Rocket Football Updates

Toledo opens the 2008 football campaign this Saturday night (10pm EST) in Tucson, AZ against the PAC-10's Arizona Wildcats. Two freshmen will be starting on the offensive line, and several true freshmen are expected to play this Saturday. Read on to find out which freshmen are expected to play, who will start at the offensive tackle positions, and who will return kickoffs for the Rockets.

Redshirt freshman Mike VanDerMeulan (6-7, 315) will make his first collegiate start at left tackle for the Rockets. True freshman Phil Manley (6-5, 295) will backup VanDerMeulan and is expected to see playing time against Arizona.

Redshirt freshman Jan Gewont (6-6, 327) will be making his second consecutive opening game start at right tackle for the Rockets. He started the opener against Purdue last season, but suffered a season-ending injury in the game. The NCAA granted Gewont a medical hardship waiver for the 2007 season, keeping his freshman eligibility.

Backing up Gewont at right tackle will be true freshman John Morookian (6-5, 292), and he is expected to see playing time against Arizona on Saturday night.

Junior DaJuane Collins will be the starting running back for Toledo, but he will have company at the position from a few freshman backs. Redshirt freshman Morgan Williams is his backup and will play a lot in the opener Saturday according to Rocket coaches.

True freshman Jake Walker should also see playing time, and redshirt freshman Adonis Thomas will likely play some at running and a lot as the slot receiver.

Kenny Stafford and Sam Gaymon are true freshman wide receivers that should see a good deal of playing time Saturday, according to Rocket coaches.

On defense, keep your eye on sophomore Albertson Alexandre (6-5, 230) at defensive end. Rocket coaches are expecting big things from him.

True freshmen Malcolm Riley, Damien McIntosh, and Andreas Ashwood are backups at their respective positions and will play quite a bit against Arizona. Kenny Veal could see time on defense as well.

After trying different players on kick returns in practice, it appears that redshirt freshman Morgan Williams and true freshman Kenny veal will start the game back deep for Toledo. Coaches will take it from there based on a gut feeling and how they perform.

Redshirt freshman Bill Claus is still #1 at punter, but junior kicker Alex Steigerwald may emerge as the punter just yet. Steigerwald did both field goals and punts in high school and has been getting a serious look at punter by Rocket coaches.

Toledo only has 10 seniors on the 2008 roster, tied for first in the country, with Central Michigan, for the fewest. Seven of those seniors are on the two-deep depth chart. There are just two seniors starting on offense and just two seniors starting on defense.

Rocket Digest Top Stories