The Jaguars locker room was crowded on Thursday as 97 players were expected for the club's mandatory mini-camp this weekend. Meetings will be held this evening with the first practice scheduled for tomorrow morning and first open practice on Friday afternoon.
The roster includes 62 veterans, nine draft picks, 18 rookie free agents and eight "workout" players. Each NFL team is allowed to have 80 players under contract at one time and none of the club's draft picks or "workout" players are under contract.
The 35 rookies arrived from various parts of the country and had several appointments before the team's evening meeting, including checking in to the team hotel, getting a physical and being fitted for equipment. Portable lockers were installed in the locker room to accommodate the additional players.
Fans will get their first look on Friday afternoon at the roster that includes veteran free agent wide receiver Torry Holt, offensive tackle Tra Thomas and safety Sean Considine.
"Now we have an opportunity to go out here this weekend and kind of put some of the new things that we learned in the weight room out on the football field," Holt said. "Guys get an opportunity to gel with some of the new guys, and some of the older guys who have been here continue to stay on the paths they've set for themselves, so I'm looking forward to it. It should be fun."
2009 Roster by position
Running backs (9)
Wide receivers (12)
Tight ends (6)
Offensive linemen (14)
Defensive lineman (15)
Defensive backs (16)
Long snapper (1)
##### Several players support Action News segment
Action News co-anchor Dawn Lopez was at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Thursday taping her weekly segment, "Jacksonville's Children." The segment brings awareness to foster children with hopes that they get adopted. Jaguars offensive linemen Tony Pashos, Cameron Stephenson, Stefan Rodgers and Drew Miller joined defensive lineman Atiyyah Ellison inside the stadium to speak with the featured child.
How many undrafted rookies were on the Jaguars' opening day roster in 2008?
##### Former Raines standout leads group of eight workout players
The Jaguars will have eight "workout" players practice with the team this weekend for the five mini-camp practices. The group includes North Alabama wide receiver Bobby Williams, a graduate of Raines High School in Jacksonville. Other players include defensive tackle Nadar Abdallah (Ohio State), cornerback Mesphin Forrester (Washington), long snapper Craig Gelhardt (Tulane), cornerback Dewayne Lewis (Southern Utah), long snapper Joe Monteverde (Richmond), kicker Austin Starr (Indiana) and defensive tackle Jonathan Williams (South Carolina).
On and off the field
Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith and his scouting staff assembled a group of talented players in the 2009 rookie class both on and off the field. Here's a look at several of the players and their accomplishments in the classroom.
- First-round pick Eugene Monroe (sociology) and third-round pick Derek Cox (marketing) will receive their degrees on May 17. * Cox served as President of the SAAC (Student Athletic Advisory Council) during the 2008-09 season at William & Mary. * Fifth-round choice Jarett Dillard graduated in May of 2008 with a degree in political science from Rice. Dillard graduated first in his class at Sam Houston High School in San Antonio and was a member of the National Honor Roll Society. * Defensive tackle George Hypolite, a rookie free agent from Colorado, graduated in three years with a degree in ethnic studies. He took additional courses to earn a second degree in women's studies in December of 2008. * Nebraska wide receiver Todd Peterson graduated in December with a 3.7 grade point average in nutritional science and dietetics. Peterson was a four-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree and two-time Wuerffel Award finalist. * Abbie Britton, mother of second-round pick Eben Britton, is a Columbia University graduate and journalist. * Colorado State fullback Kyle Bell ranked first in his class at Weld Central High School in Keenesburg, Col., with a 4.15 grade point average. * Free agent cornerback Pete Ittersagen graduated with a degree in business and economics from Wheaton College. * Maryland defensive end Jeremy Navarre graduated in December with a degree in kinesiology.
Former collegiate quarterbacks prepare for position switch
The Jaguars will have three players on the field this weekend who will be transitioning from under center to another position. Michael Desormeaux played four seasons at quarterback for Louisiana-Lafayette while also seeing limited action at wide receiver and defensive back. Desormeaux was signed by the Jaguars as a rookie free agent and is moving to strong safety. He was the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, throwing for 1,876 yards and rushing for 1,043 yards.
