Junior David Jones has returned to the cornerback position after a year at wide receiver, Coach Rich Brooks announced following Saturday afternoon’s practice at the Nutter Training Center.
“David has returned to cornerback, at his request, and practiced there today,” Brooks said. “He felt that he had a better chance of being a starter this year (at cornerback) and I concur. He’s ready to contribute. We don’t plan on playing him both ways, but it is something we could do if we had an emergency because of injuries.”
Jones was a reserve cornerback and played on special teams as a freshman in 2005. He made 20 tackles, had three pass breakups, and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team by the league coaches. At his request, Jones moved to wide receiver for the 2006 season. He played in 12 games, starting twice. He caught seven passes for 101 yards and also made 12 tackles in kickoff and punt coverage.
The Wildcats practiced in two groups on Saturday. Each group practiced two hours, with 30 minutes overlap so the entire squad could do special teams work together.
Other notes from Coach Brooks following practice, which again was conducted in hot, humid conditions:
“I’m very happy with our overall conditioning. There’s a lot of competition out here. Nobody has a spot locked up at this stage. We’re trying to get everybody as many reps (practice repetitions) as possible.”
“I’m very happy with our newcomers. We have a lot of talent at the running back spot in addition to our returning players.”
“(Ryan) Tydlacka is going to make it interesting as a punter and kicker. He’s going to challenge (the returning starters). (Jacob) Dufrene is in the mix as a deep snapper.”
“(Tailback) Moncell Allen has really good feet and good vision. He’s gone through an unbelievable amount to get here (displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, two high schools in North Carolina his senior year, then prep school in 2006). I’m impressed with him as a person, his stick-to-it-ive-ness.”
Brooks said that sophomore Zipp Duncan, who began playing in the offensive line in the spring, has moved from left guard to right tackle, where he is competing with sophomore Justin Jeffries and freshman Brad Durham.
Brooks noted that junior-college transfers Jess Beets and Josh Winchell have looked good the first couple of days. Both players missed extensive time in spring practice because of injuries. Beets is playing left guard and Winchell is stationed at right guard.