Good first day of spring practice at Dix Stadium…

| April 5, 2010

Most of the talk on the sidelines at Dix Stadium today focused on how nice it was to see Eugene Jarvis back on a football field again after the chilling injury that ended his 2009 season and the wait to learn if the NCAA would grant a rare sixth season of eligibility.

I talked to Jarvis after practice and he was pretty hard himself for a “rusty” first day. Deep down, he knew to expect some rust. But Jarvis is a perfectionist, and he called his difficulties with regaining his timing “unacceptable.”

Monday also marked the return of Spencer Keith from the shoulder separation that ended his 2009 season in November. Keith looked surprisingly sharp and showed no signs of difficulty throwing the football. He also was noticeably bigger after a winter of work in the weight room. He has added about 10 pounds of muscle, and that should help him absorb hits like the one that knocked him out the game at Temple.

The best play of the day was a touchdown pass of around 30 yards from Keith to sophomore Matthew Hurdle in the corner of the end zone. Hurdle made a diving grab to beat tight coverage from promising freshman cornerback Darius Polk.

Giorgio Morgan looked sharp. I know he struggled last season after he was derailed by an ankle injury, but he’s still a talent and his experience behind Keith will be a big benefit to KSU.  I also liked what I saw from prep quarterback Cedric McCloud, the early enrollee from Central Carolina Sports Academy. He has good size at 6-2 and a solidly built 234-pounds. His arm strength was encouraging.

A couple of other notes … Pat Reedy’s move to tight end has been delayed by a torn pectoral muscle that will keep him out for the entire spring. Monte Simmons is also out for the spring with a torn quad. Cobrani Mixon practiced, but he is limited while he recovers from offseason knee surgery.

Spencer Keith has switched his number to 3, his old high school number. He wore No. 11 in 2009.

Related posts:

  1. First Spring Depth Chart
  2. Scrimmage blog from Dix Stadium
  3. KSU practice notes …
  4. Initial thoughts from day one at Dix
  5. Beautiful night for a spring game…

Category: General Discussions

About DavidCarducci: View author profile.

Comments (53)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. FlashFan says:

    Good for KSU that Giorgio Morgan stuck around. Nice to have some depth at the QB spot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. bulldog says:

    Dave,

    Will you be able to attend anymore spring practices or the spring game? I am interested to see what impact Jim Fleming, new LBs coach (nice to have an experienced coach from a rival school), and Eugene Baker, new WRs coach (by the way, great to see Eugene back in Kent), can have this spring. As those position groups have a lot of room to grow and develop depth.

    I noticed looking at the spring roster that Alan Vanderink is listed as a student assistant coach, so it looks like his playing career is over. Also, Kirk Belgrave was listed on the new spring roster, but as a player. He was academically ineligible last season, but going into the season was the projected corner opposite of Danny Sadler. Can you confirm either or both of these statements?

    It will be interesting to see if the huge offensive line can improve in their pass and run blocking, along with the tight ends Simpson, Thompson, and Reedy, to make this a special year. They have to be able to control the trenches to keep Jarvis, Keith, Terry, Flowers, and Archer healthy and fresh.

    I am curious to see if they can build true depth in the defensive backfield, especially at cornerback. Polk, Pleasant, Belgrave, Wolfe, Farrington, Gilbert, Saulter, Pratt, Green, Gonosz, and Tiggle should be a great competition throughout spring ball.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi Bulldog,

      I’m taking a few days of vacation this week to do some spring cleaning and watch a bit of the Masters, but I’ll be at Saturday’s practice and most of next week’s practices.
      Fleming was one of the most active-vocal coaches during Monday morning’s practice.
      I don’t know that Vanderink has made a decision regarding his back injury, although he is working as a student assistant currently and was on the field Monday.
      Alan is one of my favorite players over the years. Great guy, great family! So, I’m hoping he can make it back. I’m sure we’ll find out in the not too distant future.
      I can confirm that Belgrave is back and trying to make grade to be eligible for the 2010 season.

