Week In Review

<b>August 22</b> <ul> <li>An official announcement on the eligibility of UCF tight end Michael Gaines is due today. Gaines, highly ranked by NFL scouts and one of the best tight ends in the nation, must clear up a question arising from two classes he took this summer.

August 22
  • Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang violated the WAC's six-credit rule and as a result will sit out the team's opener against Appalachian State, the school announced last night.  Chang played in the Hawaii Bowl last Christmas but was later found to be ineligible based on the WAC rule.  Chang is being touted by Hawaii as a 2003 Heisman Trophy candidate.
  • Wake Forest offensive tackle Mark Moroz suffered a sprained MCL and is doubtful for the Deacons  opener at Boston College. Fortunately Moroz's injury does not seem serious and he is expected to return soon.  Moroz is viewed as a late round pick by NFL scouts for next April's draft.
  • Missouri running back Zack Abron, who suffered a sprained ankle last weekend, had the cast he was wearing all week taken off on Thursday.  Abon's return to the playing field is still in question.  The big interior runner is presently viewed as a late round pick by NFL scouts.
  • Marshall receiver Darius Watts looks to be back in fine form after suffering through the 2002 season with a bum shoulder.  The speedy pass catcher opened Wednesday's scrimmage by catching a 61 yard touchdown pass.  Watts, a gifted wideout, has the potential to be a top 45 pick in next April's draft.
  • UCLA wide receiver Craig Bragg, the teams leading wideout last season, has been very reliable throughout practice and seems poised for a big season.  Bragg must pick up the slack for Tab Perry, who was ruled academically ineligible last month.  Only a junior, Bragg is presently viewed as a solid middle round choice by NFL scouts.

August 21

  • Senior safety Rashad Baker continues to impact the defense during the Volunteers camp and seems to be recovering from what was an inconsistent junior campaign. One aspect of Baker's game that has been elevated is run support and the highly ranked NFL prospect seems to have found an aggressive nature.  Baker is considered by most NFL scouts a first day pick in next April's draft.
  • Ohio State receiver Michael Jenkins is scorching the field in practice, making athletic receptions and causing the secondary to play back on their heels.  Jenkins has been jumping over defenders to make the catch and at the same time beats defenders deep.  He is one of the forgotten commodities in college football and will be highly ranked going into next April's NFL Draft.
  • Will Poole continues to be impressive through the first weeks of USC's fall camp. He worked with the first unit in place of Kevin Arbet, who was resting an injured foot. Poole batted down a pass and broke up a play that led to an interception.  A transfer from Ventura College, Poole stood out as a shut down cover corner early in his career at Boston College and is considered a sleeper for next April's NFL Draft.
  • San Diego State defensive end Ryan Iata has not had a good camp and may not be fully recovered from his  surgically repaired knee.  The injury which caused him to miss most of last season has been throbbing and has him playing significantly less than 100%.  Many NFL scouts considered Iata a potential late round choice for next April's draft.
  • Arizona wide receiver Andrae Thurman has been ruled academically ineligible and will not be able to play this fall. A fifth year senior, Thurman cannot take another redshirt season and must transfer to a I-AA if he wants to finish his eligibility.  A big bodied wide out, Thurman was a potential late round choice in next April's draft.

August 20

  • Washington State running back Jermaine Green, who's had various injury problems due to muscle tightness, is being held out of practice as a precautionary measure.  WSU coaches fear that when Green tightens up he's at risk of pulling a hamstring and they plan on taking it easy with him now.  A big interior runner, Green caught the eye of NFL scouts last season and is considered a solid middle round choice for next April's draft.
  • NFL scouts have recently been raving about Washington State senior quarterback Matt Kegel.  The heir apparent to Jason Gesser connected on every pass he threw in the first scrimmage of the year, completing 14-of-14  Kegel came onto the radar screen when he filled in for the ailing Gesser last season.  While not as mobile as the former Wazzu passer his arm is considered NFL caliber.
  • University of Arizona running back Clarence Farmer had a flareup of the knee injury which sidelined him last season.  After participating in a scrimmage last week, Farmer has since missed practice and according to coach John Mackovic, may not participate in the coming scrimmage on Thursday.
  • Senior wide receiver Carlos Perez continues to stand out in practice and has quickly established himself as the teams "go to" pass catcher.  He appears headed for a breakout season which would enhance his draft stock.  Presently he is viewed as a late round selection for next April's affair.
  • Florida Gator coach Ron Zook has announced that former left tackle Max Starks likely will remain at right guard throughout the season. 

August 19

  • Mathias Kiwanuka of Boston College is showing signs of being a special player early in practice and has been a disruptive force on the Eagle line  A redshirt sophomore, Kiwanuak is already drawing comparisons to Raider Hall of Fame defender Ted Hendricks, an eight-time Pro Bowler.
  • Miami Hurricane coach Larry Coker said the ankle injury suffered this weekend by offensive lineman Vernon Carey was not serious and the big tackle could return to the practice field as early as this Wednesday. Carey was on the sidelines Monday walking with a slight hint of a limp. His injured left ankle was lightly taped.  Carey is projected by NFL scouts as a first round talent.
  • In a conversation with Mississippi Valley State coaches yesterday, it was learned that Mississippi State transfer Derrick Thompson is enrolled in school but has yet to meet academic requirements and has not yet practiced with the team.  Coaches were devastated as they hoped the big blocker would anchor the offensive line.  A talented and athletic big man, Thompson caught the eye of NFL scouts as a sophomore at Mississippi State and was ranked high on the list of junior linemen going into the 2002 season.  He was ruled academically ineligible last year and subsequently applied to MVSU where he hoped to play.  As one coach put it yesterday, "this is his last chance."
  • Fitu Tu'ua, the talented and athletic offensive lineman formerly of Fresno State, is not presently enrolled at the University and has little, if any chance to join the Bulldog team this year.  Suspended from the squad in January, there were hopes he would get his grades in order and play out his senior campaign this season.  Tu'ua was on the radar screen for several NFL teams who projected him into the draft's first day.  His versatility to play several different positions on the offensive line created a stir about him amongst league scouts as far back as the 2001 season.

August 18

  • Colorado defensive end Marques Harris has been a one man wrecking crew thus far in practice. Unblockable in a recent scrimmage, Harris was constantly in the offensive backfield, barreling down on ball handlers. So impressive has been the play of Harris that CU coach Gary Barnett is tinkering with easing up on him to save Harris for the season.  An undersized pass rusher, Harris reminds many NFL scouts of former Buff defender Greg Jones.  And like Jones, linebacker is the position where many project Harris at the next level.
  • Mark Clayton has been the star of the offense thus far in camp and the talented OU secondary has had difficulty covering him. A tall receiver with the speed to beat defenders down the field, NFL scouts expect the junior to have a breakout season after a disappointing sophomore campaign.
  • Oft-injured quarterback Jason White has looked sharp in practice.  According to coach Bob Stoops, White is "much more comfortable" in the pocket and the team is trying to "get him as many snaps out there as possible."  NFL scouts will closely be watching White this season as the big armed passer has the physical skills to play at the next level but has rarely shown any durability when called upon to lead the team.
  • Oklahoma State tailback Tatum Bell has been sidelined with a sore hamstring.  The speedy ball carrier is getting late round consideration for the 2004 NFL Draft by league scouts who view him as a third down back.
  • Running back Jarrett Payton, still recovering from a concussion, had not returned to practice this weekend.

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