Navarro College Coach Nick Bobeck hoped a freshman infusion of speed would transform his team’s passing attack for 2010.
After Thursday’s night’s intrasquad scrimmage and two weeks of two-a-days, he likely feels vindicated in his recruiting efforts.
Navarro quarterbacks threw five touchdown passes in the scrimmage, including three of more than 50 yards.
“We’ve never had a group that has as much overall speed as this one,” Bobeck said. “We’ve got guys who are not just track guys, but guys who are football players with track speed.”
Freshman Marquez Clark of Liberty-Eylau has been one of the top players in camp this August. Clark caught a strike from starting quarterback Roddy Green of and outraced the first-string secondary for a touchdown of more than 70 yards Thursday.
Rising freshman quarterback Adrian Nelson also had an impressive first scrimmage, firing touchdowns of 50-plus yards to freshman receiver Jordan Jolly, who twice beat a cornerback down the sideline.
“Marquez has a little different attitude than most freshmen,” Bobeck said. “He knows he’s a pretty good football player and he really, really competes. It’s hard for some freshmen to make that transition, but Marquez is getting it done.”
Bobeck also entered the camp questioning the depth and overall quality of his backfield. But the fourth-ranked Bulldogs enter the season with up to five quality runners.
DePauldrick Garrett has continued his hard-running ways between the tackles after gaining more than 900 yards as a freshman. Darrell Lea (5-10, 190), Daniel Palmer (5-9, 215), Damien Johnson (5-9, 185) and speedy Demarcus Jackson (5-9, 190) form the core of an outstanding quintet of backs, all of whom will see extensive time when the Bulldogs play Butler County, Kan., on Thursday in the season opener in Wichita, Kan.
“I was concerned at first, but I’m not any more after watching how well they’ve performed so far this fall,” Bobeck said. “They are a hard-working group and learn quickly. They are better than I thought they’d be.”
If Bobeck can rely on his speed receivers and his deep set of running backs, he’ll first have to get more consistent line play than he’s seen so far.
Navarro returns three starters on the offensive line, but Bobeck said he had not been impressed until Thursday’s scrimmage.
“We’ve been so inconsistent up front,” he said. “With what we do on offense, we base everything on quality line play. They were OK the other night, with not too many busted assignments. Once they become consistent, so will the rest of the offense.”
Although the line play has been spotty, Bobeck said he is very pleased with how well his offensive group has jelled.
“We’re a lot farther along than we have been in the past,” Bobeck said. “The kids understand what’s going on and the level of commitment. It’s a pleasure to be around this group.”
Bobeck is hoping Butler won’t feel the same way in Week 1.