After Monday's practice, a jovial Karl Dorrell discussed the recruiting boost, the BCS, and said one key starter will likely be out against USC.
-- Center Mike McCloskey will likely not play in the Dec. 3 game against USC, Dorrell said after practice. The four-year starter continues to struggle with a sprained right shoulder and regaining the needed strength to play.
-- Linebacker Justin London will start light running on his ankle by Wednesday but Dorrell said that he will not be re-evaluated until next Monday.
-- Cornerback Byron Velega practiced in a red jersey.
Karl Dorrell's comments:
"We started putting things in and are starting to test how they look in terms of game plan and that's a good thing. We look sharp in a number of aspects and we're just going to keep working on it and get ourselves to play the best game. That sound like a plan?"
Injuries? Any updates?
"Justin London is doing a lot of his treatment inside. Probably by Wednesday he will start doing some running but not really cutting on it. We're going to see what he can do on Monday when he comes back from break. That's the plan that the doctors wanted him to do, they wanted him to stay off it at least for two weeks, and two weeks will be Wednesday and then they will try to slowly get him back on his feet again. He'll be swimming in the pool and running and doing things like that.
As for Mike McCloskey, I would say the likelihood of him playing is not likely. He's trying to but he doesn't have a lot of strength-gain in his shoulder. I'm not ruling him out but I would say the likelihood is not very good."
Seems like he's lost a lot, physically, in the past month.
"He's had to get a lot of rest, too. So he hasn't been lifting or doing anything like that and he's the kind of kid that needs to continue to train to maintain his weight. First and foremost we're trying to get the strength back in his shoulder and then see where we're at, but at this point I would say it's not likely."
With Eric McNeal, it seems like he's the ideal safety to move to linebacker, just because of his size and everything. Is that the main reason why he moved or was there something else about him?
"There were other things about that. He's always been a very good line-of-scrimmage player, whether he's been a safety close to the line-of-scrimmage, he's done that quite a bit so that's just a natural fit for him at this point in time. He plays a nickel linebacker when we are in our nickel package so it really wasn't an extension. He's made the easiest transition of any of the safeties because of what he's been doing and his background."
In terms of Chris Markey, how much can weight training and working on the track improve his speed?
"He's faster this year than last year. I think part of it is you know how the more physically mature you get the stronger you get, you get a little bit faster. That's what is happening with his body. He's developing and most kids when they start to develop wind up picking up some speed as well. He's not a big, big kid but he's getting a lot stronger and I think with all that type of growth and development he's starting to pick up in the speed department too."
He said he wanted to work with (training coach) Doc Kreis in the off season. Will that give him a noticeable difference?
"It really depends on the person. There's no doubt he will get bigger, faster and stronger but how much that would happen I really couldn't tell you. He'll get better, I don't know how much better he'll get, but I do know he will continue to work at it and his speed and explosiveness will continue to grow too. "
Karl, with this upcoming game do you think how it might affect recruiting? Does that factor in at all?
"Only in a positive sense, either way I believe. We just worked to get ourselves in this position so quickly, I mean there really wasn't an expectation for this to happen to us this year, so really we're working in the bonus right now. It's like if you ran in that little video arcade and you're running those laps and you beat the time limit you get that bonus time, we're in that bonus time right now. But really, it's all positive. I think that recruiting is going very well, they have seen the progress this program has made. We are anxious to play, we're anxious to play and see what we're really all about. Plus, this isn't only for the city championship, the conference championship that is at stake, it also has BCS implications. So there is a lot to play for. So it's a good position we haven't been in the last two years."
Do you think if you guys win this game you could get into the BCS title game?
"The title game? Hmmm…I don't think so. If we were undefeated to this point then yeah, but I think with that loss and there are so many other teams. There are some teams with two losses that are ranked higher than us."
But a lot of that is based off the human polls and I was just curious how much you guys would jump with a ‘SC win and how much stock that would bring?
"I would have to say that there are too many things involved to give an answer. But having a loss is just too big. The reason why is because it was to an opponent without a winning record. But that really doesn't concern me. I'm just happy to play in this type of game where we have so many things to play for."