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Gold and Black Illustrated Volume 28, Digital 5

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 5 15 David Blough may have been the only one who truly believed he'd be ready to participate in spring ball, less than four months removed from surgery to repair a fractured ankle. But Blough not only was out there on Day 1, by the final two weeks, he was leading the first-team offense even in team periods. Blough, who has started 25 games in his career, said it was important to be on the field not just to finish his final spring with teammates, but because of the competition at the position. "In this game, it's kind of a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of business. If you're not out there, you do get forgotten about quickly," Blough said after the spring game. "So I needed to be able to compete with (Jack) Plummer and (Nick) Sipe and show what I could do and for Coach (Jeff) Brohm to see my skill set, and when he makes his evaluation and whatever decision he'll make, I needed to have my name in that conver- sation. That's why we're all here. I wasn't going to miss an opportunity on that, that's for sure. "I think toward the end of the spring, I really settled down and made some big improvements, my footwork, really just studying and seeing what the coach- es wanted of me. My completion percentage was pretty good. I took care of the ball for the most part, other than a few plays. Those are the things I like to work on. Coach Brohm looks for a good decision-maker, an accurate passer and somebody who is tough. I just wanted to show I could be those things." Blough's return Photos by Tom Campbell David Blough OTHER TOP STORYLINES A major theme of spring was injuries to frontline players, whether it was players un- able to participate while rehabbing from offseason surgeries or new injuries suffered during practices. A partial list of players who missed some or all of spring: Projected starting of- fensive linemen Grant Hermanns, Shane Evans and Eric Swingler; running backs Richie Worship, Tario Fuller and D.J. Knox; potential starting receiver Jared Sparks; projected starting tight end Cole Herdman and backup tight end Brycen Hopkins; potential starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar; projected starting defensive tack- le Lorenzo Neal; and projected starting safety Jacob Thieneman. "I see progress. Is there still a ways to go? Yes. But sometimes it's hard to tell when you don't have all your pieces out here on both sides of the ball," Jeff Brohm said after the spring game. "Everyone who has missed time, whether it's been the entire spring or even some, should be back by summer workouts, Aug. 1 at the latest, and that'll definitely give us more manpower, and hopefully we can go from there." Sidelined Elijah Sindelar

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