Spring Practice #2

Daily Focus – Cornerbacks


The second practice of the Spring is in the books for the Cards.  Today’s featured position group is Cornerbacks.  The corners come into this spring as a solid group with plenty of players looking to prove themselves and move their way up the depth chart.  Senior Cornelius Sturghill brings speed to the position having recorded one of the fastest 40 times during testing this winter.  Rodjay Burns and PJ Mbanasor are two guys that we are excited to see take the field, both transfers have Division 1 Experience and have been in the program for a year now.   Russ Yeast will look to have a solid spring and build on his experience gained from his freshman season.  Anthony Johnson comes off of his red-shirt season looking to compete for playing time at the position.  The red shirt freshman just capped off an impressive testing week for winter conditioning.  New to the scene is mid-year enrollee Chandler Jones who will look to move up the depth chart.  The position is set to compete this spring under the coaching of new arrival Grady Brown, who brings a wealth of experience coaching the defensive secondary!


  • #3 Cornelius Sturghill – 5’11 190 lbs. – Memphis, TN – RS Senior
  • #1 PJ Mbanasor – 6’1 200 lbs. – Pflugerville, TX – RS Junior
  • #39 Aaron Floyd – 5’10 201 lbs. – Florence, KY – RS Junior
  • #10 Rodjay Burns – 6’0 182 lbs. – Louisville, KY – RS Sophomore
  • #24 Joe Comer – 5’10 170 lbs. – Atlanta, GA – RS – Sophomore
  • #6 Russ Yeast – 5’11 188 lbs. – Greenwood, IN – Sophomore
  • #27 Anthony Johnson – 6’1 189 lbs – Coconut Creek, FL – RS Freshman
  • #2 Chandler Jones – 5’10 179 lbs. – Miami, FL – Freshman 

Coach Petrino’s Practice Notes


The second day of practice went similar to a lot of years past.  It was the second day in helmets only and the Defense got the best of the Offense overall.  The Offense started the practice off fast in Inside Run and Blitz Pickup but the Defense finished stronger in our Team work today.

Offensively I was very impressed with Cole Bentley at the center position in Inside Run he played fast and showed athletic ability.  It was good to see our two Tight Ends, Kemari Averett and Micky Crum utilize their pad level and technique.  Defensively good to see the explosive power of Michael Boykin.  Linebacker Dorian Etheridge is really doing a great job of leading the Linebacker core.  G.G. Robinson also continues to get better for us on the Defensive front.


Happy to see Puma Pass go 4 for 4 in Blitz and the timing of the routes and protections looked good.  However, Defensively we need to tighten up our coverage.  Michael Boykin and Tabarius Peterson did a solid job of pressuring the QB which led to three sacks in the period.

Special Teams wise our operation between Mitch Hall, Mason King and Blanton Creque is where it needs to be.  Both Blanton and Evan O’Hara kicked the ball well!

The Defense played faster today and rushed the QB better which resulted in three interceptions late in practice.  Improvement wise we still need to work on our communication and running FULL SPEED to the Football!

Offensively we showed we can be explosive with the speed at Wide Receiver.  It was good to see our Tight Ends contribute in the passing game as well as playing physical in the run game!!!  We must protect the football and the Quarterback!!!



Standout Performers from Day 2

  • Offensive Grinder – Tight End Micky Crum
  • Defensive Grinder – Defensive Lineman Boosie Whitlow
  • Offensive Newcomer – Running Back Malik Staples (New to the Offense at RB)
  • Defensive Newcomer – Defensive Lineman Michael Boykin
  • Offensive Showtime – Wide Receiver Tutu Atwell
  • Defensive Showtime – Linebacker Dorian Etheridge

*Grinder = Gives all one’s got every day, influencing others’ work ethic in the process

*Showtime = The specific time to display or execute a performance of great magnitude.

Coach Quote of the Day

img_4525.jpg“After two days of practice I have become even more encouraged about the future of our Secondary.  From day one to day two coaching was accepted and there were corrections made by each player.  The interest in learning and the want to be coached has been where it needs to be in order to improve each day thus far.  We need that same interest and want to grow with every opportunity, in order for us to reach our full potential as a room.”

– Grady Brown Secondary Coach

Off the Field Highlights

Anthony Johnson – Defensive Back – Coconut Creek, FL

anthony-johnson_showtime_wall_templateAnthony is a red shirt Freshman who is competing for playing time at the cornerback position this spring.  Johnson has had a great winter getting stronger and faster in the weight room in almost every category.  More impressively the Coconut Creek, Florida native has amassed a 3.8 GPA since arriving to campus last June.  Anthony is currently working towards a major in business and was a member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll last semester.  He was also recognized as a Red & Black Scholar during the fall semester for having a GPA over 3.25.


Cole Bentley – Offensive Lineman – Lenore, WV


Cole, a former 4-star recruit out of Belfry High school in Kentucky is in the mix on the Offensive Line heading into his Sophomore season.  He enjoyed playing time down the stretch of his Freshman season and is already off to a great start this spring.  Since joining the program last June Cole has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and was a Red & Black Scholar during the fall semester.  Also a member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll last semester Cole is pursuing a degree in Exercise Science.


Petrino Family Foundation Update


The 4th Annual Spring Golf Classic will be held on Friday, April 13th, and is sponsored, for the 4th year in a row, by Lamkin Wealth Management and new this year, Bearno’s 502. With top of the line tee-off gift bags, a Bloody Mary/John Daly hole, opportunity to win a brand new 2018 Alfa Romeo, a bourbon and cigar hole, chance to win a Rolex, free beer, and custom-made prizes for the winners, it’s no surprise this event has sold out every year.


Preceding the scramble on Thursday, April 12th, is the 3rd AnnualCoaches and Cocktails Reception, sponsored by the Petrino Family.  An opportunity to mingle with the football coaches, enjoy delicious food from Volare, sip up on an open bar, and bid on live and silent auction items you won’t find anywhere else. New to the auction for 2018 will be custom-made and signed Lamar Jackson items! The Spring Golf Classic is a premier fundraising event, raising just under $200,000 in 2017. There are currently only a few sponsorships and team spots left. Tickets to the Coaches and Cocktails Reception may be purchased apart from the Spring Golf Classic Scramble. For more information please email Kelsey Petrino Scott at kelsey@petrinofamilyflundation.org or follow 2018 Spring Golf Classic

For more information on the Petrino Family Foundation please make sure you visit our website.  www.petrinofamilyfoundation.org



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