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July 27, 2011LAS VEGAS --- The first day of the Mountain West Conference Media Days kicked off with a ton of interviews and even more quotes.
Luckily for SDSU fans, AztecSportsReport.com was there. Take a look at some of the news and notes from MW Media Day One.
Head coach Rocky Long said he thinks he might have a couple scholarships to give to two or three seniors who have previously been playing as walk-ons.
However, he won't know if he can add them to the scholarship list until everything gets sorted out with grades and incoming players.
"There are a couple guys that I am thinking about putting on scholarship, yes," Long said. "I have to wait until all the numbers come out with the new freshman, some of the grades have to come out because of academic eligibility, but I think I'm going to have room to put two, maybe three on."
Long said he has a very good idea of who those three players would be.
Explaining the selections
Most members of the SDSU media figured senior quarterback Ryan Lindley would be one of the two athletes selected to represent the Aztecs at the 2011 MW Media Days.
Most of those same media members, however, would have never guessed senior defensive lineman Jerome Long would be the second student-athlete chosen to attend.
In fact, even Long was surprised by the selection.
"I really wasn't expecting it," Jerome said. "I figured maybe Miles (Burris) or Logan Ketchum. But I got the text and I was really excited and really nervous. I'm not the best talking in front of people. But it's a great honor and opportunity."
After the press conferences ended, Rocky explained why he chose both Jerome and Lindley.
"You want a name that they recognize, which is Ryan," Rocky said. "And you want to promote someone that you expect to be a good player they might not recognize because he's a lineman and that's Jerome."
Rocky said he will always bring seniors to these media days and will choose one from offense and one from defense to attend.
Rocky said only three players will miss this season because of injuries: receivers Jay Waddell, Dominique Sandifer and cornerback J.J. Whittaker.
Whittaker tore his knee in spring practice. Sandifer tore his knee in 7-on-7 practices during the summer. And Waddell, well, Rocky's not too sure how he tore it.
"He did it in the dorm," Rocky said of Waddell. "I have no idea. He says he slipped on the stairs. Your guess is as good as mine. But that's his story and he's sticking to it."
As for Sandifer, Lindley said he was at the 7-on-7 practice when it happened.
"It was really kind of a freak thing," Lindley said. "It was really random. More than anything I feel bad for Nico (Sandifer). He's been sitting behind V.J. (Vincent Brown) and DeMarco (Sampson), biding his time. And he's got a ton of ability and talent. This was really going to be his opportunity to come out and really get it going. It won't be with me in two years, but hopefully he gets a chance to do that."
Rocky said other than those three, he expects everybody to be 100 percent by the time camp starts.
Rocky has a schedule for fall camp. It's tentative, of course, but it's there.
He'll have his Aztecs practice some days with pads, some days with helmets and some days in shorts.
But Rocky won't stick to that schedule if he feels his players aren't working hard enough.
"All that is adjustable depending on how hard they practice," Rocky said. "So if they're not practicing hard, we'll just go full pads until they determine they want to practice hard."