Archive for the ‘Chantz Staden’ Category

Rumor: Chris Ivory to Return for Senior Year?

January 12, 2009

I know it has been assumed all along that junior running back Chris Ivory would be out once the year was over. Injuries, rumors of being in Wulff’s “dog house” or whatever, etc. But here we are in January, classes are starting back up….and no news of his transfer or release from his scholarship? And now, rumor has it Ivory is going to stick it out? I heard from someone late last week that this was a possibility, and now today’s message board has a “family friend” saying Ivory is coming back for his senior year. It hasn’t been acknowledged by the official media but we are checking out a few things to see if it holds water.

Ivory has been on both ends of the spectrum. When healthy he’s a fast, physical player with good moves and packs a punch at the point of attack. But it hasn’t altogether clicked for Ivory, and 2008 looked like a lost season for him. He’s been injured off and on since his frosh season, banged up with various leg ailments. But count me among many who thought he looked like he might take off after a good finish to the 2007 season, where he had two 100+ yard games rushing over the last three, including a career-best 114 yards vs. UW in the ’07 Apple Cup (averaging 8.1 yards per carry in that one).

Where does Ivory’s potential return leave the backfield? Crowded, but in a very good way. You have seniors Dwight Tardy and now Chris Ivory, plus the potential breakout of junior-to-be sensation James Montgomery, the transfer from Cal. And, you can’t forget the physical, bruising Logwone Mitz.

Mitz ended up second on the team in rushing in 2008, just 40 yards behind Dwight Tardy. And who could forget that 57-yard TD run in the Apple Cup? Mitz gives the Coug offense that short-yardage bruiser-type, always a necessity when you are trying to move the chains. Mix in Chantz Staden as a potential 3rd-down specialist, provided he returns from his knee injury, and you have FIVE guys who could be in the mix for carries.

Kind of goes along with BH’s prediction of seeing a TON of running plays next year, doesn’t it??

We’ll see if/when official news breaks. Here’s hoping he’s back and set to add depth and power to a position that is clearly looking like the strength of the offense in 2009!

ENJOY your Monday, and as always, GO COUGS!

Eye Witness Report: Longball Visits Fall Camp

August 6, 2008

Greetings Cougar Nation!

Since I live in Pullman, the center of the WSU Football universe, the good folks here at the WSU Football Blog have asked me to provide some eye-witness reports of the action taking place as the Cougs kick off Fall camp. I’ll be their boots on the ground, as it were, and I’ll do my best to make sure that Coug fans in Yakima, Bozeman, San Antonio, Baghdad and anywhere else the Crimson faithful have settled get the up close and personal Coug news they crave. I’m glad to be of service and as my first order of business I trekked up to campus with my coffee and camera for the morning practice. Here’s what I saw…

I am sure most of you have been following the stadium construction here, but I thought I’d share what I saw today as I made my way to the practice field. First of all…

Huh? Who hired these guys? Maybe the Vandals pay their rent for using our stadium in cement. After the whole Big Papi jerseygate in the new Yankee Stadium, I think someone should check this pour for shenanigans.

Moving on, I am sure you are all excited about our giant new video screen, and while I promise you that pictures do it no justice, its the best I can do…

The entire red area is the screen, but you won’t understand how big and beautiful it really is until you see it in person. As you can see to the left the Cougs were assembling for their morning drills so I made my way down to the field to see who was knockin’ heads this morning.

Above you see CPW and Coach Sturdy guiding the QBs and RBs through some drills.

I was disappointed to see that Rogers and Lopina weren’t out for the morning practice. It was definitely not the A squad, but a few notables were there. Number 8 is Lobbestael (not 12 as some rosters have him) and also of note in this picture is 22, Chantz Staden. He is the smaller, quicker, scat type back as advertised, but he is solidly built and looks to be strong for a smaller back, much like J-Smooth and Jerome Harrison were. As you can see they’re not in pads, so I didn’t get to observe him in a full contact situation. However, they did line up for some run plays against the D and he showed he can beat our backers to the outside. My first impression of Mr. Staden was a good one and I’ll keep my eye on him throughout camp.

Above is a nice moment for the Cougar family scrap book. The gentleman in the foreground is Orville Sears who made the short trip from the family ranch on the Johnson Road to watch his son, co-defensive coordinator Jody Sears (background) leading the DBs through their drills. Jody and his older brother Cotton are both Pullman High grads, local rodeo legends and former Cougar wide receivers. No doubt Orville is proud of his boy and as Coug fans we all hope he can help turn our defense into the bloodthirsty wrecking crew we used to be so proud of.

For Mr. McBoob, the fat guys…

Much to my delight they got together for some light scrimmaging so I could observe some matchups. In the middle is my main man, Toby Turpin, 90. More on him in a moment.

