Bigger, stronger and faster.
If that is the goal of a football offseason program, then Tarleton State football can chalk up its 2007-08 offseason as a success.
Whether it was starting quarterback Scott Grantham looking a tad stronger on his throws and a tad faster while breaking an early 20-yard run, or Roderick Smith impressing fans by barrelling up the middle from the running back slot, or Shamarr Prentice breaking free for a big catch, bigger, faster and stronger could be seen during Friday’s annual Purple vs. White spring game.
The two-quarter game simulation ended in a 10-10 tie at Memorial Stadium, but the score was the last thing on Head Coach Sam McElroy’s mind.
One of the first things on his mind, however, was the development of Texas transfer Eric Forman, who wowed the crowd with his jukes while running from the QB position, then came back and made a waist high grab on an underthrown pass in the end zone for the tying touchdown.
Devin Guinn, the Texans’ leading returning receiver, also turned some heads. Guinn, a junior to be, caught 57 passes for 1,039 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, while Prentice grabbed 44 passes for 819 yards and five scores. As a freshman, Grantham passed for 2,882 yards and 24 TDs while completing 60.4-percent of his attempts.
A defensive unit that lost nine senior starters also showed its athleticism, especially against the run.
Defensive lineman Jamaal Steamer was impressive, and defensive back McNeil Uwajuh, referred to by Head Coach Sam McElroy as an outstanding athlete, showed why he is the heir apparent to All-American Ranardrick Phillips at the “Raider” (strong safety) slot.