Quarterback group continues to push one another
Even though it’s safe to say that Brady White is going to be the University of Memphis football team’s starting quarterback, head coach Mike Norvell made it known he wants the other quarterbacks on the roster to push him for the job.
Backup quarterback Brady McBride spoke with the media about how he feels coming into this Spring compared to last year.
“Practice has started to slow down a lot since my first year here,” McBride said. “My mentality has changed a lot since the fall. In the Fall, I’m trying to pick up the game plan for the week and in the Spring. I’m just trying to get better every day.”
White spoke with the media about the proximity of the quarterback group and how he’s seen a lot of improvement so far.
“As a quarterback room, we’re just continuing to get better in our approach,” White said. “We’re focusing on being fundamentally sound and following all of our rules. It’s nice to see all these young guys improving.”
One area that couldn’t be better for White is his relationship with leading receiver Damonte Coxie. Last season, they connected for 72 catches for 1,174 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns.
Coxie told the media the key to their strong relationship has been keeping in consistent contact discussing the things they can work on during their next practice.
“We talk every day after film,” Coxie said. “We just communicate about the plays talking about the things we did connect on and the things that we didn’t.”
Obinna Eze prepared to take over starting left tackle responsibilities
After redshirting his freshman year and sitting behind senior left tackle Trevon Tate last season, redshirt sophomore Obinna Eze looks primed to finally see the field as a starter.
The former four-star recruit is the fourth highest commit in Memphis history and had 13 offers from SEC schools including LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama.
Norvell described Eze as “raw” when he first arrived because the Nigeria native had only started playing varsity football in 2016.
Eze spoke with the media about his growth throughout the past couple seasons and explained he was ready to show that he was ready to be a factor.
“The game has slowed down for me a lot,” Eze said. “I’m able to see things better even with this new defense. I think that all comes from my preparation this off-season.”
Eze has not only earned the confidence of his coaches, but of some of the team’s best defensive players. Senior defensive end Bryce Huff complimented Eze when asked about him by the media. Huff said the two have spent a lot more time together this off-season to help each other get better
“Obinna’s improved a lot,” Huff said. “We talk a lot off the field and do a lot of extra work. We spend a lot of time on our first steps, technique and timing. He’s matured a lot on and off the field and has become more of a leader.”
The spring’s first scrimmage proves to be a mixed bag
The Tigers participated in their first of three scrimmages of the Spring on March 29. Norvell spoke to the media following the game and expressed that there was still a lot of work to do.
“There was some good, some bad and some ugly,” Norvell said. “That’s usually what the first scrimmage is going to look like, but the biggest thing will be the correction and the response to it.”
One of the biggest questions was how the team would respond to the many changes to their coaching staff, especially on defense.
When asked by the media, Norvell said he liked what he saw from the defensive unit.
“I think they’re doing a nice job,” Norvell said. “We’re still learning, and there are still some things that we’re working to implement, but at the end of the day, they definitely believe it. I think it’s going to be a defense that showcases the skills and talents of the guys we have.”