Spaulding Roundup - Back to School Edition

Tony Dye is 50/50 for Saturday against OSU. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Classes started on Thursday at UCLA (ahh, the crush of flier people on Bruin Walk!) but it was business as usual at Spaulding Field.

The major news out of Thursday's practice is that senior Tony Dye's status for Saturday against Oregon State is "50-50" due to a nerve issue.

"He’s probably a 50-50 right now," Neuheisel said. "He’s trying to calm down from those stingers. ... I’ve been told it can calm down at any time so we’re going to keep our fingers crossed that he’ll be ready to go. It’s a nerve issue and those things have to subside."

Losing Dye on Saturday will be a big hit for an already thin secondary.  Andrew Abbott will not be available for Saturday's game due to a concussion.   Dye will make the trip to Corvallis, and if he feels ready, he will play.  If he is not available, then Tevin McDonald will probably start in his place.

Jump on the Jeff Locke NFL Prospect train after the.. um... jump.

Rick Neuheisel sang the praises of Jeff Locke, mentioning his diversity in his kicking should resonate with NFL scouts.  As should his ridiculously strong leg.

"As you're trying to secure roster spots, he would be very valuable, especially on a 45-man roster," Neuheisel added. "If you can take one kicker as opposed to three, you have an opportunity to get two more special teams guys."

Jeff Locke is a redshirt junior, meaning he is eligible for the NFL, but he says he is not thinking about the NFL at this time.  Truthfully, a NFL team will not leave all their kicking responsibilities in ONE guy, and even Locke realized this, if his coach hasn't:

Locke has no illusions that he could be a triple-threat as a pro, though. "When was the last time someone did all three in the NFL?" he asked.

The San Diego Chargers had no choice in Week 1, once Nate Kaeding went down with a torn ACL.  But that doesn't count - they didn't sign Mike Scifres to be the kicking holy trinity, they signed him to be a punter.  Neuheisel could have better framed the response as Jeff Locke, future triple threat and invaluable in case the unthinkable happens to your kicking game.

The only other interesting tidbit from practice on Saturday is that Brett Hundley is a step above ready.

"He's readier." Neuheisel added, "I don't want him to go out there until he's completely ready. Like anything you're learning, to go out there and not have it all is not prudent."

Hopefully the team is readiest for Oregon State.  Joe Fauria certainly is:

Myself, and the rest of the TEs got in that film room tonight. Trying to be the best. It's BEAVER BASHING TIME.

If you'd like to hear from Rick Neuheisel and his post-practice comments, have fun over here.

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