I love mini-camp, love to see the new guys and the veterans and the long shots and the stars and try to figure out how they’ll come together and how good they’ll eventually be.
Some, of course, are good when they get out of bed. There were some outstanding catches Saturday, the best of them by the Panthers' Steve Smith. Smith had beaten two defenders, broke wide open and didn’t get the ball. I believe he alluded to that as he returned to the huddle.
Soon he sprinted down the left side and cut toward the middle in front of cornerback Ken Lucas. Matt Moore led him too much with his pass but Smith caught the ball anyway, diving to the ground and hanging on and drawing raves from his teammates.
The most unstoppable receiver was not 89, however. It was 81.
Who is 81?
"Dominique Thompson," says Panthers general manager Marty Hurney.
Thompson is one of the great receivers in William & Mary history. He, too, dove for a ball, successfully grabbing it.
Chris Hannon, a receiver out of Tennessee, also went high, way high, to snatch the ball out of the air.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Hilee Taylor, the rookie defensive end out of North Carolina, showed a consistently good first step. By that, I mean that both times I watched him he was quick off the line.
But what do I know. Jeff Otah, the 6-foot-6, 324-rookie offensive lineman, was standing on the sideline. And I lost track of him.