Checking in on practices

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here are a few notes from Wednesday practices around the league, according to each program's daily practice report:


* The secondary has to replace three of four starters from a year ago, but this group led a ramped up defensive charge in the first day of full pads. DB's Nolan Carroll, Jeff Allen and Kevin Barnes each made interceptions. Carroll produced what was perhaps the play of the day when he dove to make a shoestring catch on a pass deflected by defensive lineman Mack Frost.

* The defense implemented blitz package drills for the first time.

* Is former Florida QB Josh Portis finally making a move? Ralph Friedgen said Portis looked the best on Wednesday.

* The standout offensive play, though, came from redshirt freshman receiver Tony Logan, who caught a touchdown on a deep fade pattern, prompting offensive coordinator James Franklin to exclaim, "That's beautiful! I love these touchdowns -- the defender can't find the ball!"


* It was a rough day for the Tigers, who had final exams AND a two-and-a-half hour practice in 100-degree heat.

* Highlights: A 44-yard touchdown pass from Cullen Harper to Aaron Kelly on a slant pass in the third-and-long drill. Harper was 4-5 for 72 yards for the five plays.

* Injury update: Wide receiver Jacoby Ford was upgraded to a green jersey and hopefully will be back to full speed by Saturday's first scrimmage. Starting tight end Michael Palmer missed the practice due to a pulled hamstring. Offensive tackle David Smith was still out with a dislocated toe, while wide receiver Xavier Dye was in a green jersey as he attempts to get back on the field after suffering a bruised shoulder. Rendrick Taylor was excused from practice by Tommy Bowden, so he could attend to some personal matters.


* Highlights: A long run by sophomore B-back Jonathan Dwyer to the left side drew the biggest applause from fans braving the heat. Redshirt senior receiver Andrew Smith also broke a long run down the right sideline on a reverse. Tech's defense continued to make plays as well, forcing fumbles and in turn dreaded up-downs Tech players have to do after a miscue.