Before I get to the questions, one link to pass along, a preview of UW from the Orange County Register’s USC blog.
Now, onto the answers:
Q: Do any of the freshmen that red-shirted last season stand out in your opinion as players that will compete for playing time next season, especially in the defensive front seven?
A: As has been noted on here before, they didn’t have many redshirts last season due to the fact it was a small class in 2009 that included six JC transfers. So, only six guys ended up redshirting, only three on defense — DT Chris Robinson, MLB Tim Tucker and FS Will Shamburger. Robinson, who missed last year with a knee injury, had a solid enough spring and looms as a guy who will get some playing time this year in the rotation up front. Tucker spent the spring rotating as a backup MLB with true frosh Victor Burnett. Burnett appeared ahead of Tucker at the end of the spring, making a game-high eight tackles in the spring game. If the season started today, I wouldn’t anticipate him in a regular playing role at MLB but he did appear to be on some special teams, and as a frosh, has time to work his way into a more active role with the defense.
Q: Which do you think will be the most competitive position battle this fall?
A: Probably weakside linebacker, where Alvin Logan, Victor Aiyewa and Matt Houston will all vie for playing time. Logan is No. 1 out of spring, in part because Aiyewa was off limits to contact and didn’t take part in any scrimmages. Logan appeared to get better and more comfortable at that spot throughout the spring, but I know the coaches are also excited to see what Aiyewa — a former safety with some starting experience — can do there, as well. Houston, a senior, also had some good moments in the spring and is a steady player who has a chance to work his way into the mix there, as well.
Q: Which incoming freshmen not named Sean Parker will make the most immediate impact this fall?
A: The easy answer is tailbacks Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier. But I’m assuming you mean someone who hasn’t been here yet. There are lots of guys who have a chance — OLs such as Erik Kohler and Colin Porter and all the defensive ends, who due to the need there may have a better opportunity than a lot of other guys. But I was intrigued in Steve Sarkisian’s live chat Tuesday to hear him list Kevin Smith as a potential kickoff returner this year, and if he wins that job, that could give him a pretty signigicant role immediately. And while UW is set with its top three WRs, there’s lots of opportunity to work into the rotation there and with his speed and athleticism, Smith could do that sooner rather than later.
Q: Whatever happened to that Safety from BYU that supposedly transferred
A: You’re talking about Shiloah Te’o, who was kicked off BYU’s team last fall after being arrested for DUI. I don’t know other than that he didn’t come to UW. To be honest, I never really saw any reports that were more than conjecture about him coming to UW and so far, have never seen or heard anything more other than the original rumor that UW was a school he might be interested in. But he’s not here now, I know that.
All for now.