Football News and Notes: Passing Time Before Fall Camp Begins

Jacquizz Rodgers is one of the pre-season nominees for the Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation's top running back. (Photo by Ethan Erickson)

The countdown clock you can find on the left sidebar now shows that we are under six days until the start of fall camp on Monday. Here's some of the news that has been trickling around the internet. Expect things to increase considerably come next week. 

--After a freshman season in which he rushed for 1,253 yards and won Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors, it's a no-brainer that Jacquizz Rodgers would be nominated for the Doak Walker Award. The Waker award is presented annually to the nation's top running back. If it's any indication how good Pac-10 teams will be at running the ball this season, four other players from the Conference of Champions make the list as well: California's Jahvid Best, Oregon's LeGarrette Blount, Stanford's Toby Gerhart and Arizona's Nic Grigsby.

--The Arizona Daily Star ran a feature Monday on Oregon State running back Jovan Stevenson, and his trek to Oregon State as well as what lies ahead. We've been discussing Stevenson recently, and how he may fit in behind Jacquizz Rodgers this season. However, if Ryan McCants is healthy by the start of the season, the coaches may elect to redshirt Jovan in order to put two years of separation in between the Tuscon, Ariz. native and Jacquizz. However, the article from the Daily Star shows that Stevenson doesn't like the idea, especaially after sitting out a year already:

"I don't want to redshirt," said Stevenson, 19. "I've never wanted to be on the sidelines. But if that's what the coaches have planned for me, then I'll take it."

Stevenson still seemed tickled to be playing in the Pac-10. He was recruited by Air Force, Utah and UNLV out of high school, but Oregon State found him while watching film on another recruit. Because OSU coaches filled their scholarship quota, they asked Stevenson to wait a semester.

"Oregon State was the first school to come after me," he said. "I knew I had to go there.

--A great storyline came out of the Portland Tribune late last week regarding the father of Oregon State recruit Jack Lomax-- Neil. Neil, who played football at Portland State and for the Arizona Cardinals, is volunteering to be offensive coordinator at Roosevelt High School in North Portland:

Lomax is the former Portland State quarterback who went on to Pro Bowl fame in the NFL. A Lake Oswego resident, he served one year as offensive coordinator at Tigard High and has coached many youth teams in his hometown, teams that have featured three of his sons.

"I love coaching," Lomax says. "My boys are pretty much through the (Lake Oswego High) program now. I'd been thinking, ‘What am I going to do this fall?' "

Lomax knew Roosevelt had won only one game in its previous two seasons. The Roughriders ended last season with only 18 players in their program.

New coach Christian Swain, who coached the secondary at McKay High the last five years and is also head coach for the semipro Oregon Thunderbolts, had recently been named head coach at Roosevelt.

So Lomax called Swain, whom he had never met. And volunteered to serve on his staff. For free.

--Another story coming out of the Portland Tribune last week was Kerry Eggers' look at two former Lake Oswego graduates, Will Darkins and Gabe Miller. The story was featured here on Building the Dam when it came out, but in case you missed it, here's the link

Enjoy these last few days before fall camp gets up and running. 

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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