It’s still early but some of the freshmen are emerging: Everyone’s heard about wide receiver Juju Smith’s excellent play. Who else? At the scrimmage, cornerback Jonathan Lockett made some plays, including a blocked field goal. Safety John Plattenburg keeps getting mentions from the coaches.
Bryce Dixon is noticeable especially because of the tight end shortage. Adoree Jackson’s been hurt the past few days but should get plenty of time at cornerback. Wide receiver Ajene Harris (above) has made plays and done better initially than I expected.
It is always easier to gain attention at the skill positions. At the same time, I’m a little surprised none of the freshmen linemen other than Toa Lobendahn seem to be challenging for a starting spot yet with essentially three open spots.
Damien Mama’s getting reps at right guard but is clearly behind Khaliel Rodgers. Viane Talamaivao’s been over at left guard firmly behind Lobendahn. And Chris Brown’s been behind them.
Defensively, not much has been said about linebacker Olajuwon Tucker, who is physically imposing. Or defensive end Malik Dorton. Or linebacker Uchenna Nwosu. This is not a negative because these guys are barely a 10 days into their college careers. But everyone always wants to know about the freshmen and that’s the current status.