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WITH THE NFL COMBINE underway in Indianapolis and in looking around at what the internet gurus have to say about the NFL draft, one name is notably absent when it comes to defensive linemen – Ioane Gauta of Washington State.

Most of the NFL sites out there don't have Ioane Gauta (6-3, 290) as a projected draft pick. But at least a few are calling him an NFL sleeper at d-end in a 3-4.

What that will ultimately translate to come May 8-10 when the NFL Draft is held, or in the immediate aftermath when undrafted free agents are signed, is anyone's guess.

Most critical to Gauta's draft stock could be determined by his performance at WSU's Pro Day, held March 13 out on the Palouse. Gauta posted 44 tackles (28 solo) as a senior at WSU, with eight tackles for loss, three sacks and four pass break-ups.

Here's some game footage recently put up by Gauta's agent on youtube:


SPEAKING OF THE annual cattle call, everyone loves NFL Draft trivia, right?

Who has had more o-linemen drafted by the NFL since 2000 – UCLA or Washington State?

Cougars Zack Williams and Calvin Armstrong were sixth round picks in 2011 and 2005, respectively. Bruin Jeff Baca, a sixth-round pick by Minnesota last season, is the only UCLA offensive lineman to have been drafted since 2000.

TALK ABOUT A tough crowd.

SB Nation had a coaching hot seat article out on Friday and only one Pac-12 coach was considered to be "Ice Cold" in Stanford's David Shaw. The "Cold" category lists Oregon's Mark Helfrich, UCLA's Jim Mora and ASU's Todd Graham. You had to scroll down to "Cool" to find Mike Leach, who was joined there by Arizona's Rich Rodriguez and a pair of first-year coaches; USC's Steve Sarkisian and UW's Chris Petersen.

So much for a first-year coach's honeymoon period. The article also said there wasn't much room for error for the coach of the Cougs' in-state rival. "The Huskies have a ton of experience and talent coming back in 2014, so Peterson will need to win 10 games plus in his first season, or he might start to face some scrutiny," said SB Nation.

Cal's Sonny Dykes was the sole Pac-12 coach listed as being on the "Hot" seat in the article, with OSU's Mike Riley and Utah's Kyle Whittingham a step below at "Warm."

IT'S A RECRUITING TREND that continues to rise: verbal commits later deciding to take official visits elsewhere. One Pac-12 coach, more and more, has been publicly fighting back: Arizona's Rich Rodriguez.

"There have been guys who have been committed to us who visited somewhere else, and (we've said), ‘Go ahead, you're no longer committed to us,'" Rodriguez said on National Signing Day. "That's kind of the deal. I keep reminding the guys that it's our scholarship that we hand out, not theirs. It's not like lottery tickets; they have earned it but it's still ours."

Cornerback Naijiel Hale verballed to Arizona this past July before deciding to take an official to the UW. Rodriguez pulled his scholie offer and Hale subsequently signed with Washington.

THERE'S BEEN A whole lot of chatter about the proposed rules change that would allow defenses 10 seconds to make substitutions before an offense could snap the ball. Mike Leach blasted the idea, as have multiple other coaches.

The two coaches who have championed it most, Nick Saban and Bret Bielema, have taken heat for being in the room with the rules committee and taking part in the discussions. Bielema made his first public comments on the issue last night and created still more waves when he referenced the recent death of a Cal player in support of the rules change.

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