Duke Football Practice Report #5 – Defensive Front learning to play four quarters

[private]One of the keys to Duke Football success this season, will be the play of Vince Oghobasse (6-6, 300, Jr – DT).  He has slimmed down and has appeared much quicker in the drills this season and more importantly has shown better endurance.  Cutcliffe stated, “Vince has had his moments of greatness.  I would like to see more consistency there, Coach Hobby would say that, but it’s been a lot more good from him than bad.”

Cutcliffe has liked what he has seen from Brandon Harper and mentioned that his play in practice, namely the scrimmages has drawn notice.  Harper (6-3, 310, Jr – DL) missed almost of of the spring coming back from an injury.  How hard has Harper worked?  At this moment he is ahead of Okpokuwuruk on the depth chart. 

“Wes Ogelsby knows how to give you a day’s work.” said Cutcliffe.  Ogelsby (6-6, 245 So – DE) had 22 solo tackles last season.  Ayanga Okpokowuruk (6-4, 255, Jr – DE) has been moved back to a more natural position after playing as an undersized nose last season.  Look for his stats to take a big leap from last seasons 7 solo tackles and 16 assists.  You have already heard about and from Cliff Respress in an interview you will find below. 

Coach Cutcliffe hopes to rotate five to seven players.  “We’ve got some guys that are capable …we have to show we can play four quarters.  That’s obviously been the past history with these kids,” said Cutcliffe.  He continued by saying that the defensive front has to learn how to practice to be successful for four quarters.  The staff has put emphasis on teaching them how to go from start to finish in order to gain better practice habits.

Tomorrows scrimmage starts around 10:15 in Wallace Wade and is open to the public.  Of course, Meet the Blue Devils Day will be held after the scrimmage.  Prizes will be given away and you will have the opportunity to meet the new staff and the 2008 players.  The meet and signing period will be held on the track and not Wilson Recreation Center which was reported earlier.[/private]