Believe it or not, the dog days of camp are almost here.
As USC coach Clay Helton angles the Trojans toward Saturday-centric schedules during the next three weeks, we’re now entering the slog of preseason practices. But don’t fret, because with the dog days also come plenty of intriguing storylines. Below is a roundup of various tidbits from around the Pac-12.
1. Plenty of reaction is coming from around the conference in response to UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen’s comments on academics and how they mix with being a student-athlete. First up, Oregon’s Willie Taggart.
“I know for years people have been doing football and sports and academics,” Taggart said Tuesday, via Andrew Greif of The Oregonian. “You’ve seen plenty of people over the years who’ve done well. We’ve got a lot of academic all-Americans out there and pretty good football players, too.
“If you want to play big-time college football and you want to get a big-time education then it’s on the individual to get it done. There’s a lot of individuals who’ve proved they can do it both.”
“(Rosen) goes to UCLA, so I mean the academics there are a lot harder than they are here probably,” Oregon linebacker Troy Dye said. “I mean, academics are academics. I kind of agree with him, they don’t really mesh but we’re student-athletes at the end of the day and student comes first so we understood what we were getting into when we signed our letter of intent and came to the university that we chose.”
Stanford coach David Shaw also weighed in on Rosen’s comments.
"It's up to each individual student to play the best football they can, and to walk out of that college with a degree." – David Shaw pic.twitter.com/CRu4UnSsox
— Alan George (@treeSIDjorge) August 9, 2017
2. An early nomination for UCLA camp’s most memorable moment comes via Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.
Best hit of camp so far might go to backup DB Chase Ault, who waylaid Damian Alloway in his midsection.
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) August 9, 2017
3. Washington State junior cornerback Robert Taylor had some kind words for sophomore safety Jalen Thompson, via Dylan Haugh of Cougfan.com:
— Dylan Haugh (@Dylanhaugh) August 9, 2017
4. Oregon freshman Demetri Burch was recruited as an athlete, and after starting camp with a white jersey and plenty of opportunities at multiple positions, he’s settled into the quarterbacks group, signified by his switch to a red jersey, via Erik Skopil of duckterritory.com.
Freshman Demetri Burch had been in white jersey all last week. Now in red jersey. Seems to indicate some finality of move. pic.twitter.com/YgcOXZ0hfM
— Erik Skopil (@Erik_Skopil) August 9, 2017
5. The word out of Los Angeles is freshman running back Stephen Carr will avoid the redshirt, according to USC running backs coach Deland McCullough, via Gerard Martinez of USCFootball.com.
Speaking to #USC running backs coach Deland McCullough and offensive coordinator Tee Martin, sure bet frosh Stephen Carr will play this year
— Gerard Martinez (@gmartlive) August 9, 2017
6. Keeping things with the Trojans, Helton administered a little discipline Tuesday by way of supervised exercise, per Alicia de Artola of Reign of Troy. Quarterback Sam Darnold didn’t exactly enjoy the work.
“I’ve always sucked at sit ups,” he said. “My core is super strong but I have a long torso, so my whole childhood I had trouble doing sit ups. That was hard.”
7. Back in Eugene, Taggart isn’t a fan of frequently going for two unless deemed necessary, again via Andrew Greif of The Oregonian.
“Go for it when you have to,” Taggart said Tuesday. “I’m not going to go for it for the hell of it.”
8. Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen is at peak preseason feeling about his team, via Brenden Slaughter of BeaversEdge.com.
“I would say yes (this is the best I’ve ever felt about a team),” Andersen said. “This team has grown and developed and is a pretty tight knit unit. We still have a long ways to go and a lot of work to do, but they are playing with a lot of want to and care factor throughout camp and have handled camp very well throughout this point.”
9. Speaking of the Beavers, it was all ladders, no pads on Tuesday, via Gina Mizell of The Oregonian.
Fall camp is getting real. The ladders have returned. pic.twitter.com/3h3ZuQp0vi
— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) August 9, 2017