Although the rain had been prevalent for most of the week, Mother Nature allowed for a crisp, cooler evening at Tom Kimbrough Stadium in Murphy, TX for the third of four scrimmages with the Plano Wildcats this season. Normally, Wildcat scrimmages are played at John Clark Field; however, it is under extensive renovations which will be shown off in the 2007 season.
The Wildcats had a good fan turnout - about 1,000 people showed up for the third scrimmage. Offensively, the best players seemed to be wearing white in the maroon vs. white scrimmage. Names such as Rex Burkhead, Kris Lott, Deshon Purvis-Davis, Wes Perryman and Nate Christian were playing for the white team.
Of note, Michael Sheffield, #16 for the white squad led the first team offense with quarterback. It is unsure if Coach Brence is looking to have Rex Burkhead be a running back, receiver or use him ala William Cole in all positions. More will likely be seen in this development during 7 on 7 season, but Coach Brence is known for never "showing his cards" in public scrimmages.
Burkhead looked impressive the three or four times he touched the ball. He has that explosive quality to him to where every time he touches the ball, you know good things are going to happen, and he might score a touchdown. He was limited in his action in this scrimmage, and did not take a snap at quarterback in his team's first 20 play scrimmage.
Michael Sheffield looked good at times at QB. He is tall and had good field vision. It will be interesting to see if they use him as the 7 on 7 QB, much like they used Greg Harrell over Mark Sfikas a couple years ago, even with Sfikas starting in the regular season. The second team QB, Carson Meger, looked good in spots, but had a very awkward arm delivery and was not able to see as well over the defense.
The most impressive player on the night for me was Plano receiver Nate Christian. He constantly was open on routes, he is a big target (I would estimate him at 6'4) - he has good hands and good speed. He did seem to tip off whether it was a pass or run during his routes by his intensity, but that may have well been encouraged due to the friendly nature of the scrimmage.
The longest touchdown run of the night was by a running back on the Marroon team - Calvin Payne. Payne busted off an 80 yard run, showing great breakaway speed and breaking several arm tackles. Ryan Campbell and Beau Brence were names of note from the maroon squad.
The Wildcats looked solid in spring play. The offense is definitely further along than the defense. Their official spring game is Thursday, May 17th at Kimbrough Stadium in Murphy, TX. Start time is 7pm, with a cookout afterwards. Media day was advertised at the event to be Saturday, August 18th - so stay tuned to TPI and www.planowildcatqbclub.com for more details for all your Wildcat news!