  3. bulldog says:

    Dave, thanks for the quick answers to my questions. I did my spring cleaning last week and it will continue over the next few weeks. I coached Vanderink for 2 years in travel baseball when he was 12 and 13 and yes I could not agree more, that he has a great family.

    I hope Belgrave takes advantage of this opportunity, because you can never have enough 6’1″ CBs. It is unfortunate that Walker was stabbed and that is what will keep him out of spring practice, as he could have really asserted himself with Mirando having graduated and Mixon sitting out of contact drills.

    Have you been in touch with Geno lately? When do they begin late spring/early summer workouts with the few remaining players (Greene, Holt, Sherman, Grimsley, and Pinckney, that is all that is left, right?). Any word on who the final scholarship will be given to? Last, will any of the incoming recruits be on campus in mid-May/early-June or will they all come to Kent in August, because the last few summers have been great learning/competition opportunities, because of all of the former greats from Kent State’s past returning to put in work??

    Happy spring cleaning and enjoy the Master’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi guys,

      Sorry I haven’t responded…

      My MacBook gave up the ghost, and I’ve been using an old backup PC to write stories during the last. It was a struggle. Slow as death. I had a difficult time just accessing the internet, let alone the admin for the blog.

      Anyway, now that I have a brand new MacBook Pro, I’m back up and running (and, as it turns out, running a bit faster it turns out since I’m not weighted down by all of that pesky money that had been in my wallet).

      I’ll try to answer most of your questions from the last week below …

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi Bulldog,

      Belgrave looked like he was playing pretty well last week.
      I have been in touch with Geno. They have been doing some work in the last week, but I’m not sure exactly what. Might be individuals. To be honest, I can’t remember how the spring schedule is set up for basketball. You’d think I’d remember after all of these years.
      As you know, Porrini signed. No official word on what’s happening with the last scholarship. I believe Porrini will be in early. He’s been around recently, playing some pick up games with some of the guys, I believe.

      Thanks for the happy spring… And for the Masters’ wish… I know you are a Mickelson fan, but I’m pretty disappointed that Freddy Couples didn’t make a back-nine charge on Sunday. To be honest, I wanted to see either Couples or K.J. Choi win. I know Choi seems like a strange choice, but I’ve met him a few times and he’s a very nice guy. He was paired with Ben Curtis on the Sunday-Monday-Tuesday final round of his rain-delayed win at the Booz Allen in 2006. Didn’t speak a whole lot of English. Just a very pleasant guy.

  4. Kent 76 says:

    Bulldog, don’t forget Manns and the walk-on, Frank (?).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. bulldog says:

    I stand corrected. And Johnson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Kent 76 says:

    Bulldog, It is my understanding that Johnson isn’t permitted to workout with the team at least until the school year is over. Perhaps Henniger will also participate in any spring workouts, as he only lives about 1/2 hour or so away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi Kent 76,
      That’s correct. Johnson can’t do anything until the end of the school year when he becomes eligible.

  7. Pat says:

    Dave,
    Is there any chance that Manny Cass could possibly come back to kent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Pat,
      I think the Manny Cass ship has sailed. I’m not sure where he is now, to be honest.

  8. bulldog says:

    Dave,

    I hope spring cleaning went well and you had a chance to catch the Masters, as it has been a good, great Master’s with my favorite player in contention (Mickelson, because I am left handed).

    Did you have a chance to get out to the practice yesterday @ Dix Stadium? How did they look? I have heard that the weather has been great the last few weeks, which is unheard of this time of year in Northeast Ohio.

    I hope that Jarvis is finding his stride and knocking the dust off, all players are staying healthy, and that there is plenty of competition each practice at all positions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Kent 76 says:

    Pat, everyone’s coming back except Mama…er, Manny Cass.

