In today's edition of The Daily 12-PAC we've got a couple cans full of Huskies talk, including a look at Alameda Ta'amu and new Washington coach Tosh Lupoi. Washington State has new coaches too, and we found you a nice profile of its new inside wide receivers coach. We go south of the Columbia river to check out some Beavers getting buff, and an ex-Duck in the hunt at the NFL combine.
Yesterday, I told you how high I was on Alameda Ta'amu; today we bring you a column from Danny O'Neil taking an even deeper look at Ta'amu, and his hopes of climbing into the first-round of the NFL draft. It's not a totally far-fetched idea.
Ta'amu, at one point, was projected as a first-round guy, but a lack of production has dropped his stock to more of a third or fourth-rounder. The hype is building back up again, however, and a strong showing in Indy could go a long way for the 340-pounder. Regardless of what round he is drafted, I still maintain that Ta'amu will be an impact player in the NFL, assuming he stays healthy.
Sticking with the NFL Combine talk, here is audio of an interview KJR's Gas and Elise did with Washington's Senio Kelemete as he talks about his NFL future. Kelemete projects to go somewhere in the first two rounds of the draft.
Some quotes on UW's new DL coach Tosh Lupoi
Redmond High School product, and Cal DE Trevor Guyton talked to 710 ESPN Seattle's Kevin Calabro show yesterday and had some positive things to say about his former position coach, Tosh Lupoi, who is now at Washington. Of Lupoi, Guyton said...
"He's one of the best people I've known...He's helped me develop into who I am today, on and off the field."
"I know people say he's a great recruiter, but he's a better coach than a recruiter...he's always real."
Mike Leach and his staff at Washington State are trying to change a football culture in Pullman, and new inside receivers coach Eric Morris will go a long way towards getting that done.
Morris, who played for Leach, is a young, energetic up-and-comer in the coaching ranks. Morris spent two seasons as a GA at Houston, but other than that, is pretty raw. He knows the offense and has worked with co-offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury , so don't let the short resumé fool you. This piece by Christian Caple is a great look at the type of attitude and style Morris will bring to the table.
Lots of nuggets in here about all four Pacific Northwest schools. There are some really intriguing storylines throughout the conference and many of them will be taking place in our region.
CBS's Rob Rang takes a look at five underclassmen that could make a huge splash at this week's NFL combine. One player in particular is ex-Oregon CB Cliff Harris. Harris, who was dismissed from the team, was a star before continually finding his way into off the field troubles.
Rang points out that Harris' playing ability is so good, that teams won't be able to just dismiss the idea of drafting Harris because of his baggage. I tend to agree. Harris was good, darn good. Someone is going to take a chance and if they can help him mature, they're gonna have a solid player on their hands. But, of course, that's easier said than done.
Cliff Kirkpatrick brings us an offseason update on some OSU players and the strides being made in the weight room.
The thing that jumps out to me here, is the number of CB's and DE's mentioned. The vibe going into 2012 is that the PAC-12 will be heavy on offensive production and light on the defensive side. The Beavers don't exactly share the hype on offense that some of the other teams in the league do, so development on the defensive side of the ball is critical for OSU's success. It's still early, but it looks like things are on the right track.
To join in on the discussion and find more great college football commentary and analysis, make sure you head to SB Nation's Pac-12 football blog, Pacific Takes.