UCF Spring Football Practice Report No. 3

March 25, 2006

ORLANDO - The UCF football team practiced for the first time this spring in full pads Saturday morning inside the Nicholson Fieldhouse. The Golden Knights spent the majority of practice Saturday in team periods, including a few scrimmage periods of action.

"I was fairly pleased for the first day and the contact on the field," commented UCF head coach George O'Leary. "We got some work done and obviously there was some retention from last year, but we got a long way to go and a lot of work to get done."

The team spent two periods in the middle of practice and one period at the end of the morning in the Oklahoma drill. The drill, which features four offensive and four defensive players, was the highlight of the first day as both sides delivered several big hits.

During the drill, the offense has one ball carrier and three blockers while the defense has three players on the line of scrimmage and a linebacker behind the linemen. O'Leary had all of the positions on the field in the drill, including the quarterbacks vs. the secondary.

"It was our first day in full pads and it was real physical," said senior defensive end Kareem Reid. "That is just the way Coach O'Leary ordered it and we got after it a little bit."

Sophomore linebacker Cory Hogue made several crushing tackles during the drill, one which led to his facemask bending.

"Compared to last year and the first day of practice, the kids were rocking today," added senior center Cedric Gagne-Marcoux. "When you see Coach O'Leary leaving the practice field with a smile on his face, you know it is a good sign."

The team returns to the practice field Tuesday morning from 9:20-11:30 a.m. in full pads.

Practice Notes: During the individual periods, sophomore cornerback Johnell Neal had one of the best hits of the day with a thundering stop ... Junior linebacker Blake Carter, who moved from wide receiver this spring, picked off a pass from Marquel Neasman during 11-on-11 drills.