    Bulldog, because you’re left handed? That’s the hand to use….well, nevermind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. bulldog says:

    Yes, I golf lefty and there are not many of us, so I root for Mickelson, Weir, and Flesch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Gflash68 says:

    Dave,
    This is the first day of late signing and the news is deafening. Have you heard anything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Gflash68,

      Other than Porrini, I haven’t heard anything. I’m not sure exactly what is going to happen. Have to see if everyone stays and if anyone who wasn’t playing and/or will have a difficult time finding playing time next season decides to transfer.
      Also, we’ll have to see if all of the recruits qualify.

  12. bulldog says:

    Porrini signed. Nothing else yet, as far as I am aware of. I have not heard if Deshawn Clay will sign, but as of now they have Henniger, Knight, Guyton, Gaines, Nealy, and Porrini all signed, with a verbal from Clay and Geno/staff still hunting for the final scholarship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. luckyflash says:

    wont Johnson get the last scholarship?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi luckyflash,
      Johnson will get a scholarship.
      The questions have to do with a recruit or two who still have to get their test scores or make grade. Coaches have to keep recruiting and preparing contingency plans. Maybe you find a kid you like and he’s willing to do something like grayshirt or pay for his first year, or even like Johnson was, come to school to work to become eligible.

  14. luckyflash says:

    Any more updates on next years schedule?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. DavidCarducci says:

    Hi Luckyflash…

    I’ll see if it’s complete. The last schedule I printed a few months back was thought to be pretty close to complete with the exception of the northeast Ohio classic..

    But since Youngstown State backed out on the northeast Ohio classic (which is sad and very shortsighted on YSU’s part, by the way), there were some necessary changes.

  16. fallsdog says:

    just as long as a team like Notre Dame College or JCU isn’t added to the northeast ohio classic I am all for that. i would rather adopt Detroit or Oakland into NEO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi Fallsdog,

      I wouldn’t worry about it… YSU backing out means that really good idea is now dead.

  17. bulldog says:

    Dave,

    Are you heading out to Dix Stadium this week at all to check out the practices or scrimmage?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi Bulldog,

      I may head out Saturday for the scrimmage.
      My vacation kept getting interrupted by breaking news stories (Ford contract/Marshall and hiring of new AD), so I’m finally back to trying to use up some of this vacation time this week.

      I’m off until next Wednesday, although I’d like to go to the scrimmage on Saturday.

  18. KentKrazy says:

    Dave, Is Chris or anyone getting a look for an overseas pro contract?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi KentKrazy,

      I think several guys will get a look, but that probably won’t happen for a little while.
      Most European leagues are in or have only just completed their playoffs.

  19. bulldog says:

    Dave,

    You heading out to the scrimmage today?

    I am going to be watching the draft today, to see if Jameson Konz gets taken. Ohio’s Taylor Price was the 1st MAC player taken and he is going to New England.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi Bulldog,

      I did get to the scrimmage … unfortunately.
      I was supposed to be out of town this weekend on a golf trip, but that was cancelled when my friend who was hosting had one of his kids fall ill.
      It was a pretty shaky scrimmage… Other than a few great runs by Archer and Terry (again), nobody on offense really impressed.
      The offensive line had a tough time, which may be because the defense is playing well.

      I’ll be back to work on Thursday, so I will be covering the spring game on Friday.

  20. bulldog says:

    Dave, no worries. Hopefully they can step up at the spring game and the next few practices. Really need the line to step up this spring, summer, and next fall if this team is to take the next step.

    Good news that Konz got drafted and will be given a shot to make the Seahawks. Hopefully he will represent Kent State well and improve his hands.

    Any word on men’s basketball recruiting for this year class or next? I know that you said that Geno and staff were waiting on some SAT/ACT test scores to come in, so they could determine if players would be eligible for D1 or have to go to prep school or juco/cc. Hopefully Clay, Knight, and Guyton were able to pull through.

