SAN ANTONIO – Tuesday's practice sessions continued to let the deep West offensive line prove that they could have an edge in the game. It was also the day that two of Texas' commitments – Dan Buckner and Aaron Williams – showed they are among the best of the best. Find out who else impressed on the West squad in today's Hot 11 edition.
The Texas Longhorn commitment has come to play. After making a big splash in day one, Buckner continued to impress during the second day of drills. He burned defensive backs on deep balls, but he also looked good with his ability to go in traffic and make the big catch. He toasted Robert Golden on the first play of one-on-ones.
His over-the-shoulder catch in 7-on-7 drills was enough to put him on the Hot 11. It was a thing of beauty. Then the Rivals100 Notre Dame pledge continued to put on a show during one-on-ones. He also got the best of Golden on one rep with a very well run route.
Kalil did again what he's done his entire high school career – dominate. During one-on-ones and then again during full team drills, Kalil more than held his own against a talented defensive line group. He had a good outing again going against the speed rushers like R.J. Washington and he also did well against stronger rushers like Baker Steinkuhler.
The four-star, Rivals100 linebacker from Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood finally got up to speed on Tuesday. After struggling a little bit on Monday, Katoa was flying around all over the field on Tuesday making plays from sideline to sideline. He had a big hit in the morning that drew a big round of 'ohs' and 'ahs' from the West defense.
At first it looked like the West linebackers might be one of the biggest question marks on the roster, but after watching Katoa and Mauti step up on Tuesday, that might not be an issue any more. The three-star linebacker from Mandeville, La., stepped up in space in team drills and made some big hits. He was also exceptional in coverage situations.
There isn't a more confident player on the West roster than Moore. He isn't shy about calling out receivers and challenging them to battles in one-on-ones. The good thing is that he backs up his challenge with exceptional coverage skills. He more than handled Marcus Wright, Jameel Owens and Michael Floyd in battles on Tuesday. He and Owens really went at each other, making for some of the best entertainment of the day.
Another budding battle that should be great to watch on Saturday is the one between Robinson and Marcus Forston. Robinson has more than handled anybody that's gone up against him in practice. The only guy that got by him was Lawrence Guy, but that was more of a stalemate than anything. In the next rep against Guy, Robinson didn't let him get anywhere. Robinson, who is heading to Notre Dame, is proving to be one of the best interior linemen in the nation.
It took a while but Darrell Scott finally got a chance to show why he's the nation's top running back. The five-star prospect blew up late in the Tuesday afternoon practice when he finally got a chance to make some plays with his feet. He exploded around the left side on a sweep play and bolted for what would have been a touchdown. Then on a counter up the middle he blitzed through the second level and went untouched into the secondary. If Scott gets touches in the game – which he will – expect big things to happen.
Smith got the one-on-ones started off with a bang when he pancaked Kavario Middleton on the first play. Smith also got the best of Steinkuhler in the one-on-ones. Smith, a USC pledge, continues to show why he's one of the nation's best offensive tackle prospects. It should be fun to see him in the game against the East defensive ends.
There isn't anybody on the West defensive line that has a more explosive first step. He is quick off the ball and his speed rush to the outside will tough to stop. One of the most highly anticipated matchups in the game will be Washington up against Mike Adams. That could shape up into one of the biggest battles of the year.
Williams continues to show why he's been one of the Lone Star State's most dominating players. He baited a quarterback into an interception during one-on-ones when paired up against Jermaine Kearse. He also excelled in run support coming up to lay a lick against Scott.