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The Knights had their ninth practice and their second scrimmage of this year's spring football session.

The crowd was larger than usual, as it included former players — such as Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and potential first-round draftee Breshad Perriman — high school recruits and die-hard fans. The team finished practice with a modified tug of war, pitting four players against four others, as each group pulled at a small plastic ring.

"I just like to see us putting the effort in at the end of practice," head coach George O'Leary said. "It's amazing; the same guys that [we] thought didn't practice well didn't make great effort either in the tug of war."

O'Leary said he was not happy with the defense's lack of pursuit to the ball.

"I thought, defensively, we were lethargic out there," O'Leary said. "I didn't like the body language. Defensively, we stayed very 'vanilla.' [There were] too many one-man tackles, not enough guys involved in tackles."

O'Leary was more pleased, though, with the offensive side of the ball, as the Knights ran a total of 109 plays with no more than 30 seconds in between each play.

"I thought, offensively, we did some good things," O'Leary said. "Gotta sustain more on blocks, but I thought Justin [Holman] was very good. I thought he threw the ball well, and they protected him for the most part. He's still got a long way to go, but I do think we made a lot of progress on offense."

Quarterback Justin Holman said he feels like the team is starting to click offensively.

"It's all starting to come together," Holman said. "The running backs are getting in there with Coach [Brent] Key and watching film, talking to me whenever they can about little things, like protection and route running and that's been helping them enhance their game."

The Knights have five remaining practices of spring football. The last practice on Friday, April 17, will be closed to the public. Spring football will conclude with the spring game on Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m. at Bright House Networks Stadium.

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Victor Ng is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.

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