Sixth-round pick Zach Miller was a three-year starter at quarterback for Nebraska-Omaha, throwing for 4,096 yards and 26 touchdowns. Miller, who was drafted as a tight end, is known for his athleticism as he rushed for a school-record 50 touchdowns in four seasons including three 100-yard rushing games as a senior. He played tight end for the first time at the 2009 Valero Cactus Bowl in Kingsville, Texas, a Division II all-star game held each January. He finished with five receptions for 116 yards and one touchdown in the game.
Connecticut's Tyler Lorenzen started 21 games at quarterback for the Huskies and will move to tight end. Lorenzen threw for 3,236 yards and 16 touchdowns in two seasons.
##### Fletcher High School star returns home
Linebacker Johnny Williams is returning to Jacksonville after playing the last four seasons in the Southeastern Conference at Kentucky. Williams, 6-2, 236, was a second-team all-state selection as a senior at Fletcher High School, leading the team to a 12-2 record and a trip to the state semifinals. He also was a two-year letterman on the track and field team.
Did you know
- Cornerback Pete Ittersagen attended the same high school, Wheaton North High in Illinois, as Jaguars wide receivers coach Todd Monken. Ittersagen was a four-year starter and three-time All-America selection at Wheaton College. * Jaguars assistant defensive backs coach Thom Kaumeyer served as defensive coordinator at San Diego State from 2005-06 while rookie free agent linebacker Russell Allen played there. * Free agent safety Michael Desormeaux is a distant cousin of Kentucky Derby winning jockey Kent Desormeaux. * Defensive end Jeremy Navarre was a state champion wrestler at Joppatowne High School in Maryland and finished his career with an 88-2 record including 71 consecutive wins. His father, George, was the school's first-ever state wrestling champion. * Wide receiver Todd Peterson started his career as a walk-on at Nebraska and finished as one of the school's top five players in receptions (108) and receiving yards (1,602). Peterson had four receptions for 96 yards and one score in the 2009 Gator Bowl win over Clemson. * Maurice Dupree's uncle, Billy Dupree, played tight end for the Dallas Cowboys from 1973-83. Maurice was an all-conference selection as a wide receiver and return specialist as a senior at Jacksonville State. * Free agent defensive tackle George Hypolite did not play organized football until his junior season of high school. * Defensive end Julius Williams never missed a game in four seasons at Connecticut, playing in 50 games with 26 starts. * Second-round pick Eben Britton started 37 games in three seasons at Arizona and was penalized only four times on 2,461 snaps. * Sixth-round pick Zach Miller played quarterback at Nebraska-Omaha but was also a threat running the ball. Miller rushed for a school-record 50 touchdowns in four seasons including an average of 96.5 rushing yards per game as a senior.
Jaguars Equipment Manager Drew Hampton spent part of his Wednesday at Career Day at Twin Lakes Academy. Hampton, who has been with the Jaguars since 1997, talked with six different classes about his role with the club and how he got started in the business. Hampton talked about fitting the players to ensure safety with their equipment and his duties on a day-to-day basis. Hampton started working in the New York Jets equipment room on a part-time basis at 13 years of age. His father, Bill Hampton, was the Jets' equipment manager for 39 years until retiring in 2001. Drew's brother, Clay, is the senior director of football operations for the Jets.
##### Trivia answer
Two – cornerbacks Brian Witherspoon and Isaiah Gardner
The last word
"It's such a great feeling to see young guys come in, and then they're asking you questions and their eyes are big and they want to improve and then they make those improvements on a day-to-day course, and then all of a sudden you have this player, that's a great feeling to see that and to see that you had a hand in that. So I've never had a problem with it and my thing is 'each one teach one,' and the quicker that when we can get this young guy on page, the quicker he helps our football team. The quicker he helps our football team, the more games we win. So that's the way I see it."
Torry Holt talking about the young receivers who joined the team for mini-camp