Spring Practice Report - Day 4

Rob Calabrese (Reinhold Matay/AP)

The Knights took the field Tuesday for their second day of spring hitting. The atmosphere may not have been as intense as when the team first did contact drills this past weekend, but there was still a lot of enthusiasm for a team that is taking steps in the right direction in hopes of forgetting about a disappointing 4-8 season.

The offense still is working plenty of things out, but it is evident that the Knights are certainly making strides compared to this time last year, especially with the passing game.

"I think we're doing some good things out there throwing the ball," Coach O'Leary said after practice. "I think we're better than we were last year right now. The big thing is that the quarterbacks have calmed down and are playing with a lot more poise."

O'Leary is specifically referring to Rob Calabrese and to a lesser extent, Joe Weatherford. Calabrese had another impressive day of practice in which he got better as the session progressed. There are still some timing problems, but Calabrese was sling the ball into tight spots with consistency today.

"It's a big growing stage from your first year to your second year, especially with the quarterback stage," added O'Leary. "Everything is not as quick on you and you're starting to understand the speed a little bit."

L.D. Crow also looked extremely impressive, yet again. The physical specimen made some nice reads and really delivered the ball with a lot of velocity and accuracy. There are some grumblings about him applying for a hard-ship waiver, but as of now it seems unlikely that he will get it.

The receivers were also sharp today, although there were still more drops than you'd hope for. Brian Watters was "Mr. Reliable" as usual, as he routinely caught passes all over the field. Rocky Ross seems to be getting back into the gist of things, as does A.J. Guyton.

Two of UCF's receivers, Kamar Aiken and Khymest Williams, both were in practice with slings on. Some say that they suffered dislocated elbows, but whatever the injuries are, O'Leary said the extent of them should not be too bad.

"They fell and they're out for a week. They'll come back and they'll be out of contact for the rest of Spring until they get that healed up."

Defensively, the front-four still looks like the strongest unit. Jarvis Geathers was especially impressive coming off the edge as he was disruptive through the brief scrimmage session.

The secondary is still growing and learning, but there were some glimpses of improvement. Emory Allen was scrimmaging with the second-team through the practice and Josh Robinson was with the starters. According to O'Leary, Allen has been performing well on the field but was demoted because he was not attending class. Robinson was burned by Watters several times early in practice but he showed more comfort as the day progressed.

"Josh made some plays Saturday and he's obviously a talented athlete that just has to put some things together when you starting mixing it all up. I'm pleased with the progress he's made."

The most notable news of the day was the presence of Vance King, who was fielding punts but not taking any contact. There were rumors that King was back home at Georgia and his dedication to the sport was called into play last week, but it appears that the three-star recruit from 2008's class will be a Knight.

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