Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Embree Impresses

First off, there was a great report on Monday's practice from Jeff_is_smiling over at Bruin Gold. He has a lot of detailed information on the practice and his impressions of the new coaching staff. One thing in particular caught my eye in his post. He had this assessment of true freshman Taylor Embree:
The 11 X 11 plays were only note-worthy in that it was the first time I got a chance to see Taylor Embree in action. OMG...he was ALWAYS open, and he ALWAYS caught the ball with his hands and he ALWAYS got separation. He looked every bit as good as some of the posts have been saying. He was GREAT! Not sorta good, or occasionally adequate...but GREAT!
Brian Dohn mentioned that Embree had a standout day on Saturday during the scrimmage:
Receiver Taylor Embree, a freshman who enrolled in January and the son of former UCLA assistant Jon Embree, made several nice catches in Saturday's scrimmage. According to some folks I respect a lot when it comes to talent evaluation, the talk was about his high level of concentration and his hands.

"My dad has always kind of drilled me to catch the ball, and be ready to get hit when you catch the ball,'' Embree said. "The main thing is to just focus. I've done a lot of drills growing up where you focus on the ball, and not worrying about the surrounding. Once you catch the ball, that's when everything else happens."
Freshman wide receiver Taylor Embree continues to impress in both the 7 on 7 and the 11 on 11 drills. He runs solid routes, has the knack of getting open and better yet, he catches the ball. It is apparent the quarterbacks have confidence in the freshman.
I have to say I didn't think much of Embree when he enrolled. He was a gray-shirt who didn't receive much press out of high school. The recruiting services didn't rank him at all... and I don't mean they ranked him low. They really didn't even rank him. He was that far under the radar. I was surprised that he earned a scholarship offer from UCLA at the time and I think a lot of recruitniks thought he was just getting the scholarship because he has family ties to UCLA with his dad.

But low and behold the guy is for real. We could use a go-to receiver pretty badly on this team. I like the notion that this kid will catch anything thrown his way. I look forward to more reports on this new receiver as spring camp progresses!