WASHINGTON, D.C. (www.howard-bison.com) – Howard University head football coach Gary "Flea" Harrell will be looking to evaluate the team's progress after its first week of practice during an intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 1:00 p.m. in William H. Greene Stadium.
"We were able to get the football conditioning in this week," said Harrell, who begins his second year at the helm. "Right now the defense is a little ahead of the offense, so we will be looking to get better timing in the passing game, limit the penalties, get the defense off the field and smooth transitioning from offense to defense and special teams."
One segment of the offense, which has seen the stiffest competition, is the running game. Senior running back Terrance Lefall, who rushed for a career-high 839 yards last season, has an edge on the competition, but Harrell adds that sophomore Aquanius Freeman, seniors Charles Brice and Jarren Brown, have all looked good along with freshman William Parker and freshman walk-on Addison Clopton.
The receiving crop is relatively inexperienced with the loss of playmakers Willie Carter and Brandon Drayton. Sophomores Stewart Hartman and Rodney "DJ" Tyson and juniors Clayton Gidron and Brandon Flanagan have a year under their belt in the system. Harrell made special mention of a couple of talented freshmen Jonathan Booker and Matt Colvin, as two players who could bring much-needed speed to the unit.
An area of concern each season has been the kicking game. The Bison had special teams miscues that proved to be costly in a couple of winnable games. To address that, Harrell brought in a kicker and a long snapper that he is excited about.
"We have been very pleased with freshman John Fleck," said Harrell. "He has been able to get kickoffs in the end zone, which is big for us and he gets good hang time on his punts."
He continued. "Matthew Poulin has been tremendous so far. He has shown great consistency on his snaps. He is going to be an outstanding long snapper."
The 2012 Bison season opener is slated for Saturday, Sept. 1 when the Bison take on Morehouse College in the AT&T Nation's Football Classic at 3:30 p.m. in RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Visit the official Howard University athletics website at www.howard-bison.com for more information on HU football.