"After practice on Wednesday, we'll know better what players will play where and sort out the depth chart..."
The biggest question mark is along the offensive line and the $64,000 question is whether Scott Young will redshirt or not. Coach Crowton has mentioned several times in fall practice that Young is "good enough to start" and that he would hate to use his final year of eligibility playing as a back up.
"We haven't made a decision on Scott Young yet. We'll try to make that decision after Wednesday's practice. It may be a decision we take right up to the game time against Georgia Tech. Scott is in a unique situation. We know that he's going to be good... We'd love to redshirt him and save him for next season, but we'll decide that pretty soon here."
One player who does have the experience Crowton is looking for is offensive lineman Vincent Xanthos. Xanthos played at both Jake Kuresa and Quinn Christensen's spots with the first team at different times during Monday's scrimmage. However, Crowton added they are looking for Xanthos to back up redshirt freshman Eddie Keele.
"We're probably going to move Xanthos over to left tackle behind Eddie Keele, where he'll be able to give us a little more experience there; experience that Paul Fisher doesn't have right now. I'm happy with the other side with Gary McGiven and Scott Young; it's just getting the other side worked out. Xanthos brings a lot of athleticism and experience to the left tackle position. Xanthos and Keele are probably two of our more athletic offensive linemen. They'll be a good combination there," Crowton said.
The head coach confirmed what many suspected; Ofa Mohetau will not redshirt and will play as a true freshman. "Ofa is going to play. He'll probably be a back up guard to start out with as he learns the position. We're going to get him in some games because we feel that he's ready to play. As he learns the position, maybe we'll look to him to play even more as the season goes on."
He also reiterated that he plans on playing back up quarterback John Beck during the Georgia Tech game. "We'll give John Beck some playing time. It's rare to go through a season without playing two quarterbacks, so we're going to give Beck at least one series to play against Georgia Tech."
Crowton indicated the one series Beck plays will likely be in the first half of the season opener. He did not specify whether Beck may be used in option-type plays to capitalize on his mobility.
He emphasized this year will not be anything like last year in the manner who rotated four different quarterbacks during the year.
"It will be planned beforehand. It won't be like what I did last season. Last year, I just brought a guy in when I felt like it. I would put another quarterback in and both – him and the guy he replaced – didn't know what was going on. I don't know if that was the best way to go about it. I'll make sure now that both Matt and John know what I'm planning and when I plan to use John Beck."
Commenting on defensive tackle Manaia Brown's rapid recovery from shoulder surgery, he said it was progressing better than expected. Crowton said he expects Brown to participate in drills as early as this Friday and to go full speed with full contact as early as Monday.
The thought is to give Brown limited playing time against Georgia Tech so he'll be ready to go against USC the following week. "Manaia will give it a "full go" on Monday after doing some limited stuff on Friday and Saturday."
Brown, contacted after practice today, confirmed his shoulder "feels great; probably better than at anytime since the snowmobile accident. I'll be ready to go against Georgia Tech."
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