Pac-12: Michael Gottlieb

Afternoon Musings: Roper back, Sanchez rising, Willingham struggling

September, 3, 2008
9/03/08
8:49
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Before heading to Arizona State practice, finishing up on Mill Avenue -- in a Starbucks (promise).

  • Agent denies he gave Oregon offensive lineman Fenuki Tupou money. Tupou is expected back from a one-game suspension this weekend. Wonder if this has any legs? Meanwhile, QB Justin Roper practiced and should start against Utah State.
  • Pac-10 bloggers roundtable.... some sharp observations here. 
  • An SEC writer offers: Maybe the SEC does need to play more quality nonconference games to prove that it's the best conference instead of trying to prove it by just talking a lot.
  • Notes from the Cal media luncheon.
  • Jon Wilner's Pac-10 ratings with a note on the precariousness of Tyrone Willingham's situation at Washington.
  • Palmer begat, Leinart, who begat Booty, who begat Sanchez, who will begat... Barkley. Wonder what the most QBs one program has had in the NFL at one time is?
  • Notes from Willingham's pre-practice meeting with Huskies reporters, including the return of TE Michael Gottlieb and the decision to redshirt safety Jason Wells. By the way, Willingham is No. 3 on Coaches' Hot Seat's weekly list.
  • Bud Withers tips his cap to UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel.
  • Here's a very thorough recap of Washington State coach Paul Wulff's radio show
  • USC QB Mark Sanchez, now No. 4 on Heisman Pundit's weekly list, was named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week after completing 26 of 35 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns in the Trojans 52-7 victory over Virginia 
  • In the good works category: coach Pete Carroll and members of USC's top-ranked football team will make their annual visit to the USC Women's and Children's Hospital on Thursday (at approximately 11:15 a.m. They will be joined by the USC Spirit of Troy Marching Band as well as the USC Song Girls
  • Some folks were wondering about the relocation of Sunday Morning Quarterback. Found him here. It appears he's now calling himself "Dr. Saturday." So he's, like, 12 hours earlier, which is the way you've got to be in this world, where Monday is the new Sunday.

Afternoon musings: Tedford is a blogger, too

August, 28, 2008
8/28/08
8:08
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Quick hits before Oregon State and Stanford kick off:

  • Oregon State fans can follow along tonight with Cliff Kirkpatrick here and Paul Buker here. Stanford fans might turn here.
  • California coach Jeff Tedford updates his blog and makes a request of Bears fans. Don't believe he wrote about this -- the suspension of backup D-lineman Cameron Jordan.
  • Bob Condotta taps a Stanford upset tonight over Oregon State, and still has time for Huskies notes, including information on an injured tight end: Michael Gottlieb (hamstring) is out; "That leaves the TE spot in the hands of Walt Winter, Kavario Middleton and Chris Izbicki, though [Tyrone] Willingham said it could open up even more time for Middleton, the most-heralded recruit in UW's Class of 2008."
  • And Rob Moseley goes ahead and picks an Oregon-Washington winner.
  • Limited on offense, UCLA is emphasizing special teams
  • USC CB Shareece Wright will start at Virginia. He's been nursing an ab-hip-flexor-groin injury.

Finally, here's a list of the teams with the most players who already have obtained the undergraduate degrees. 

10 -- Boston College, Virginia Tech
8 -- Auburn, Clemson, Maryland
7 -- Arizona State, Memphis, Ohio State, Penn State
6 -- Northwestern
5 -- Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss, UCF
4 -- Kentucky, Northern Illinois, Texas Tech
3 -- Georgia Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia
2 -- Colorado, FAU, Troy, Utah
1 -- Wake Forest, Western Michigan

Top LB Savannah not on Washington roster

August, 4, 2008
8/04/08
5:44
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The early news at Washington isn't good.

  • The campaign to rebuild the defense took a hit Monday when it was announced that linebacker E.J. Savannah, who broke his arm over the summer, has been suspended. Savannah isn't listed on the current roster, though coach Tyrone Willingham left open the option of him returning this season. The first-team LBs are Donald Butler, Mason Foster and Josh Gage.
  • Four freshmen didn't report due to academic issues: DL Craig Noble, RB Demitrius Bronson, DL Senio Kelemete and DB Vince Taylor.
  • The Huskies fairly long run without an off-field incident also came to an end with redshirt freshman TE Chris Izbicki being charged with "criminal trespass in the second degree and minor in possession of liquor after an incident on July 20," according to the Seattle Times.

Savannah is a big loss. He was one of the conference's best LB, ranking sixth in tackles with 111 in 2007 (8.5 for a loss). Moreover, Noble was an incoming freshman expected to immediately push for playing time, while Izbicki, the most touted recruit from 2007, was expected to challenge Michael Gottlieb for the starting job.

Ranking the Pac-10 tight ends

July, 17, 2008
7/17/08
1:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

 
 AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
 At 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, Arizona's Rob Gronkowski is the Pac-10's top tight end.

There's significant stratification among Pac-10 tight ends in 2008.

  • There's the elite, All-American types in Arizona's Rob Gronkowski and Oregon's Ed Dickson.
  • Then there's a lot of the lunch pail guys, such as UCLA's Logan Paulsen and Washington State's Devin Frischknecht, among others.
  • Then there's the older guys who will face big challenges from touted younger players or even incoming freshmen during the preseason, such as USC's Anthony McCoy and Washington's Michael Gottlieb.

It's a near-certainty that Gronkowski and Dickson, barring injury, will replace the departed 2007 first-and second-team All-Pac-10 tight ends, USC's Fred Davis and Washington State's Jed Collins. But count on some of these guys in the middle turning in surprisingly productive seasons, particularly Frischknecht and Cameron Morrah, who will need to help out young receiving corps.

And count on the postseason list including a couple of freshmen, such USC's Blake Ayles and Washington's Kavario Middleton. ESPN.com recruiting guru Tom Luginbill called Ayles "a future NFL first-rounder" and Middleton "a beast on both sides of the ball."

Here's the ranking:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, So., Arizona: Don't be surprised if this 6-foot-6, 260-pound powerhouse earns first-team All-American honors. He averaged 18.8 yards per catch last year because DBs couldn't tackle him.
  2. Ed Dickson, Jr., Oregon: Dickson is basically a 240-pound receiver, and he'll line up outside plenty. With the Ducks being young at receiver, he'll eclipse last year's numbers (43 receptions for 453 yards).
  3. Logan Paulsen, Sr., UCLA: The Bruins team captain hasn't put up huge numbers but he's a capable blocker and receiver who's got a chance to play on Sundays.
  4. Howard Croom, Jr., Oregon State: A reliable guy. Hauled in 20 receptions for 188 yards and three TDs in 2007.
  5. Cameron Morrah, Jr., California: He should emerge from Craig Stevens' shadow and become an above-average tight end.
  6. Devin Frischknecht, Sr., Washington State: It kind of sneaks up on you that he caught 18 passes for 191 yards with three TDs as a backup last year.
  7. Ben Ladner, Jr., Stanford: Seems to have settled in at TE after bouncing from position to position. Caught 27 passes for 198 yards in 2007.
  8. Michael Gottlieb, Sr., Washington: Former walk-on will battle with redshirt freshman Chris Izbicki and true freshman Kavario Middleton for the starting job.
  9. Anthony McCoy, Jr., USC: He likely will face a challenge from touted true freshman Blake Ayles.
  10. Andrew Pettes, Sr., Arizona State: Who knows who will start here for the Sun Devils? They lost three TEs to graduation, one to academics and one to a transfer.

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