Flashes get ready for intersquad scrimmage
Weeks of draft analysis went into play Wednesday when the seniors from the Blue and Gold teams selected underclassmen for the Spring Game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix takes a break from a preseason practice on August 12, 2011. Nix was also the first freshman ever to be named as the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. File photo by Philip Botta.
The only thing missing were the boos from New York Jets fans.
It was light-hearted fun before the day that the players have been waiting for all spring. Players gathered in the team room at Dix Stadium to see which team could formulate a better squad.
Coach Darrell Hazell put on “certain stipulations” for the draft so that the Blue team, led by quarterback Spencer Keith, could not select quarterback David Fisher in order to have one more big battle.
“Most people in the room don’t know, but I put on certain stipulations for the quarterback position where one team couldn’t take a quarterback and lock out the other,” Hazell said. “I wanted to see Spence and Fisher compete one more time together.”
A surprise to some, Keith announced the Blue team’s first overall pick was junior center Phil Huff. Keith said that the Huff pick was “the most important pick” in the whole draft.
Gold Team plays the numbers gameUnder the direction of safeties coach Jeff Burrows, the Gold team selected six of the 10 available offensive linemen to cripple the Blue team.
A trade was offered up by the blue team that included sending sophomore linebacker Nick Conrad and another player to the Gold team for a lineman.
The Gold team didn’t bite.
“I’m going to fix that,” Hazell said. “I’ll tell the Gold team that they’ve got to give up an offensive lineman, there won’t be a trade.”
Now, the Gold team will pay the price and lose out on two players they could have for one and lose a lineman all together.
Smack talk is the keyAfter the draft, Hazell opened the floor to the senior captains in order to provoke the other team.
In a comical way, players made several comments about what they did and didn’t like about the draft. Blue team captain and defensive back Sidney Saulter said, “I don’t see any threats over there,” to Gold team captain and wide receiver Tyshon Goode.
Goode responded to Saulter’s comment with a blast to his secondary play.
“We’ve got a bunch of explosive players on our team,” Goode said. “Speed kills and your secondary can’t handle it.”
When asked about the whole draft process and if there were any surprises, Goode calmly joked there were “no surprises. Me and my staff, we’re prepared.”
Gold Team utilizes coaching staffWith all the commotion in the draft room, the seniors on the Gold team were up and around talking with coaches between picks.
Coach Hazell noticed the strategy and applauded it.
“I would have used all my resources in that position,” Hazell said. “Especially towards the end towards the end when it started to get really competitive.”
Notable draft selectionSophomore running back Trayion Durham fell to the fifth overall pick, with worries of an injury that will affect him.
“(Durham)’s not even questionable, he’s doubtful,” Hazell said. “That’s why he was taken so late. It’s a risk when you’re not sure he’s going to play. I wouldn’t have taken him.”
The Gold team also drafted junior running back Dri Archer to have the edge at the running back position.
Junior defensive lineman Richard Gray, who has had an outstanding spring so far, was the first defensive player taken in the draft, ninth overall by the Blue team. The Gold team countered the Gray selection by grabbing Roosevelt Nix at 11.
Fisher got a large round of applause when he was finally selected as the first quarterback at 34th overall [the Gold team could have drafted him at any time].
Thirteen picks after Fisher, freshman kicker April Goss was selected to the Gold team with an even bigger round of applause by the team.
Both teams will display their talents at 2:30 p.m. at Dix Stadium on Saturday. The game is free to all Kent State students.