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In the Senior Bowl trenches: winners and losers from day one

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 Senior Bowl practices kicked off today with the South team taking the field first. It’s important to keep a couple of things in mind regarding the first day of practice. The biggest of which is that every person on Earth likes (to differing degrees) to have a routine, and no player in Mobile, Alabama, is sticking to their normal game week routine. Second, some people are better at adapting to those types of varying conditions than others. As a result, some players who under-performed today will settle in as the week goes on and will improve greatly.

Without further ado, here are some of the day’s winners in the trenches:

South Team

South Carolina, Defensive Tackle, Javon Kinlaw

Appalachian State v South Carolina Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Kinlaw looked like an absolute monster. He won with both speed and strength. He dominated Clemson’s John Simpson in one-on-one drills, and “dominated” might be an understatement. Kinlaw looks like a legitimate top-10 pick based on talent alone.

Auburn, Defensive Linemen, Marlon Davidson

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Outback Bowl - Minnesota v Auburn Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Davidson demonstrated a dominate bull rush, making several solid offensive linemen look bad in one-on-ones. The word on the Auburn defensive linemen coming into the week was that he might lack short area quickness, so it will be interesting to see if he can dispel some of those beliefs the rest of the week.

Tulsa, Defensive Linemen, Trevis Gipson

Tulsa v Cincinnati Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Gipson looked explosive out of his stance and, on more than one occasion, seemed to surprise offensive linemen with his initial punch. Prospects from schools like Tulsa often have more to prove during Senior Bowl week, and Gipson did a lot to help himself on day one.

Saint John’s, Offensive Linemen, Ben Bartch

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

A division 3 prospect from Saint John’s in Minnesota. Absolutely showed that he belonged with high-level NFL prospects by winning most of his one-on-one reps at left tackle. He displayed good get-off and was tough at point of attack. He did struggle timing his combo blocks with 74, which is interesting because at media day he told reporters that he preferred zone running concepts. It was likely more due to unfamiliarity with his new teammate than any true shortcoming he may have.

North Team

Disclaimer: to make a long story short, I underestimated just how cold Mobile, Alabama would be, and I did not wear appropriate clothing. Lesson learned. I will be able to bring you far more info on the North Team today as I made a trip to Target last night. It’s easier to take notes when you can feel your fingers.

Oklahoma, Defensive Tackle, Neville Galimore

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Galimore showed more quickness than 300 pounders typically do. Galimore won on the inside with a very nice blend of strength and speed, putting multiple offensive linemen on the ground during Matt Patricia’s much more physical North practice.

Stay tuned for more news and info as the week moves forward.