By Stephen Tsai
Today's three-hour practice will be the final evaluation period as the coaches determine, 1) the now 66-player travel roster to Florida, and 2) which players will redshirt this season.
The key redshirt candidates include slotbacks Ryan Henry and Dustin Blount, wideout Mike Tinoco and outside linebacker Paipai Falemalu.
All four have played well in training camp. But there are four set players for the two slotback positions — seniors Aaron Bain and Michael Washington, and underclassmen Kealoha Pilares and Jon Medeiros.
By redshirting, Henry and Blount — both junior-college transfers — would have an additional year to accumulate college credits toward graduation and to learn the system. After that, they still would have two years of eligibility remaining.
The scenario could change if the Warriors continue to lose running backs to injuries, and Pilares has to move back there.
Tinoco, a JC transfer, is in the same situation as Henry and Blount. The Warriors are deep at wideout, especially since Nate Nasca, who has one year to play one season, has been impressive there since moving from slotback. Nasca will appeal for another season.
Because of injuries, Falemalu has been a No. 2 outside linebacker for most of training camp. He also is a starter on a couple of special teams. But he is a freshman with a redshirt year to burn. Linebackers Adam Leonard, Solomon Elimimian and Tyson Kafentzis are seniors.
A player is eligible to redshirt as long as he does not appear in any game that season.