Head Football Coach Bob Toledo made some announcements today at Football Media Day.
Jon Dubravac, the senior wide receiver, will more than likely redshirt, due to a recurring back problem. "He has a redshirt year, so we'll see if we can redshirt him, get him rested up and play him the following year," Toledo said of Dubravac.
Chris Jackson, the junior fullback, because of a continuing knee injury, has quit the team and will be granted a medical scholarship (meaning: he still has a scholarship to attend the school, but the scholarship does not go against the scholarship count).
Ray Cassaday, the freshman linebacker, has been moved to fullback to compensate for the loss of Jackson.
Ryan Wikert, the sophomore cornerback, has been moved to wide receiver.
Marcus Reese is listed as a co-starter at both strongside and weakside linebacker. Coach Toledo said he that Reese will more than likely start, where depending on the availability of Ryan Nece. If Nece is healthy, Reese will move to strongside linebacker.
Mike Seidman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this morning. "I haven't heard what's happened," Coach Toledo said. "You never know about those things. Hopefully he'll be back in time for Alabama. He probably won't be able to play too much."
Freshman quarterback John Sciarra did indeed break a bone in his hand the first day of practice, which will limit his ability to practice.
Three walk-on seniors were granted scholarships for the season: Tight end Dennis Fox, wide receiver Devon Reese and linebacker Kevin Stromborg. "We've now given out 18 walk-on scholarships in the last six years," Toledo said.
Toledo said the coaching staff was very pleased with the performance of the freshmen in their first two days of practice. "You want to find out if you made any mistakes," Toledo said. Toledo talked about the size of the freshmen OLs. "They're like Redwoods," he said.
He also said he was very please with the skill athletes, "The defensive backs in particular."
Toledo also commented about the walk-ons. "I think it's the best walk-on group we've ever had," he said. "I'm really excited about them."
The most important thing to do this season:
"Stay healthy. We have an experienced returning team. Eight returning on defense and seven on offense.
We have maturity, experience, depth, but the key is to stay healthy. The teams that finish strong are the teams that stay healthy."
How much he will expect the seniors to lead this year:
"Quite a bit. There's a reason that DeShaun Foster, Marques Anderson, Robert Thomas, and Brian Poli-Dixon decided to comeback. They want to lead this football team. It's the biggest group of seniors I've had since I've been here and they're excited about leading this football team."
Key to the defense in fall camp:
"To bring some freshman defensive backs around fast. We honestly believe that one or two freshman might start in the secondary."
On the readiness of the freshmen defensive backs:
"Phil Snow has talked to Matt Ware and Jibril Raymo and explained to them that they're going to get a lot of opportunities early in camp. We may have them go with the starters for a while, just to get the more reps. We'll see how many of them can really play. Matt Clark has shown a lot of speed and quickness. Marcus Cassell has been very impressive. So, we have four guys right now that we feel are going to get a good look."
With Seidman's injury, whether freshman tight end Keith Carter will get time:
"We have to see what happens right now. Keith Carter is a good-looking tight end. He's 6-4 and 250 and he caught the ball real good the two days we had him out there. He runs around real well, he's a tough guy, physical. If he's better than the back-ups we have behind Bryan Fletcher right now, then we'll play him. If he's as good or maybe not as good, there's the possibility that we'll redshirt him. But he's definitely a guy we'll take a good, hard look at offensively."
On Cory Paus's health:
"It's always a concern. But if you look at him, you realize he's gotten bigger. He's put on eight or ten pounds. He's hit the weights very hard. We got him some custom-fitted, real stiff shoulder pads that hopefully will help. And I hope the people around him will protect him a little more."
A Picture Gallery of Media Day is coming tomorrow...