Cougars 26-50

The second quarter of the roster includes most of the running backs and linebackers that have been vying for spots during the fall practice session. So how have they looked and what can fans expect? G-man answers these questions.

#26-Robbie Buckner 5-10, 175 Fr. CB: Buckner is the story of frustration during fall camp. During the first few days he was all the rage, providing some of the best field corner play we've seen from newcomers through the first week of fall camp.

Since then Buckner has tried to come back from a sore hamstring. He's been going through light drills and should be able to practice fully by the end of the week. When he comes back he'll likely resume duty with the first-team defense, as neither Garett Nicholson or Brian Logan have established themselves as the starter.

#26-Jo Jo Pili 5-10, 259 Fr. RB: Pili joined the team as a preferred walk-on and has seen stints with the second- and third-team offense at fullback. Pili's obvious strength is in his lead-blocking.

#27-Blake Morgan 5-11, 189 So. DB: Morgan has been hurt for a lot of fall camp, but will likely add quality depth and scout-team work at safety this season.

#28-Anthony Heimuli 5-11, 242 Fr. RB: Heimuli hasn't seen a lot of reps this fall and has subsequently failed to distinguish himself as a ready option for the coming season. He's likely pegged for scout-team duty, where he'll look to improve his game and be set to compete following his planned mission service.

#29-Luke Ashworth 6-2, 196 Jr. WR: Ashworth started out a bit slowly, but has made some good plays in recent practice sessions. He will run behind McKay Jacobson at the ZR position, and will likely get a fourth of the reps there if practice is any indication.

#30-Zeke Mendenhall 5-11, 203 Jr. DB: Mendenhall has seen reps with the third-team defensive unit at safety and will add depth to the position this coming year.

#30-Malosi Te'o 5-10, 203 Fr. RB: Te'o hasn't competed as he was expected to just prior to fall camp. He's been getting most of his work with the third-team offense after the return of Manase Tonga. Te'o will likely spend the season on the scout team, where he'll be a valuable asset.

#31-Tyler Holt 5-9, 177 So. K/P: Holt has competed with Riley Stephenson for the punting duties, but hasn't proven to be as consistent as his counterpart and will likely back him up this season as a result.

#31-Richard Wilson 6-2, 238 Fr. LB: Wilson has seen reps with the third- and second-team defensive units at outside linebacker. His talent is obvious, but having played little at the position in high school, he has a ways to go in learning the technique involved in becoming a game-ready linebacker. Wilson's upside is high and we'll be watching what progress he makes throughout the year.

#32-David Foote 5-11, 212 Fr. RB: Foote has seen good time primarily with the third-team offense. He'll be a good asset to the scout team this coming season.

#32-Dennis Pitta 6-5, 247 Sr. TE: Pitta has slimmed down and looks better than ever. When things aren't working smoothly on the offense, it's usually due to him not being involved. As Max Hall's likely top target, Pitta will have yet another monster season.

#33-Bryan Kariya 6-0, 214 So. RB: Kariya has been somewhat limited with practice reps and will most likely fill the role of the third or fourth running back this season. The amount of reps given to both J.J. Di Luigi and Kariya would indicated that Kariya will be the fourth option in the backfield this season.

#34-Tucker Lamb 5-9, 190 Fr. RB: Lamb has seen some reps with the second- and even first-team offense here of late and is making a strong bid for the fourth running back option. He performed well with the reps he was given, making good yardage on most of his touches.

#35-Matt Bauman 6-1, 229 Sr. LB: Bauman has had a very good fall camp, solidifying himself as the starting Mike linebacker and as a leader on the defense. He's shed some weight this year and is moving around very well during most practice sessions.

The most notable improvement to his game that Bauman has made is in his pass defense. He's recorded some interceptions and knock-downs, which have greatly benefited the defense. He'll likely be one of the top - if not thetop - tacklers on the defense this coming season.

#36-Mike Hague 5-10, 223 So. RB: Hague has seen some good reps with the third-team offensive unit. He'll likely spend the coming season on the scout team as he prepares himself for 2010, when he'll be looked at as one of the options to replace Harvey Unga.

