Day Two Notebook: Defense Makes Plays On Tuesday

Aug. 9, 2016

DENTON - The energy on display from Monday carried over to Tuesday's practice as the North Texas football team hit the practice field for the second day of camp.

The Mean Green's comfort with one another, especially on defense, was a noticeable difference from the spring. Tuesday the defense continued that theme with several big plays and praise from the coaching staff.

• Defensive Play of the Day: During the final period of practice, in an 11-on-11 drill, freshman linebacker Corey Mann blew up the offensive line on a blitz and tackled running back Willy Ivery in the backfield for a seven yard loss. Mann, a Decatur, Texas, native and Temple High School graduate, was named All-State after posting 165 tackles during his senior season.

• Catch of the Day: Head coach Seth Littrell mentioned to the media after practice that freshman receiver Tyler Wilson has impressed. Tuesday, Wilson made a one-handed tip over the safety then one-handed grab while falling in the back of the end zone during receiver-versus-defensive back drills in the red zone.

• Pass of the Day: At the end of practice in 11-on-11 drills, freshman quarterback Mason Fine threw a 15-yard bullet to the corner of the end zone to redshirt junior receiver Willie Robinson, who was well-covered.



• In early pass drills, Thaddeous Thompson (Cibolo, Texas) and O'Keeron Rutherford (Carthage, Texas), who stand at 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-5, respectively, caught all eight of the passes thrown over their right shoulder while running towards the end zone.

• Quarterback Devin O'Hara showed good arm strength and accuracy on deep balls.

• Receiver Willie Robinson (Fort Worth) made a noticeably difficult catch along sideline in independent drills.

• Defensive back Nate Brooks was all over the field Tuesday, but his leaping and ball skills were especially on display as he made pass breakup after pass breakup Tuesday.

• Junior linebacker E.J. Ejiya showed quick and athletic feet in individual drills as he made several plays on passes.

• Freshman defensive back Khairi Muhammad (DeSoto) made a one-handed interception in individual drills.

• Receiver Daniel Khan also made a one-handed catch for a touchdown.

• Grand Prairie's Joshua Wheeler showed off his speed by chasing down and tackling in open field running back Anthony Wyche.

• Veteran defensive back Kishawn McClain (Rosenburg, Texas) showed good ball skills on a play in which he timed his jump perfectly to bat away the pass from the receiver.

• Oklahoma native Ashton Preston made a diving pass break-up on the goal line to save a touchdown.

• Freshman receiver Braydon Watson got praise from coaches for a diving touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone.

• Brooks' strong play carried over to one-on-one drills as the East Texas sophomore had back-to-back pass break-ups on the goal line.

• Offensive linemen T.J. Henson and Trey Keenan opened the holes for running back Jeffery Wilson, who ran well consistently to their side.

• Defensive end Tillman Johnson stripped quarterback Quinn Shanbour in drills.

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