Camp Notes #2
We’re smack dab in the middle of camp, and for some programs this signals the end of two-a-day drills. At times there appear to be more questions than answers as quarterback battles rage in Norman, Corvallis, South Bend and Miami. The RB and WR battle royal at USC continues, and I feel like I need Tim Russert’s dry-erase board to keep up with who’s leading after each day. Other than the devastating Kinder injury we’ve been very fortunate to have (relatively speaking and with fingers crossed) very few season-ending injuries. In this edition of camp notes we address the Sammie Stroughter situation and take a peek at two USC stud freshmen while covering what’s news this mid-August of 2007.
News: Ed Britton and L.A. Reed battle for the X receiver spot at Texas Tech
It was recently reported on RedRaiders.com that Edward Britton and L.A. Reed were in a tight battle for the X spot this fall. As you may recall from our earlier piece on the Red Raider Wide Outs the X spot along with the Z spot are the two outside receivers and the ones that do the most damage in the Red Raider ariel attack. While the battle between Britton and Reed is intriguing enough there is something else to be discerned from this news. At the end of spring practice Michael Crabtree, for all intents and purposes, was listed behind Britton at the Z spot and Reed (along with Walker) at the X spot. See where I'm going with this? We'll just in case you're unsure, what this tells me is Britton has moved over to the X to make room for Crabtree at the Z. Leaving little doubt that Crabtree will be starting at the Z spot this fall. There have been rumblings about a freshman named Lyle Leong also in the hunt, but he will likely be Crabtree's back-up. Lock him up boys.
News: Tony Temple not seriously injured as first feared
The reaction around Mizzou’s camp spoke volumes about how vital Tony Temple is to the Tiger system. In the past two years Temple has clearly separated himself from Marcus Woods and other backs, and he’s Mr. Steady in the Tiger spread. Joining Chase Daniel, Danario Alexander, Will Franklin, Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker, Temple will not put up crazy explosive numbers, however he will be a very reliable and consistent tailback, and a drafter could do much worse than to have Temple as his number 3 RB.
News: ROJO making a huge impression at USC
In our recent piece, The USC Pass Catching Machine, we expressed concern that super-recruit Ronald Johnson may end up playing defensive back. It appears our fears were unfounded. Ronald Johnson is showing himself as not only an option at punt returner, he’s also vying for playing time at the wide receiver slot while competing with talented WR’s who’ve been in the system longer. The new #8 at USC certainly has the potential to surpass the accomplishments of the last SC WR to don that digit.
News: Joe McKnight also making noise at USC
It appears that McKnight is as talented as anticipated, and while even more RB’s may end up transferring, McKnight seems to be the chosen one. We’ve also heard good things about Stafon Johnson, so the starting job (and carries for that matter) is still to be determined. Still if you want a Trojan running back whom you can likely count on for the next three seasons, McKnight appears to be your best bet (despite a nagging knee bruise).
News: Moody transfer...USC RB Battle Really Involves Five
Gary Klein of the LA Times did a nice job of breaking down the current state of the USC RB situation in his recent piece from August 17th. As it stands right now:
Hershel Dennis appears like he may never recover from his series of knee injuries. Marc Tyler and Desmond Reed appear to be non-factors. After some dust has begun to settle, this leaves:
1. Chauncey Washington as the fifth-year senior who will likely be the go-to guy to start.
2. C.J Gable and Stafon Johnson appear to be the next in line for carries.
3. Allen Bradford and Joe McKnight (who has been out with a bruised knee) appear to follow Gable and Johnson while Broderick Green seems to be the guy who will be holding his helmet on Saturdays.
We still cannot recommend a high pick on any of the USC backs. However we do recommend taking a late pick on any combination of Washington, Gable, Johnson and/or McKnight. If in a keeper league McKnight is the guy. The USC tailback situation will likely change on a week-to-week basis.
News: Sammie Stroughter still out at Oregon State
At this point we’d have to recommend passing on Stroughter as it is appearing less and less likely that Stroughter will return to the Beavers anytime soon. Everyone is hoping that Stroughter takes care of whatever is necessary, and by all accounts Sammie Stroughter will be welcomed back with open arms upon his return. Chris Johnson appears to be the Beaver WR likely to pick up where Stroughter left off.
News: Charlie Weis being coy
The big guy is just angering college fantasy footballers…does he not even care? Coach Weis is going to wait until kickoff before the season opener versus Georgia Tech to publicly announce his starter. Still, I’ll bet a few bucks on the fact that it’ll be Evan Sharpley trotting onto the field. If Sharpley completes his first pass, ESPN will break in with news that Charlie Weis is the “most now head coach in the history of the world”. Whether the starter turns out to be Evan Sharpley, Demetrius Jones, Jimmy Clauson, Carlyle Holiday or Ron Powlus, you’re not going to want him as your starter.
Another week, another batch of unanswered questions. Anticipate a much more detailed analysis in the two weeks to come as Labor Day weekend is no longer a mirage in the distance. My parking pass arrived today, and coaches will need to establish who their go-to guys will be, and we'll continue to provide the analysis of how these decisions will impact your fantasy squad.
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