SPRING: Barrie, Watkins get significant work

Redshirt freshman Jim Barrie saw significant action with the reserves at left offensive tackle today. Meanwhile, senior right tackle Carlton Medder had his fuse lit by offensive line coach Steve Addazio.

It was a good opportunity to watch the reserve tackles at work.

Obviously, Barrie (6-5, 300) needs the repetitions. He struggled a few times firing off the ball and using his hands within the proper technique. He also looked as though he dropped his head on a couple of plays.

However, his footwork was much improved over last August. The Tampa Berkeley Prep graduate also demonstrated a solid effort and seemingly listened as Addazio worked with him throughout the session. You could tell that he was eager to get this opportunity. It was an impressive start to the first week of spring for Barrie.

On the opposite side was senior Carlton Medder, who had must of seemingly hit a wall, because Addazio was really pushing him to improve. Medder made a couple of mental mistakes and was removed from the first unit. He spent the remainder of practice either watching from the back or on the second squad. It was not a good day for him.

“Coach Addazio is trying to push him,” head coach Urban Meyer said after practice. “They are, but Medder right now is the number one tackle. He’s just trying to push the other guy a little bit.”

Redshirt junior Jason Watkins, who had been working out as the reserve at left tackle was shifted over to the right side today. Before he knew it, Watkins was running with the first team. He too was obviously eager to get a first team shot. He needs get in there and compete.

And that’s spring practice by design.

An opportunity for those who need the repetitions. An opportunity to grow for the returning starters. Taking advantage is the key.

Watkins (6-6, 304) looked good and bad throughout the day. He was beaten on a few plays where he failed to explode into the defender after making contact. He still seems a little passive at times. There were a few other plays where Watkins seemingly got off balance and was beaten. I did see one play where he dropped his head and the defender got a jump going around him.

In man-on-man drills, the offensive line pretty much dominated today. Redshirt sophomore Ronnie Wilson whipped redshirt freshman Terron Sanders, Watkins beat Lawrence Marsh, senior Drew Miller pounded redshirt freshman John Fairbanks, and Mike Pouncey later pancaked Fairbanks.

Other than senior Phil Trautwein, the tackles need a lot of work. It will be interesting to see how they shape up as the spring closes.