Happy Tuesday morning Cougar fans!
All set? Good, let's move on then, shall we?
Click the old jump to see if what surprise I am anticipating comes next Thursday?
We all know Mike Leach doesn't publicly acknowledge injuries. We also know that Leach isn't one for naming starters, as he has hinted that he may not announce many positions until they take the field in Provo next week.
It's pretty simple to understand why Leach chooses to do this, and it's mainly because he likes to keep the opposition guessing. While it might be annoying to the casual (or rabid) fan, it's clearly part of the "Leach Gameplan" that allowed him to beat teams with superior talent to his while he was at Texas Tech. So who am I or we to tell him to do anything differently?
I think we as fans (and the media too) will continue to be in the dark in regards to whomever will be starting at a variety of positions, all the way up to the opening kickoff next Thursday.
In addition to Leach's "veil of secrecy" about starters, we have no clue about the severity of a lot of thee layer injuries. We have guys like Xavier Cooper, Kristoff Williams, Toni Pole, Robert Barber, Andrei Lintz, Deon Ford, Rico Forbes, Darren Markle, Isiah Myers, and Dominique Williams all missing significant chunks of fall camp with undisclosed injuries. Although it's believed and actually been reported on that Forbes and Barber have ACL injuries and Ford hurt his hand pretty good, we still don't get the official word, while Markle and Pole have been seen limping around or sporting soft casts.
So what has all of this added up to for me?
All three of those are looks that I have caught on my face trying to add it all up.
Seriously, my head fricking hurts! My head hurts so much, we tried to unravel some of the position battles on our most recent Podcast and the guys over at Cougfan tried to read the tea leaves as well.
It sounds as though at running back, the competition is wide open amongst Carl Winston, Theron West and Teondray Caldwell.
Then, things get really sticky along the D-line. As of today, it sounds like Matthews Bock, Ioane Guata and Toni Pole are your starters looking left to right. But all of that might be up in the air if Xavier Cooper returns from his "injury" and things get shuffled around even more. Toni Pole is just getting up to speed after being sidelined/limited the majority of camp, so might Steven Hoffart start in his place if he doesn't get acclimated the way Breske would like? Or might we see Lenard Willliams, Adam Coerper, or David Davis jump in-front of these guys? Don't forget RS Junior Justin Clayton joins the team today, as does RS Fr Darryl Paulo! Although they aren't full participants until their 3rd and 5th practices, still, they could be very much in the mix by next week.
Linebacker appears set with Eric Oertel, Darryl Monroe, Chester Sua and Travis Long, but a couple of interesting notes appear to come from the defensive backfield.
It appears Damante Horton has one of the starting CB jobs locked up, but Nolan Washington is giving RS Sr Daniel Simmons one helluva run for the money at the other island position. Meanwhile, true frosh Taylor Taliulu appears to have grabbed the starting free safety job from Tyree Toomer.
Hallelujah! But honestly, how did it take somebody four years to wrestle this job from Toomer? Not to bag on the kid, because he's been a great ambassador for the program, but he brings absolutely nothing to the table on the field in my eyes.
Anyways, some interesting observations, and I think some of them won't be fully clear until 7:00 PM PST on August 30th!
What do you think of all this secrecy?
Have a great day Cougs!