Cougars 26-50

G-man takes us through the second quarter of the Cougar football roster, which includes most of the linebackers and fullbacks that are competing for spots to contribute this season. This part of the roster also includes many young freshmen players who fans have heard about, and several who most fans know little about thus far.

#26-Ryan Love 5-10, 178 Fr. DB: Love is adding depth and playing currently with the third- and fourth-team defensive units.

#26-C.J. Santiago 6-2, 211 Sr. P: Santiago has had a good fall camp. Last season he battled through a shoulder injury that he felt affected his performance. Now that it's past, Santiago has looked better in practice in regards to the consistency of the height and depth of his punts.

#27-Matt Marshall 5-10, 195 Fr. WR: Marshall is getting a lot of reps with the third-team offense. Marshall was a standout on the scout team last season and may play a similar role this coming year.

#27-Jordan Pendleton 6-2, 220 Fr. DB: Pendleton has responded since coming back from being ill. He is in a battle with true freshman Shiloah Te'o for the fourth safety spot, and we'll likely know the result of that battle this coming Monday.

#28-Bryan Kariya 6-0, 202 Fr. RB: Kariya is getting a lot of work with the second- and third-team offensive units as the primary running back. Kariya catches the ball very well, which will aid greatly in his pursuit of contributing to the team and expanding his role during the coming years.

#29-Tana Uyema 5-9, 176 Sr. DB: Uyema is getting a lot of work with the third-team defense here of late and will likely be part of the scout team this season.

#30-Blake Morgan 5-11, 182 Fr. DB: Morgan is getting reps at safety with the third- and fourth-team defensive units currently.

#30-Isaac Taylor 5-11, 218 Sr. FB: Taylor has seen some good work with the second-team offense. Taylor has always been a solid practice performer and has continued that this season. He may be someone to see some game time, as he looks to be the first fullback option behind Fui Vakapuna.

#31-Jameson Frazier 6-2, 204 Fr. WR: Frazier is a player who has good potential. While playing wide receiver he shows great size and good athleticism. Frazier had a tough time earlier Wednesday, dropping a couple of passes in the scrimmage, but has otherwise looked promising.

#31-Byron Putnam 5-11, 178 Fr. DB: Putnam is playing safety with the third- and fourth-team defensive units currently.

#32-Dennis Pitta 6-5, 250 Jr. TE: Pitta has been very quiet this past week simply because he's seen almost no reps during practice. There is little reason for Pitta to be out there, as he's more than proven in what he brings to the offense. Pitta will likely have another year of catching 55-to-65 passes or so while playing a huge role in the Cougar offense.

#33-Wayne Latu 5-11, 215 Jr. RB: Latu is an exciting runner and has seen some good work this fall. While he lags behind J.J. DiLuigi in catching the football, he may be a better overall runner. Latu has great burst and good moves through the line and should see some good work this year.

Currently he's getting reps behind DiLuigi in large part due to DiLuigi's improvement and ball-catching abilities, but the margin is not that wide between the two. Latu could see some good work this year, but currently looks to be the fourth RB in the offense.

#34-Jefferson Court 6-3, 212 Fr. LB: Court has seen some good work here of late with the third-team defensive unit, showing some promise at the position.

#34-Tucker Lamb 5-9, 190 Fr. RB: Lamb got a lot of work Wednesday as the primary running back with the four-team offensive unit

#35-Matt Bauman 6-1, 232 Jr. LB: I personally didn't appreciate Bauman's worth to the defensive unit until he returned to a full practice regimen after being held out the first week or so. Bauman simply knows where to be on the field and knows how to make plays. He shines most during passing plays, where he has an uncanny ability to diagnose where the pass is going due to what the offense presents.

Bauman has also added some 10-to-15 pounds to his frame, which will aid him greatly in shedding blocks and defending against the run. The Mike linebacker is a critical position in the 3-4 defensive system, and Bauman should do well and even thrive in playing such a critical role this season.

#37-Vic So'oto 6-3, 245 Jr. LB: So'oto has enormous potential and has proved very adept in rushing the passer this August. So'oto is also good in space and has improved significantly in his gap assignments and discipline during running plays.

So'oto is still not there and needs some work, as evidenced by him playing with the second-team defensive unit during Wednesday's scrimmage while all the other starters were held out. He is still very new to the position, but his potential is through the roof.

#38-Mitch Payne 6-2, 208 So. K: Payne has apparently staved off the competition thrown at him by Justin Sorensen and will be the primary placekicker for the team this fall.

Payne has shown to be very consistent and has booted through 50+ yard field goals in each of the last two scrimmages. He is healthy now and should have a very productive year.

#39-Iona Pritchard 6-0, 234 Fr. LB: Pritchard has played very well this August, earning him reps with the second-team defensive unit. Pritchard shows best during running plays, as he has a good nose for the football.

Pritchard is still struggling in pass defense, however, and gets lost too much in open space, which could limit his potential reps this season. Learning where to be in coverage takes time for incoming players and Pritchard needs more reps and seasoning in this area.

#41-Coleby Clawson 6-3, 220 Jr. LB: Clawson has risen to become a key player in the overall depth of the Cougar defense. With all linebacking positions relatively thin, Clawson will play a big role as the first linebacker off the bench this season.

Clawson is very good at gap assignments and has good lateral speed. He could fill in for So'oto in a pinch during certain situations should So'oto find himself struggling.

#42-Shawn Doman 6-2, 232 Jr. LB: Doman has remained healthy and truly looks as if his chronic back problems are a thing of the past. He has missed no practice time and should do very well rotating with Matt Ah You at Buck linebacker this coming season.

#43-David Nixon 6-3, 223 Sr. LB: No surprises with Nixon, as he's set to start for his third straight year. Nixon is as good as ever and is set to finish out his career strong.

#44-Jerry Bruner 6-3, 235 Fr. RB: Bruner hasn't seen many reps initially, as he's playing fullback with the fourth-team offensive unit.

#44-Dan Van Sweden 6-2, 214 Jr. LB: Van Sweden is done for the year after breaking his leg during the second scrimmage of the fall.

#45-Shane Hunter 5-10, 234 So. LB: Hunter is getting most of his work with the third-team defensive unit and looks to add depth to the inside of the linebacking corps.

#45-Harvey Unga 6-0, 239 So. RB: Unga is another one of those players where there are few surprises. Fans know how good Unga is and he hasn't lost anything from a season ago. In fact, he has perhaps adding to his overall game.

Unga predictably hasn't seen much work here of late, as he has little to prove or gain by getting a full set of reps. He is healthy and in 2008 will again be a huge part of the Cougar offense.

#46-Masi Tuitama 6-1, 198 Fr. LB: Tuitama started off slowly due to some nagging injuries and has struggled to move up the depth chart since then. He's undersized and needs to add some weight before he can become an every-down outside linebacker.

#47-Dustin Graham 6-0, 228 So. LB: Graham is seeing his time with the third- and fourth-team defensive units at inside linebacker.

#48-Michael Alisa 6-1, 215 Fr. LB: Alisa has tailed off since getting his first look at outside linebacker. He certainly has the talent, but isn't assignment-sound enough to see significant playing time at this point.

#49-Jadon Wagner 6-4, 229 Fr. LB: Wagner rose to the challenge and nabbed the open outside linebacker spot to round out the two-deep. Nothing is final yet, but Wagner has been getting just about every rep with the second-team offense since the first week of practice after taking over for Alisa.

#50-Spencer Hadley 6-1, 221 Fr. LB: Hadley is pretty much in the same boat as Pritchard in that he's shown good play and promise, but struggles in his coverage assignments.


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