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Tue., Aug. 19, 2008, 9:02 p.m.

Eagles eager for season opener

Tuesday afternoon’s football practice at Eastern Washington was conducted in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts, and didn’t give much in the way of an insight into what EWU fans might expect in the Eagles’ Aug. 30 season opener at Texas Tech, a team that is expected to be a Big 12 Conference title contender and one of the top 10 teams in the country.

Still, I had a chance to talk to first-year head coach Beau Baldwin and several of his players after the workout and have transcribed some of their comments below.

And Baldwin also told me that freshman recruit Jamar Smith, a highly touted running back out of Berkeley (Calif.) High School is no longer in Eastern’s immediate plans after having been arrested last month on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property.

“We’re not going anything with him this year,” Baldwin said of Smith, a 5-foot-11, 180-pounder, who rushed for 1,170 yards and seven touchdowns last fall despite missing three games because of an injury. “He’s a good player, and we thought he was a good person, too, We had him in for a visit and everything seemed fine, but if anything else happens, it’s going to be a next-year deal.”

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