One guy I was on the lookout for was Bernard Wolfgramm, 99. You can easily spot him above sporting the Don Sasa/King Kongaika hairstyle. He faced double teams most of the time and was able to hold his ground, not getting pushed off the line. He did a workmanlike job of keeping the middle clogged. He held his own in there, but didn’t show me a whole lot, though I do dig the hair. As a contrast, when my main man Toby Turpin was in, he was splitting the double teams, getting his big old paws into the offensive backfield and generally raising hell. Just to the right of Wolfgramm above you see Staden, 22, who is about to bust one around the edge.

A closer look at Mr. Wolfgramm…

Of course any time you are watching your own defense and offense against each other every positive play for one side bodes poorly for the other. So while you are thrilled to see a D-tackle wreak havoc in the offensive back field, or a RB break off a big run, you worry that what you are really seeing is a vulnerability in your offensive line, or a weakness in your rush defense. What I did observe that looked good for both sides was energy and an emphasis on hustle and effort that the players have been alluding to. There was constant yelling from the coaching staff, imploring the guys to go 100% all the time. Like I said, this was not the A squad, but they still looked good. I’ll hope to catch this afternoon’s practice as well and bring you some images of some of our big guns.

Until then, Go Cougs!

Is YOUR Popcorn Ready??

January 15, 2008

Hey Jerry Jones, how’s that TO experiment working out in Dallas? Ohhh, too soon?? BURN.

Actually you have to admit, TO showed some moxie playing on a high ankle sprain just 3 weeks after the injury. He showed it in Philly, too, in the SB on basically a broken ankle. The guy has amazing healing ability, and he does situps in his driveway so he’s pretty special. But once again, the Cowboys are out. And I think America is a much better place for it too. Just think of all the TO/Romo/Jessica Simpson/Jerry Jones BS that we would have had to stomach for the next 3+ weeks if they would have made it. Thank you NY G-men!

On to business – Our Cougs had some recruits in on visits this last weekend, and the news has been fairly positive. The Times has a quick run-down of the newest Cougar pledges, all of which are JC kids. Not sure I’m excited about a bunch of JC’s at this point, but we may not have much of a choice. They are so behind the 8-ball with this recruiting class, not only with the lateness of the new hire but the lack of progress under Doba, that it’s really a scramble to the finish line.

A big-time JC safety has suddenly shown interest in WSU and was on his visit. Cougfan has a free story about David Sims and his trip to Pullman and how the process is going. But is there a Terry Mixon-like story here? Should WSU just avoid the 4-star JC’s due to potential baggage?

A JC running back did just commit last night to WSU. Chantz Staden, a 3-star player from Arizona, looks pretty good on tape. This is from his 2005 senior year and it’s impressive. Check it out:

He’s got some pretty good hands, as a lot of his highlights are catching the ball out of the backfield. With Wulff’s offense, running backs probably will need to have the ability to do multiple things, so you have to like that. Good cutback ability too on a few of those runs. Not to get too pumped over a high school highlight tape! He doesn’t look like he has blazing speed, but there’s a few plays where he outruns everyone. Could be a nice get for this year’s class.

I hate to be down on JC’s. Dennis Erickson has done well going that route, especially early on the job to get some instant success. And Jerome Harrison was a JC, remember him? It’s not like they never work out. I guess I’m gun-shy over the JC’s that just never pan out. I would think that based on some comments Wulff has made since taking the job, that we’ll likely see a heavy lean towards high school players in the future. But this year is more about just getting some talent, any way you can, and hope things will work out. More visits are set for this coming weekend, so again, we’ll see how it all shakes out.

Finally, we’re number EIGHT in the latest polls! Yep, we fell 4 places after the UCLA loss. No biggie. We are better in the hunter role anyway, and not the undefeated, “hunted” team with a big fat target on their backs. We all know this is going to be a grind of a season, and to steal a line from Brinkhater, quite simply we just don’t match up well with UCLA. Period. Let’s see, they basically play the exact same style of defense that we do, only they are bigger, faster, stronger and better. It’s not a good matchup. And as Brinkhater said last night, we actually have a better shot at the Kansas and Memphis teams of the world, rather than a team like Ben Howland’s Bruins.

Speaking of Ben Howland – you have to just tip your hat to what he’s accomplished down there. Really, to think that he can reel in the McDonald’s All-Americans, and then get them to buy into the team-first, defensive approach? It’s a recipe for many Final Four’s. It must be pretty hard to get kids focused in LA-LA land, with so many distractions at every turn, but he’s getting it done in a huge way. They have become like USC has become in football, where you get all the stars, yet get them to buy in.

Enjoy your Tuesday.