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Spring practice recap: Day 14: Will Derrell Acrey finally be Derrell Acrey?

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Spring camp appears to be in the books, with only the Blue and Orange game left to quench our football thirst for the next few months. Oh, but there are still storylines, people. The team was largely the walking wounded throughout camp and the new crop of recruits won't even arrive until late summer. Plenty of players took advantage of the spring reps and have positioned themselves for some intense battles this fall.

At the very least, Spring Camp has given us plenty to talk about. Let's talk some more.

Acrey_medium
 

Story of the day

Derrell Acrey having the spring of his life

After the coaching staff revealed that they almost burned his redshirt for the 2006 season, many were convinced that Derrell Acrey's talent and energy would entrench him as a four-year starter and the next great Bronco LB. But something happened in the meantime, which is to say: nothing happened. Sure, Acrey became a vocal leader and motivator for the team, but never really seemed to fully gain the coaches confidence. It seemed that for all Acrey's athleticism and bluster, something was lacking. What seemed to be lacking was consistency. Acrey was just as likely to deliver a vicious hit as he was to blow coverage on a slant route. Acrey had a decent 2008, and a so-so 2009...the praise from the coaches was somewhat less effusive that those heady redshirt days. He showed "flashes", but the only thing he was doing consistently was failing to live up to potential that once seemed limitless. Well, our late bloomer may, indeed be blooming. The now Senior is tearing it up in Spring camp, and once again Bronco Nation has reason to believe some of his press clippings.

"I don't know what's gotten into him, but he's having a great spring," senior safety Jeron Johnson said. "Hopefully he can keep it going into the fall. ... He's killing our offense right now."

Don't worry...they'll plea down to manslaughter.

"He's doing a better job in his fundamentals of taking on blocks and leveraging blocks and reading what's going on in front of him in the run game," defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. "When he hits his fits, he's square and he's sticking his foot in the ground and he's more physical because of it."

Acrey is obviously one of our more imposing 'backers. Something that has been missing somewhat since Korey Hall's departure. Now that Acrey is "getting it", he could become a complete linebacker for the Broncos—something that will be extremely important with the Broncos 2 LB scheme. Acrey has shown in the past that he can be disruptive in the passing game...now with an eye toward improving his run support, the Broncos' already formidable defense may just be that much more stout.

"Derrell has always been a great effort guy," coach Chris Petersen said, "but he just kind of has that extra something about him, that extra look in his eye, and it's translating into his play out there. ... He's trying to make his senior year count."

I imagine being known as the "effort guy" is kind of like a girl telling you she likes your personality. If Pete has noticed something this Spring—possibly the melding of Derrell's energy and football IQ, it's legit. He isn't one to heap undeserved praise on anyone but WAC teams.

The lapel mic you've been waiting for

Ladies and Gentlemen, Coach Pete

Two words: Man crush.

Video link if player does not work.

Some highlights:
Pete warns about the dangers of overcoaching, deems Aaron Burks the next Rockette, and urges the wide receivers to be more like sea monsters.

Miscellaneous

  • Jeron Johnson has been named to the 2010 Lott Trophy Watch List. Russell Hill's grassroots get-out-the-vote campaign may put him over the top.
  • Faraji Wright made a Billy Winn pancake during line drills. Impressed. Also, starting to crave IHOP a little bit.
  • Walk-on CB Josh Borgman improving according to Dustin Lapray. Borgman is 5'7". Jerrell Gavins is listed at 5'9", but I think that's being generous. Chrissie?
  • Cory Yriarte's knee hates him. Another year, another ACL tear. Get well soon, big guy.
  • Shea McClellin fully disrespectful of Zach Waller, beating him on 3 consecutive plays.
  • Joe Southwick gettin' his scramble on. 15-yard TD and a 30-yard gainer.
  • Jamar Taylor continues to impress. Lauded for his tight man coverage, Taylor seems to be a PBU machine this Spring.
  • Chris Petersen took off his jacket 3 times. Dustin Lapray thought you should know that.

Dustin Lapray quote of the day

I am completely invested in staring down man versus man competitions.

Now we know how Lapray lost his life savings.

Your turn

Crap, that's the last Spring practice before Saturday's Blue and Orange game. Sad? Apathetic? Wondering if time travel is actually possible? What surprised you this Spring? Is there anything left to talk about?