WKU football blog: Full scrimmage No. 1

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Booker continues to impress

While the offense had little reason to smile on Saturday, one player who continues to have a tremendous fall camp is junior running back Marell Booker.

Booker earned more reps with the first-string offense Saturday than any other Hilltopper running back, including expected starter Tyrell Hayden, proving once again that there are no certainties with starting spots this season.

“There are no sacred cows, and Marell Booker is playing well,” Elson said. “He’s at the top right now, and he ran with the ones. And with some of the young guys being out, we didn’t want Bobby Rainey taking all the snaps with the younger offense, so we put Tyrell in there some.

“We’re just rotating those guys quite a bit, and seeing who’s going to step up and give us the best chance to win.”

Defensive depth

While the starting defensive unit did what was expected Saturday, perhaps just as big of a bright spot came from the backup defenders.

Several young players who used a redshirt last season made plays Saturday, giving the WKU defensive staff reason for optimism in regard to the depth chart.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Ben Duvall showed great sideline-to-sideline speed, and racked up five tackles. Fellow second-year freshman Ryan Beard continued to have a strong offseason, turning in six tackles, including one for a loss.

Expected reserve senior cornerback Chris Franklin was involved on several pass breakups, including a near interception in the end zone that, if caught, could have resulted in a long-distance defensive score.

And perhaps the play of the day came from redshirt freshman safety Mark Santoro, who was able to outleap 6-foot-4 freshman wide receiver Dexter Haynes for a terrific sideline interception.

Kicking battle

With the battle between seniors Zac Minturn and Tanner Siewert essentially at a standstill entering the scrimmage, the edge on Saturday had to go to Minturn.

Minturn connected on a 25-yard FG with the first-team field goal unit during situational drills and connected on all of his situational kicks from 30 yards out. Meanwhile, Siewert struggled at times, coming up wide on several longer distance attempts.

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