#37-Vic So'oto 6-3, 265 Sr. DE: So'oto has found his position, if the first two weeks of fall practice are any indication. He sustained an ankle injury during the last scrimmage, but should he recover he'll likely play a big role on the defense this season while backing up Jan Jorgensen.

#38-Chase Hansen 6-2, 220 So. LB: Hansen is a valuable walk-on, having had junior college experience. He's currently getting most of his reps with the third-team defense and will add good depth to the defense this coming season.

#38-Mitch Payne 6-2, 210 Jr. K: Payne has had a difficult fall camp, showing a lot of inconsistency. That is something one certainly doesn't want from their starting placekicker. Payne is experienced though and has shown good consistency here of late. He's likely to be the placekicker again this season, although he's being pushed by Riley Stephenson.

#39-Grant Nelson 6-3, 226 Jr. LB: Nelson will be the second-string Sam linebacker this season behind Jordan Pendleton. Should Pendleton struggle, coaches likely won't hesitate to play Nelson.

#41-Coleby Clawson 6-3, 234 Sr. LB: Clawson is a proven run-stuffer, but needed to work on his open-field coverage and pursuit. He's done exactly that and has shown marked improvement in his open-field play.

Clawson is a leader on the defense and has quietly had a very productive fall camp while seeing every rep at the Will position with the first-team defense.

#42-Shawn Doman 6-2, 232 Sr. LB: Doman is again battling back problems, which has lessened the impact he'd otherwise have at his Buck linebacker position. He's had a good fall and will rotate at the position with Terrance Hooks, who is expected back soon from injury.

#42-Peni Maka'afi 5-10, 238 Fr. RB: Maka'afi has arguably looked the best of all the new running backs this fall. He's seen a lot of reps with the second-team offense and should be the fourth or fifth running back option this season. He's been limited recently with some nagging injuries, but looks to show well once he returns to practice.

#43-Jordan Atkinson 6-3, 243 Jr. LB: Atkinson switched over to outside linebacker after the spring and has been pushing Clawson with his play at the Will position. He's shown well during most practice sessions, accounting for sacks and tackles for minimal yardage throughout fall camp.

#44-Dan Van Sweden 6-2, 232 Sr. LB: Van Sweden has seen most of his work with the third-team defense, where he'll add good experience and depth to the inside linebacker position.

#45-Harvey Unga 6-0, 237 Jr. RB: Unga has been very limited with his reps this fall, as he has relatively little to gain from regular practice work. When he has seen reps he's shown more burst and quickness than he did at the end of last season.

Unga pulled his hamstring this past practice session following some increased work, but it doesn't appear to be serious. Fans can expect that by the opener against Oklahoma, Unga will be as good as he's been since entering the program.

#46-Masi Tuitama 6-2, 215 Fr. LB: Tuitama hasn't made an impact this fall to warrant playing time and has been ridden hard by his position coach Barry Lamb. He has shown some good quicks and will likely work on his overall play with the scout team this coming season.

#47-Terrance Hooks 6-1, 226 Sr. LB: Hooks has missed all but the duration of fall camp due to his nagging hamstring injury. He has begun to participate in light drills and is expected to play and start against Oklahoma in the opener.

#48-Jameson Frazier 6-2, 201 So. LB: Frazier has shown very well at times while playing Sam linebacker. He's seen some time with the second-team, but has mostly played with the third-team. While he'll be hard-pressed to earn playing time at the position this coming season, he should compete hard for a spot on the two-deep following 2009.

#49-Jadon Wagner 6-4, 264 So. DE: Wagner is playing with the third-team defense, and given his relative inexperience at the position, he could benefit greatly from scout-team work this coming season. He's proven to be a very good athlete with a lot of upside.

#50-Remington Peck 6-4, 240 Fr. DE: Peck has shown well, but not to the point where he'd contribute as a true freshman. Peck, like Wagner, could benefit greatly from scout-team work this season, as he himself is somewhat new to his defensive end position.


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