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Published: Wednesday, 12/12/2012

UT NOTEBOOK

Healthy Owens, Fluellen practice

UT juniors prep for bowl after missing regular season finale

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOISE — It appears Utah State will face a healthy football team Saturday.

Quarterback Terrance Owens and running back David Fluellen took part in practice Tuesday, showing no lingering signs of ankle injuries that withheld the juniors from participating in the University of Toledo’s final regular season game.

Neither player sat out any drills in the first 30 minutes viewed by the media. The Rockets are conducting practice this week at Boise State’s indoor facility in advance of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

"It was good to have them both out," coach Matt Campbell said. "Both of those guys did a great job today, so it looks like they'll be able to go. We'll continue to monitor them throughout the week and see where they are stamina-wise."

Even given a clean bill of health, there are no assurances Owens will start. Campbell has maintained he will allow the week to play out before choosing between Owens and senior Austin Dantin, who tossed five touchdown passes in the regular season finale against Akron.

In injury news that registers as souring, the Rockets will be without a third defensive end. Reserve Allen Covington sustained an undisclosed injury, Campbell said, and will not play. The true freshman, who was spotted on crutches, worked his way into the rotation at the midpoint of the year but did not play much at the end. He has zero tackles.

Ends T.J. Fatinikun (Achilles) and Christian Smith (ACL) will miss their eighth game in a row.

For Utah State, safety McKade Brady is expected to play, with wires holding together his broken jaw. Brady ranks third on the team with 87 tackles.

HAYES GONE: Campbell confirmed defensive lineman Kenny Hayes is no longer part of the team’s plans. Hayes, a former Whitmer standout who spent last season redshirting at Ohio State, transferred to Toledo in August but never received clearance to practice.

"We have not had any contact with Kenny in the last month and a half," Campbell said. "That’s something that will probably sort itself out as it goes into next semester, but right now I don’t know much about what’s going on with Kenny Hayes."

Campbell believes Hayes, a former four-star prospect, is still enrolled at UT.

CRAMMING FOR EXAMS: It is finals week at Toledo, and professors made accommodations to allow players to take exams before the team left, or while in Boise, to be proctored by a member of the team’s academic staff.

Receiver Bernard Reedy said that he finished his exams — three of them — by last Friday.

"It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t the most conducive thing, but we made it work and a lot of credit goes to our university and our professors," Campbell said.

HALL OF FAME: Former football players Tom Ward (1999-2002), Jim Harding (1997-2000), and John Wesley Saunders (football and basketball, 1969-71) are among six former Toledo student-athletes that were announced Tuesday as the 2013 inductees into the Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame. Also to be inducted are Kelly Meinhart (softball, 1985-88), Robert Pawlak (basketball, 1958-61), and Pat Reilly (wrestling, 1960-63).

Harding, who is originally from Maumee and currently coaches at Wyoming, was a four-year starter at offensive tackle. Saunders, who died in 2001, was a three-year starter on the teams from 1969-71 that went 35-0. Ward, a team captain in 2002, was a three-year starter at middle linebacker.

The class will be inducted Feb. 8 at Savage Arena.



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