Since the coaches have said publicly that they have saved a scholarship for potential transfer Mitch Mustain, former Arkansas starting quarterback, there must be an extra player on this roster. My guess is that it is Michael McDonald who has graduated and probably will go on to graduate school next fall.
Here are the people I'm counting:
5 - QB: Booty,McDonald (on spring roster), Green, Sanchez, Corp.
10 - TB: Dennis,Reed, C. Washington, Bradford, Gable, Moody, Johnson, Green, McKnight, Tyler
3 - FB: Havili,Coleman, Campbell
5 - TE: F. Davis,Thompson, Miller, McCoy, Ellison
8 - WR: Turner,Hazelton, Patterson, Ausberry, Holland, D. Williams, Carswell, Johnson
3 - C: Byers,Howell, O'Dowd
5 - OG: Malu,Radovich, Rachal, Herring, Heberer
6 - OT: Baker,Spanos, C. Brown, Lewis, Coleman, Reardon
8 - DT: Ellis,Barrett, Moala, Parsons, Spicer, Simmons, D. Harris, Tupou
7 - DE: Jackson,Morrow, Moore, G. Washington, Miles, Griffen, Henderson
11 - LB: Rivers, T.Williams, Cushing, Maiava, Maualuga, Matthews, L. Brown, Morgan, Tatum, Galippo,Smith
6 - CB: T. Thomas,C. Harris, McCurtis, K. Thomas, Joseph, Wright
6 - S: Ellison,Pinkard, W. Harris, Mays, Rowe, M. Jones
1 - K: Buehler
1 - SNAP: Collins
Total of 85, the maximum allowed by NCAA rule.
Our realistic appraisal of this spring roster includes the recognition that it is very unlikely that all 85 will be on the fall roster. McDonald may go to graduate school instead of playing his final year. Dennis may not get his 6th year. Spanos has not been reliable in the academic eligibility area. Lawrence Miles was missing from practice almost all of last year but has recently resurfaced. His history does not give me a lot of confidence that he will be ready to resume a full-time athletic role. Then, we have the incoming 17 freshmen who must pass all the qualification requirements. In past years, one or two have not been successful.
So, I believe that we can expect some roster opening by September. The one walk-on first stringer not yet on scholarship is our punter, Greg Woidneck. It is logical to expect him to get a scholarship. Another walk-on who does play a lot is Sr. WR Brad Walker. There may be others. Also, we may see some surprise JC transfers like David Buehler who Pete brought in last September to fill a specific need, and thank goodness he did.
It is really too early to start projecting available scholarship numbers for 2008. This spring roster includes 19 players using their final year of eligibility. As noted above, some of the current players may not be on the fall roster and thereby free up another scholarship. If history is an indicator, several of our younger players will give serious consideration to leaving early for the NFL draft. Who they will be is a matter to be determined by future events, but there will be some. My personal projection is for there to be between 23 and 25 scholarship opening in 2008.