil back after the whistle was blown, and the West the coaching staff had to step in to break apart the two players.

"I just go hard like that at all times," Miller said. "That's how I play."

POWE SITS OUT DUE TO TURF TOE
There's been some serious question about the playing shape of Waynesboro (Miss.) Wayne County defensive tackle Jerrell Powe.

Powe sat out Tuesday's practice because of turf toe, and he was not present for the entire morning workout.

A month ago, sources say that Powe tipped that scale at 366 pounds during his December 10 official visit at Texas A&M.


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