Robb Akey addressed the media this morning, and we've got notes on injuries, redshirts and more below. The Vandals open the season Thursday against North Dakota in the Kibbie Dome.
- Akey announced linebacker Jared Heston from Lake City High is no longer with the team due to personal reasons. Heston contributed on special teams as a true freshman last year. Akey didn't elaborate on his departure. Heston left the team before the fall.
- Akey said the Vandals are as healthy as they've been through fall camp. Preston Davis should be able to play, as should Maurice Shaw (hamstring). The receivers have missed a good chunk of practices during the fall. Akey said linebacker Korey Toomer, who has a cast on his hand, is the only possible holdout at this point.
- The coach listed off a lengthy list of true freshman who will redshirt, including quarterback Justin Podrabsky, offensive lineman Spencer Beale, running back Jayson Washington, and receivers Mitchell Crockom and Demetrius Williams. Defensive lineman Jesse Davis, Karel Kearney and Maxx Forde also look like redshirt candidates, though Akey said they'll be on "red alert" -- meaning one or more of them could play if injuries on the line mount.
- Akey was asked about playing North Dakota a week before going to Nebraska, a much higher-profile opponent. "The thing that matters is the game we’re going to play this week," he said. "... There are a lot of folks excited about (the Nebraska game) and they talk about that, but our attention is on nothing but North Dakota."
We'll have more as the first game approaches. Feel free to leave your comments below.