August 17, 2007

Freshmen get ready for final push

After practice on Friday, Gary Pinkel announced that the Tigers had made their first official decision to forego a redshirt in the Class of 2007.

"Obviously, Carl Gettis, he's in," Pinkel told reporters. "He's doing really, really well. He's really a mature young guy."

However, Pinkel would not give a definitive answer on any of the other freshmen in camp. Saturday's scrimmage, the second of the fall, should go a long way toward making those determinations.

Behind Gettis, Luke Lambert seems to be the next best bet to see action. He is a second-teamer at middle linebacker and was working on the top kickoff coverage unit on Friday morning.

"Everything is practice by practice and it depends on how you do on the field. You're on a day to day basis," Lambert said. "I'm just going to wait and see. If I get the opportunity, I'll be glad to do it."

Along with Lambert, Harrisonville standout Michael Keck was also part of spring camp. Keck opened the fall second on the depth chart at outside linebacker, but has fallen behind Connell Davis since camp opened.

"I think it's real important. I've got to come with my best game," Keck said of tomorrow's scrimmage. "I've got to get my spot back."

Keck said he was a little lost during spring football, but feels that everything has started to come together for him.

"You have got to establish yourself. You got to go out, it's my job, this is what I want," said Tony Temple. "I think if everybody takes that approach, you can't do nothing but succeed. This is a big scrimmage for them."

Saturday will be important, but it would be a mistake for any player to view this as a last chance. There is another full week of camp before the Tigers enter game week preparations for Illinois.

"There's a lot of things that we look at and a lot of times that doesn't iron out till the end. Take Chase Coffman," Pinkel said. "After the second scrimmage, we were thinking, man, this guy might be able to do it. We had DeQuincy Howard and we had T-Ruck and we wanted to play the guy if we're going to not redshirt him. Then he just keeps getting better and better and better. So we waited till the last, after the third scrimmage, with Chase Coffman, using that as an example."

Either way, time is running short for these new Tigers to state their cases. Saturday's scrimmage starts at about 8:15 on Faurot Field.

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