The players not participating in practice were, of course, Spencer Havner, who was walking well with only a wrap around his calf (which was curious since he had knee surgery); and senior fullback Pat Norton, who is in a boot and whose status is unknown for the game. Running back Maurice Drew practiced fully.Havner was named a first-team All-American by collegefootballnews.com and by cbs.sportsline.com.
Senior wide receiver Craig Bragg said he accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. It was believed that Manuel White also received a Senior Bowl invitation as well as an invitation to play in the Shrine Bowl, and could play in both. Tab Perry will play in the Shrine Bowl.
The players had to sign the standard player bowl game contract today after practice. It stipulates against gambling, specifically sports gambling.
Head Coach Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments:
"I don't have much for you today. I can say it was a good practice, though. Nice, short, crisp. We're getting ourselves ready."
How has Drew Olson developed this year in your mind?
"He's done a lot better than he did before. How has he developed? He's better than he was a year ago. He's continuing to learn our system and understanding it more day in and day out. We're encouraged with the growth he made this year, and will continue to grow as we go into next year."
How's Ben Lorier doing in practice with Spencer Havner out?
"He's getting there. It's different when you haven't had many reps, and now you're getting all the reps. He'll be ready to go. He's catching up with learning our defenses, and getting used to taking all the reps. We anticipate him being ready to go, going full speed, and making a great game for himself in the bowl."
How will you handle the players being in Las Vegas? Will there be ground rules?
"They'll have their usual ground rules. They can have fun, but they have to be in at a certain time. I don't have a lot of rules, other than stay out of trouble and be where you need to be."
If they want to hit the slots, they can?
"No, that's what they're signing all those things right there for now. That's for gambling. It's the underage issue that you're dealing with, not being 21 years old. I don't expect them to be in areas where they shouldn't be."
How about gambling for the guys who are over 21?
"Again, it's not something we're encouraging them to do. We're going to try to do things as a team. We'll see what happens. There will probably be some that try to test you, but you know what? They know the difference between right and wrong. Our team has done a great job in growing and not getting in bad situations so far this year."
I'm not implying anything illegal...
"Then why are we continuing to talk about this then?"
It's something people think about when there are college kids in Vegas.
"We have a game to win. We
want them to have fun. And we know that's part of the issue, knowing it's a
gambling city. But we also want them to know that they can't get in trouble and
do things that will embarrass this program. We're going to do our bit in keeping
them away from those issues and educating them as much as we can and move on