North Texas went through one of its more spirited practices thus far this spring this morning at the Darrell R. Dickey Football Practice Facility.
Several fights broke out near the end of drills.
That was perfectly fine with UNT coach Seth Littrell and his assistants, who are emphasizing being more physical.
“Whatever it is — blocking and tackling — we are trying guys to learn how to run through people on contact,” Littrell said. “Today was a lot more physical and competitive. We have to keep building on that and keep fighting each other.”
UNT defensive coordinator Troy Reffett also spoke about the importance of becoming a more physical team last week. Be on the lookout for a story on the adjustments UNT is making to its defense now that Reffett is in charge tomorrow.
And in other news and observations …
– Wide receiver O’Keeron Rutherford is out at least through spring break and will be questionable for the rest of spring practice with a shoulder injury. Rutherford fell on left shoulder in team drills on Monday and was in a sling in practice today. That’s a key blow for Rutherford, who could use the practice time, and for the Mean Green in general.
– There were a host of visitors at practice today who are of interest, including several from Wylie. Quarterback Stacy Connor was among them. Connor has committed to Texas State, but has an offer from UNT.
Former UNT assistant coach Conroy Hines is now an assistant at Denton Ryan. Hines, Ryan head coach Dave Henigan and UNT Hall of Famer Patrick Cobbs were on hand. Cobbs is now an assistant at Ryan. There were numerous other high school coaches at practice as well. Former UNT offensive lineman Sam Rice came by.
– Former UNT offensive line coach Brad Davis also came by. Davis just left UNT after getting the chance to make the jump up to Florida.
– As far as what went on in practice, UNT’s wide receivers had a good day. Littrell mentioned that Deion Hair-Griffin is playing well. The redshirt freshman made a one-handed grab in the end zone and made another impressive catch in team drills. He will help UNT in the slot.
Turner Smiley caught a fade in the end zone and a diving catch over the middle. He continues to play well.
Jason Pirtle isn’t the most physically gifted player UNT has, but he continues to make plays, mostly while working with the Mean Green’s backups.
Michael Lawrence also had a nice day.
– Nick Smith continues to play well at running back broke a couple of long runs. He also looked good in inside drills.,
– Sid Moore is working with UNT’s second team at defensive end and posted a tackle for loss.
– Mason Fine had a good day throwing the ball. He hit Braydon Watson for a long touchdown pass and later connected for a short touchdown to tight end Caleb Chumley.
Tight end Kelvin Smith made a nice catch over the middle.
– UNT had a heck of a time fielding punts today. Rico Bussey Jr. and Hair-Griffin both muffed one.