NCF Nation: Colin Porter

1. UCF’s George O’Leary is the coach who taught me that the farther a freshman lines up from the ball, the faster he can get on the field. Teenaged linemen, especially on offense, need to physically mature into their role. Washington guard Colin Porter seemed to defy the rule. He started 10 games as a freshman in 2010 and all 13 games last season. But Porter’s career is over. His shoulders, shot through with degenerative arthritis, no longer could take the pounding. Perhaps this proved O’Leary’s rule is right after all.

2. Alabama goes to the White House on Thursday for winning the BCS Championship. Air Force goes Monday to receive the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. One big difference -- the Crimson Tide is taking its entire team. The Falcons take only the seniors. Air Force SID Troy Garnhart said it is part tradition, part expense. It is cool that the 28 seniors make up coach Troy Calhoun’s first signing class. One other big difference -- half of Air Force’s delegation will come from the Pentagon, just across the Potomac River.

3. In his ESPN The Magazine story on marijuana use among college football players, Mark Schlabach cites the most recent NCAA survey (taken in 2009) in which nearly a quarter of players said they had used the drug in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, medical marijuana is available in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and 13 states have decriminalized the drug for non-medical, personal use. It would appear that college football players who use marijuana are closer to the mainstream than we might think.

Huskies lose OG Colin Porter

April, 10, 2012
Washington's offensive line took a big blow this week with the forced injury retirement of offensive guard Colin Porter, a two-year starter.

Here's the Seattle Times report, which notes "Porter is suffering from 'degenerative arthritis' in each of his shoulders." And, by the way, he played all last season, despite the condition. So, yeah, this is a tough guy here.

The Huskies were set up to have four returning starters on the line in 2012, losing only left tackle Senio Kelemete to graduation. Now that number is three, and there are other injury concerns, most particularly guard Colin Tanigawa, who tore his ACL at Oregon State on Nov. 19 and is questionable for the 2012 season. Further, right tackle Erik Kohler is nursing nagging injuries and is limited while playing second-team guard this spring.

That leaves just senior center Drew Schaefer manning his 2011 spot this spring.

When you add in the loss of RB Chris Polk, it's reasonable to wonder about the Huskies' running game in 2012.

Coach Steve Sarkisian is a big believer in a physical running game. The Huskies rushed 452 times last year, compared to 406 pass attempts. With junior QB Keith Price entering his second year as a starter, it's hard to believe those numbers won't at least reverse.

That, of course, means more exposure for Price to getting hit. The Huskies, despite a veteran line, gave up 34 sacks last year, which ranked 98th in the nation. You might recall that Price struggled with nagging injuries much of the 2011 season, in large part because of that spotty protection. Further, with the transfer of Nick Montana, the Huskies' backup QBs, which could end up being a true freshman, have no game experience.

So let's just say it would be a good thing for Washington for Tanigawa and Kohler to get healthy. And for some young guys to step up and show their stuff this spring.