Black Knights Hold Fifth Spring Practice

Angel Santiago

Angel Santiago

Feb. 23, 2012

Watch Practice Report

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football team conducted its fifth practice of the spring season on Thursday morning inside Foley Athletic Center. The Black Knights also used Howze Field for a portion of the workout.

The 90-minute workout was Army's second in full pads. The Black Knights began the morning with a 15-minute weight lifting session before hitting the practice field for an hour and a half.

Thursday's Practice Notes
• Today's practice started just after 7 a.m., and lasted until just after 8:30 a.m. The workout began with Army players being shuttled through a variety of special teams drills.

• In one drill, the Black Knights focused on beating a blocker, getting to the ball carrier and stripping the football.

• Players from the offense and defense engaged in a one-on-one tackling drill, which provided several high impact collisions. The Black Knights' quarterbacks participated in the drill, matching up with defensive backs.

• Senior FB Jared Hassin bowled over an overmatched Army defender midway through the drill. Hassin lowered his shoulder, knocked the would-be tackler to the turf and continued forward.

• Army's wide receivers lined up against Black Knight defensive backs and worked on getting off the line of scrimmage. The defenders tried to jam the wide outs, who made quick elusive moves in order to avoid contact and sprint up the field.

• The running backs practiced catching pitches using the JUGS machine.

• The quarterbacks performed a passing tree for about 15 minutes, throwing a variety of throws to a myriad of wide receivers and running backs. The signal callers worked on straight drop backs and roll outs during the drill.

• Junior WR E.J. Tucker hauled in a nice over-the-shoulder reception deep down the right sideline during that same drill.

• Army defensive backs and linebackers were added to the passing drill to add a more game-like feel to the proceedings. Sophomore LB Hayden Pierce broke up a pass early on, and senior DB Ty Shrader came up with an interception off of a tipped pass later in the drill.

• Sophomore WR Chevaughn Lawrence made an athletic reception on a pass thrown by sophomore QB Angel Santiago in the same drill. Lawrence had to make a last-second adjustment to the ball and hauled it in. Junior slotback Julian Crockett made a diving grab of a pass thrown by senior QB Trent Steelman along the right sideline during the same drill.

• Army's next practice will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Thursday's Quotables
Sophomore QB Angel Santiago

(Ref.: impressions following first two padded practices)
"I think these first two practices were pretty good for me, as well as the team. A lot of us were young last year, so we've come in here much more confident knowing what to do."

(Ref.: how it feels to be back on the field for his first spring practice at West Point)
"It actually feels really good. I really like the tempo of the practices. Everything is fast-paced. Everyone is always doing something constantly at full-speed, which is really good."

(Ref.: participating in the one-on-one tackling drill)
"Being the quarterback in the triple option, we're going to get hit. Personally, I like the contact."

(Ref.: his comfort level with the passing game)
"I'm pretty confident, actually, in the passing game. The coaches are telling us that we're going to be throwing more, so that just gives you more motivation to work on your throwing and become more proficient."

(Ref.: what he'd like to improve on during the spring)
"Honestly, my main goal is to get bigger, faster and stronger. I also want to become more proficient at reading the plays and running the offense."

(Ref.: what he's learned from playing behind senior QB Trent Steelman)
"Trent is a heck of an athlete and a heck of a quarterback. He runs this offense really well. He's a good person to learn from, and he shows me how to do things. He has helped me a lot with my footwork and in terms of reading plays. He's a good guy."

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