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Published: Tuesday, 9/1/2009

Rockets' Williams suspended

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
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Since arriving at the University of Toledo last December, Tim Beckman has preached the importance of accountability on and off the field to his players.

The head coach enforced that idiom by suspending three Rockets for unspecified "disciplinary reasons," he announced Monday in his first weekly news conference of the season.

Sophomore running back Morgan Williams, the Rockets' leading rusher last season, will sit out the first two games of the season, while senior linebacker Daris Quinn and senior safety Chris Faison will miss the season opener at Purdue on Saturday.

"We have team policies here, and those team policies are going to be fulfilled," Beckman said. "If those team policies are not, then that's what's going to be taken [away].

"That's what the punishment is going to be on this football team."

Beckman did not specify the nature of the violations, but he did say they occurred in the spring.

"It was all prior things that are not acceptable," Beckman said.

Williams rushed for 1,010 yards in 2008, a school record for a freshman. He also rushed for a school-record 330 yards and added three touchdowns in a 42-14 win over Miami on Nov. 21.

While he was listed as the backup running back on the team's most recent depth chart, Williams was expected to split time in the backfield with senior starter DaJuane Collins. Sophomore Jake Walker will now step in.

"I definitely have to come out and play a lot better than I've played ever before because Morgan's out," Collins said. "But at the same time, we also have Jake Walker, who's an excellent back and has had a tremendous summer and a tremendous camp. I know he's ready to step up and take over for Morgan in his absence."

Quinn and Faison are not listed on UT's current depth chart.

In the preseason, Quinn was listed as a backup behind Beau Brudzinski at middle linebacker, while Faison was third string at free safety.

Quinn started every game at linebacker last season for the Rockets, finishing fourth on the team with 77 tackles. Faison played in 10 games last season and finished with eight tackles.

CAPTAINS NAMED: The Rockets will name captains on a game-by-game basis to reward players who excelled the week before.

The captains for the season opener are Collins, sophomore punter and St. John's Jesuit graduate Bill Claus, and junior defensive lineman Alex Johnson.

INJURY UPDATES: Beckman said junior cornerback Desmond Marrow, who tore his ACL on Oct. 18 at Northern Illinois, has been cleared to participate fully in practice but will not play Saturday.

"We expect and look forward to Dez being able to get involved hopefully against Colorado or Ohio State," Beckman said.

Beckman also said sophomore kicker Ryan Casano, who was expected to handle kickoff duties, is questionable for the Purdue contest with a shoulder injury.

Contact Zach Silka at:

zsilka@theblade.com.



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