Day 3 of fall camp kicked off at 9:15 am Friday morning. The players went through their usual stretching and individual work before coming together for some team practice. According to Panthers coach Mario Cristobal, the team continued splitting half the field and using two units at a time to get some early looks a number of the players both on offense and defense. Day 3 marked the first day the players were in shoulder pads so far in fall camp.
"The upper pads were on today. We call it thud tempo. It is live, we just aren't going to the ground," Cristobal said. "Years of recruiting have allowed us to obtain the types of athletes that can practice at a very high tempo but can stay off the ground to prevent injuries."
"We continue to go two sets of teams, meaning two sets of offense and two sets of defense going at the same time to increase the amount of reps we can get," he added.
New and Notes
Early in practice, all five quarterbacks worked on passing drills simultaneously. The five stood shoulder to shoulder, throwing passes to five receivers that were each running a different route. Of the three freshmen QBs, Akil Dan-Fodio showed he has the speed to run the ball of the pocket. Dan-Fodio, from Stone Mountain, Ga., was able to run past the defense during one of the drills.
"They are all doing a good job. Every single one is a student of the game," Cristobal said after practice on Thursday. "They are getting significant reps as well which they have to take advantage of. There is going to be a point in camp where we'll have to trim it down to who are those two or three guys that are going to get the bulk of the reps. With the first two getting 80 percent of the reps."
Barring some unforeseen development, it is a good bet that Wesley Carroll (right) will start again. Carroll, who is a senior this year, should take a step forward this season with an added season of experience in Cristobal's spread offense. Jake Medlock, a red-shirt freshman, will most likely be the back up.
"We are looking at guys that are either going help us win this year or can develop into good players to help us be a better program in the future," Cristobal added.
Cristobal spoke little about losing Anthony Gaitor and what he brought to the team.
"It's football. Everyone has to do it every year. You have good players and they move on. A guy like that was here for four years so he knew us inside and out. He represented and epitomized what the program was about. Hard work and becoming a champion. What you do is throughout the course of Anthony's career he's constantly grooming those kids behind him. He's constantly teaching them. He still texts and calls these guys all the time to let them understand what they have to uphold," Cristobal said.
Cristobal feels there is enough depth in the secondary to help cushion the effect of losing Gaitor.
"There are enough guys back there that collectively we will and must come up with a solution," he added.
Jonathan Cyprien, who led the team with 113 tackles last season, is wearing Gaitor's #7 this season.
Offensive linemen Ceedrick Davis and James Wiggins wore the orange injury jersey on Friday.
Saturday's practice will be at 8:30 a.m.
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