Army Spring Practice: Week 3 Review-pt I

A.J. Schurr (Tommy Gilligan-USMA PAO)

Army's third week of spring football practice featured five days of practice. The team practiced on Sunday February 24, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and ending on Saturday March 2. Every practice, even the weekend ones, began around 7 AM. This spring practice it has been often hard to judge who is in the lead for the many open positions on both sides of the ball.

Army's third week of spring football practice featured five days of practice. The team practiced on Sunday February 24, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and ending on Saturday March 2. Every practice, even the weekend ones, began around 7 AM. This spring practice it has been often hard to judge who is in the lead for the many open positions on both sides of the ball. Ellerson has been mixing and matching players from what would probably be considered the first team with the third team and vice versa moving players to foster competition. There has been a lot of position flexibility with players moving from established positions. There has been a focus on a lot more hitting, scrimmaging and full contact drills. While some players have been hurt, the focus on contact and fundamentals should pay dividends.

In the quarterback battle it looks like it's down to A.J. Schurr and Angel Santiago for the starting position. While no quarterback has received the official imprimatur of the coaching staff, soon to be sophomore A.J. Schurr is the most impressive. In a seven-on seven drill Monday Schurr hit wide receiver Patrick Laird in stride for a 40-yard touchdown pass. During Wednesday's practice he hit Zach Williams with a beautifully throw 35-yard touchdown pass. Schurr scored the game winning touchdown for the Infantry in Saturday's Infantry and Gold scrimmage despite being hammered on the play. AJ makes good decisions with the ball and pitches the ball decisively with both hands. Schurr is a quick runner with good acceleration and 4.6 speed.

Angel Santiago, a junior this fall, has done a solid job this spring. Santiago is quick and can be an effective open field runner. However, on the option Santiago isn't as decisive in choosing when to pitch or keep the ball. While no one compares A.J. Schurr's arm strength with Joe Flacco's, Angel's deep passes tend to float and at times lack enough zip. During Monday's practice he should have been picked off by Thomas Holloway on a deep throw. His best throws this week required wide receivers Anthony Stephens and Justin Newman to lay out and make diving catches.

Kelvin White, who quarterbacked the JV team last fall as a plebe, was injured in last week's scrimmage and missed most of week three. White, who was a long shot to win the starting job, has fallen behind. Senior lefty quarterback Cody Jackson has received a fair amount of reps despite missing almost all of the last three seasons as he's struggled with academics. Jackson saw some time with the JV team last year. Jackson is an average athlete who deserves credit for his tenacity but is not a candidate for the top spot.

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