Blue Raiders hold kicking scrimmage
Padrick out for year; Givers' playing career overAugust 11, 2008 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The two areas where Middle Tennessee's football team is thinnest took another hit when Blue Raider head coach Rick Stockstill announced the squad has lost the services of two players following Monday morning's workout.
Blue Raider offensive lineman Jake Padrick will miss the season after suffering a knee injury in Saturday's scrimmage, while linebacker Landon Givers' back injury has ended his college football career, Stockstill said.
Both players are redshirt freshmen.
"The news was not good from an injury standpoint today," Stockstill said. "Padrick will be out for the season with a knee injury and we have just been informed that Givers' injury is career ending. Both of these young men have worked hard and you hate it for them. Padrick was going to be a big part of our team this year but he will work his way back. This will open doors for other players and provide them with a great opportunity to play. Your heart goes out for Givers but you don't mess with injuries like his with your back."
Padrick was enjoying a strong fall camp and was projected to be the team's starting center before sustaining a knee injury and being assisted off the field halfway through Saturday's scrimmage. Injuries are nothing new to Padrick, who missed all of the 2007 season with a shoulder injury during fall camp. He went through spring drills and was the Lineman Champion in the team's 2008 Iron Man Competition.
Givers took a redshirt year in 2007 and did not participate in spring drills while recovering from a back injury which did not improve where he could return to the field.
GETTING THEIR KICKS: The Blue Raiders spent a portion of Monday morning's practice going through a kicking scrimmage and utilizing all areas of the kicking game.
One area that appears to be very strong is place-kicking as freshman Alan Gendreau has been impressive during the first week of camp. He was 5-of-6 on field goal attempts in Saturday's scrimmage and he came back with a 3-for-5 showing Monday morning, including a long of 48.
"Alan was solid today and I've been very pleased with him," Stockstill said. "I think he has met or exceeded our expectations so far. I feel good about Alan but until you get under the lights for real you don't know what you are going to get but, so far, he has been real consistent."
Gendreau was a first-team all-state selection as a junior and senior at Orangewood Christian High School in Maitland, Fla. He was selected to play in the Central Florida All-Star game after connecting on 14-of-16 field goals and 27-of-30 extra points as a senior.
The punting duties also appear to be strong as junior David DeFatta has picked up where he left off after a strong sophomore campaign in 2007. DeFatta, who was voted the most improved specialist in strength and conditioning during the spring, averaged 38.3 on his punts Monday and realized strong hang time.
"I like David and he has punted well," Stockstill said. "He did a good job last year so I am comfortable with him punting. He has proven he can do it under pressure."
DeFatta was named All-Sun Belt by Phil Steele Magazine after averaging 40.9 yards and leading the league with 28 punts placed inside the opponent's 20-yard-line in 2007.
The one area on special teams where Stockstill is not as pleased is kickoffs. He said Matt King has to become more consistent as camp develops and, as a result, more players are currently working there.
GLAD TO BE HERE: Defensive back Marcus Udell arrived in Murfreesboro Friday and just completed the NCAA mandatory five-day acclimization period Monday but it hasn't taken long for the 6-foot junior corner to make an impression.
Still practicing in shells, Udell has enjoyed his share of strong moments and he had an interception during Monday morning's practice on a deep ball near the end zone.
"We are throwing him in there and he's catching on pretty well," Stockstill said. "He's not in game shape obviously. He has to get his conditioning a lot better and that will happen now that he's able to practice and everything. I'm pleased with him and he's fitting in good with the guys."
Udell helped lead College of the Canyons to a 9-3 record in 2007 by collecting 36 tackles, 2.5 for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
"He is probably playing the position that's easiest to learn as much man coverage as we play," Stockstill said. "He's adjusting well to our defensive schemes and it looks like he will have a chance to help us this year."
NEXT PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders will practice on Tuesday at 3:45 PM.
SEASON TICKETS: 1-888-YES-MTSU OR GoBlueRaiders.com
FENTON PAYNE AND FRED 5K: On Saturday morning, Aug. 23, the fifth annual Fenton Payne and Fred 5K Run/Walk to take place on the campus of Middle Tennessee. The event will get underway at 7:30 AM with registration at Peck Hall. The cost is $25 with cash prizes going to the winning male and female and the overall masters (40 years and over). There will also be awards to the top three finishers in all divisions, male and female, 9 and under, then 5 year age groups through 80 and over. For more information, contact Mark Hardison at 615-848-9063.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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