    Thanks for all that you do for the Record Courier and Kent State athletics. Nielson is starting on May 1st, so I hope he can improve the fundraising/marketing/ticket sales, as everything else seems to be rocking and rolling for Kent Stae athletics, through Laing and staff’s hard work over the last 16 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. fallsdog says:

    man it would be nice if Clay was on the 2010-11 roster…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Fallsdog,

      I don’t believe he will be. From what I’ve heard, he will not qualify.

      It’s too bad, but I think you’ll like who they bring in instead. I know of a couple of guys who have visited the campus in the last week.

  22. RFord says:

    Dave,
    Speaking of golf KSU’s woman’s golf team just won their 12th consecutive MAC Championship. 12 years with a woman’s golf program and 12 MAC titles, good stuff!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. fallsdog says:

    Dave,

    Thanks for ruining my sunday! lol

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. bulldog says:

    Dave,

    Any risk of Henniger, Knight, Gaines, Guyton, or Nealy not qualifying academically, therefore not making to Kent State?

    I am assuming Porrini is in, since he has been on campus and going to open gyms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Bulldog,
      Knight has been a long shot to qualify all along. He’ll probably have to go the junior college route.

  25. Kent 76 says:

    Bulldog, no problem with Henniger qualifying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. bulldog says:

    That is what I remembered, but what about Gaines, Guyton, and Nealy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Bulldog,

      From what I understand, Gaines, Guyton and Nealy are all ok.

      I haven’t seen Shimensky play. I heard yesterday that he had committed. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about him. I’ve never seen him play. The only time I’ve ever seen him was Saturday when he was on the sideline during KSU’s scrimmage.

  27. bulldog says:

    Dave,

    On a side note, I see that Kent Roosevelt QB, Evan Shimensky, has committed to Kent State/Doug Martin, have you or any of your friends ever seen him play? That is my alma mater, but I am 1400 miles away, so I have not seen him play for the Rough Riders. That is great that local products are committing to the Flashes, Vanderink, Wagner, Batton, and now Shimensky.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. bulldog says:

    Good to hear that Gaines, Guyton, and Nealy are all ok. So to recap, with Knight and Clay out, and Johnson taking a scholarship in this class, how many scholarships are still available, with the recent changes? 2, 3, 4?

    Gaines, Guyton, Nealy, and Johnson taking up 4 scholarships.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. FlashFan83 says:

    Don’t forget Henniger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. FlashFan83 says:

    or Porrini

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Gflash68 says:

    Dave,
    Sounds like you know something. I have been saying that Geno is not finished. I am still looking for the bunny in the hat, and I am pleased with what we have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Flashman says:

    I think daves news may have to do with a transfer. I seen some of the guys on the team with a kid this past weekend. I won’t spoil the news though

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Salamander says:

    Kent Sports reporting a new commitment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      There is a commitment. His name is Darius Leonard … I’ve seen him listed anywhere between 6-7 and 6-9.
      From what I’ve heard, he is an athletic four who can also shoot it from the perimeter. He had been headed to Iona before the coaching change there.
      I believe Leonard is also a cousin of Kentucky’s John Wall.

      And Flashman, you are right, there is also the potential for a transfer. Actually, there are two transfers who like Kent State. One would have one year remaining, but he could be a major addition to the 2011-12 team. He could make them very dangerous, a veteran team that could do some damage in March 2012.
      The other guy has three years of eligibility remaining. Both come from pretty big-time programs.

  34. Chas says:

    Hats off to our coaching staff. Best recruiters in the mid-major universe!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. John Onusic says:

    Hi Dave Johnny O here.Regarding Evan Shimensky.I’ve watched this young man since Pee Wees.Kent got a “winner”. He will work as hard if not harder than anyone.He’s got great football smarts and is very thankful for KSU’S opportunity.You and the fans will love his attitude.He make players around him better and a heart that won’t quit.

    We in the KSU family will love the kid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • DavidCarducci says:

      Hi Johnny O,
      good to hear from you!
      That’s great news. I’ve heard really good things about Evan. Looking forward to watching him!