For what's supposed to be the off-season already, there's a lot of news percolating. Today we find out via Cougfan that Andy Roof is back in school this semester and will re-join the football program. Roof stumbled out of school for the fall semester with some off-the-field issues, but things at least appear to be straightened out right now.
Interesting to think that the one starter they lose from the O-line next year, Bobby Byrd, is a guard. The same position that Roof would play next year. So the timing could be great here.
Roof has always been sort of an enigma. Coming in his strength was legendary (Cougfan reported the 655-lb squat in high school - WOW!) but he was regarded as one of the strongest players on the team the last few years. But even though he'll be a senior next year, he's only started 5 games in his career. He missed a lot of time with a injuries in '06, but Roof always generated some good buzz that he had the tools and the temperment to be a really good guard. This is his last shot, so let's hope he keeps things in order and we see him on the field next fall.
The O-line is going to be a clear strength on this team in '08, but adding a guy like Roof into the mix could make the unit one of the better lines in the conference. With a new starter at QB and a brand new spread offense, it feels good to know that there will be some good, seasoned players up front!
One other quickie - lost in the story about Gibson returning was coach Wulff's mention that RB Dwight Tardy was indeed eligible and will be in school this spring. I guess it was a little under the radar, but there was some mention of a rumor about a month ago that he was struggling, to say the least. I didn't want to bring it up at the time (remember the uproar over Bumpus "news"?), but now that it's out there, let me just say "phew!" Tardy and Ivory could be a really special combo next year, assuming Tardy's knee is ok that is, and I'm happy he got things in order. I know it happens at every program, that some of these recruits have a hard time staying above water, but it seems like in the last few seasons we've had some difficulty in keeping kids eligible? Some of the Texas kids come to mind, as well as Bumpus and his nearly-3 strikes and he's out. Let's hope Wulff has a good plan in place in keeping these kids eligible.