Pac-12: Johnny Tivao

Quick hits: USC DT Spicer out 2-3 weeks

August, 13, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Handful of notes from Thursday's practices.

  • USC starting defensive tackle Averell Spicer will be out two to three weeks with a high ankle sprain, which could put in jeopardy his start on Sept. 5 vs. San Jose State. While junior Derek Simmons is listed behind him on the depth chart, 330-pound JC transfer Hebron Fangupo has been impressive in camp thus far.
  • Also at USC, tight end Blake Ayles will undergo further testing for an irregular heartbeat, though Ayles told the Orange County Register he expects to practice Friday. Meanwhile, No. 1 cornerback Shareece Wright's bruised knee swelled up and may require an MRI.
  • At Washington, coach Steve Sarkisian said cornerback Dominique Gaisie is unlikely to be academically cleared. That means three of the Huskies' six JC transfers -- Johnny Tivao and Daniel Mafoe are the other two -- won't make it into school.
  • Stanford linebacker Clinton Snyder suffered a "stinger" at practice, while guard Chris Marinelli continues to sit out with a shoulder problem.
  • At Washington State, DT Bernard Wolfgramm and LB Myron Beck, who are both coming back from back surgery, sat out.

Around the Pac-10: Camp notes

August, 10, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Quick hits from around the conference...

Running back Nic Grigsby returned to practice after sprained ankle scare. ... No one can block DE Brooks Reed. ... TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Delashaun Dean sat out Sunday's practice.

Arizona State
Talented by oft-injured reserve receiver Brandon Smith suffered a knee injury Saturday. ... The Sun Devils continue to await word from the NCAA Clearinghouse on whether super-recruit linebacker Vontaze Burfict has academically qualified. Burfict is practicing with the team. ... Reserve defensive tackle David Bertrand has left the program. ... Coach Dennis Erickson reiterated that he will call plays this fall.

Wide receiver Verran Tucker, who missed spring due to academics, suffered an undisclosed injury after Sunday's practice. ... Receiver Michael Calvin, who's coming back from an ACL injury, has played well during the first few practices. ... Devin Bishop will be challenged at weakside outside linebacker by JC transfers Ryan Davis, Jarred Price and Jerome Meadows, though Price and Meadows could play inside. ... Matt Summers-Gavin is playing first team left guard, the position on the offense line that is most up for grabs.

Redshirt freshman running back LaMichael James, who was injured during the spring, has looked good thus far and is the frontrunner to win the backup job behind LeGarrette Blount.. .. Receivers Jeff Maehl, Tyrece Gaines and Diante Jackson sat out Sunday's practice with injuries. ... Two recruits, Cliff Harris and Justin Brown, haven't reported because they still await a verdict from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Oregon State
The Beavers begin practices today at 2 p.m. ... Sean Canfield will begin preseason practices as the No. 1 quarterback. Last season's starter, Lyle Moevao, will be taken along slowly as he comes back from shoulder surgery. ... With Jacquizz Rodgers also coming back from shoulder surgery, and backup Ryan McCants out with a knee injury, one of the key preseason competitions is at backup tailback between freshmen Jovan Stevenson and Ashton Jefferson.

Offensive lineman Chris Marinelli may miss most of camp because of a chronic left shoulder problem. ... Offensive tackle Allen Smith hasn't been cleared to practice.

The Bruins reported on Sunday. ... Defensive end Chinonso Anyanwu will be sidelined for at least three months due to hip surgery. ... Wide receiver Osaar Rasshan has retired due to injury. ... Fullback Jayson Allmond will not report until NCAA Clearinghouse issues have been resolved.

Shane Horton switched from safety to weakside linebacker. ... Senior linebacker Luthur Brown and freshman safety Patrick Hall aren't practicing because of academic issues. ... Sophomore tight end Blake Ayles, who missed the end of last season and spring practice because of a knee injury, has looked good in practices thus far. ... Cornerback Shareece Wright (neck) and running back Allen Bradford (hip) also have been cleared to practice.

Center Matt Sedillo left the team. ... Johri Fogerson has moved from safety to tailback. ... A pair of JC transfers, offensive Daniel Mafoe and defensive tackle Johnny Tivao, haven't qualified academically. ... Receiver Vince Taylor and running back Brandon Yakaboski will miss camp with a knee injuries. ... Oft-injured safety Jason Wells has been cleared to practice.

Washington State
Coach Paul Wulff is serving a three-day suspension due to NCAA penalties he incurred while coach at Eastern Washington. ... Sophomore Marshall Lobbestael returned to practice after off-season knee surgery. He is competing with Kevin Lopina for the starting job. ... Linebacker Louis Bland and backup center Alex Roxas have not been cleared to practice due to injuries. Senior Jason Stripling stepped into Bland's spot. ... Defensive tackle Bernard Wolfgramm is practicing but his back problems are still causing him issues. ... Guard Kevin Freitag will miss the season due to toe surgery. ... Defensive lineman Qwayshawne Buckley failed to qualify academically.

While you were on vacation ... Washington

July, 29, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

The ninth of 10 quick updates on offseason Pac-10 goings on.

Washington in a sentence

  • While the Huskies hit an all-time low as a program by going winless in 2008, there's an abundance of hope for a dramatic improvement under new coach Steve Sarkisian with 18 starters returning as well as quarterback Jake Locker, who was lost to injury four games into last season, and linebacker E.J. Savannah, who was suspended by former coach Tyrone Willingham.

The big issue

  • When a team finishes 0-12, everything is an issue, but a good start would be shoring up a defense that ranked 110th in the nation last year, yielding 452 yards per game. Ten starters are back on that side of the ball -- not including Savannah --- but will that prove to be a good thing?

Quick hit news

  • Tailbacks Brandon Johnson and David Freeman and linebacker Bradly Roussel left the program.
  • All 13 of the Huskies' freshmen are already on campus. The Seattle Times reported that, of the six JC transfers in the incoming class, only one, tight end Dorson Boyce is presently with the team. Another, defensive lineman Johnny Tivao of Cerritos College, is not expected to make it. The other four are trying to complete their work to become academically eligible.
  • Sarkisian has gotten off to a fast start with his second recruiting class. The Huskies already have 13 commitments and most services rank the present haul among the nation's top 25.

Pac-10 lunch links: The return of Nate Costa

July, 20, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

I ain't like that no more. I ain't the same, Ned. Claudia, she straightened me up, cleared me of drinkin' whiskey and all. Just 'cause we're goin' on this killing, that don't mean I'm gonna go back to bein' the way I was. I just need the money, get a new start for them youngsters.

  • The Battle of Britton: Arizona's Mike Diaz will step in for Eben Britton at left tackle.
  • San Jose State drops Arizona State from its 2010 schedule for a cash grab at Wisconsin. How should the Sun Devils react?
  • Another bit of Emerald Bowl X's and O's analysis from a California perspective: This time the focus is on footwork.
  • Who is Chip Kelly, really? A thorough look at Kelly's background and how he became Oregon's head coach. Anyone remember Nate Costa? Well, the guy who entered camp in 2008 as Oregon's No. 1 quarterback before getting hurt is back and wants to contribute in 2009.
  • This look into the crystal ball has Oregon State going 9-3.
  • A Q&A with UCLA defensive end Reginald Stokes.
  • Faith, football and new USC defensive coordinator Rocky Seto.
  • It appears a defensive line recruit, JC transfer Johnny Tivao, won't make it to Washington.
  • How does Washington State's offensive line stack up?
  • Ranking the Pac-10 guards.