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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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April 1, 2008 12:57 PM

Kirton moves to D-line; Savannah and Hasty essentially suspended

Posted by Bob Condotta

A few more notes from Tyrone Willingham's press conference today:

--- Johnie Kirton is indeed being moved to defensive tackle. Willingham said it was a mutual decision made in part to shore up depth on the D-line. He is listed at the bottom of the depth chart at the moment due to having spent the winter quarter studying in South Africa (Luke Kravtiz and Desmond Davis also took part in that trip and unable to participate in off-season conditioning which is why Kravtiz is also listed at the bottom of the depth chart).

"What we're tryying to do is fine ways to strengthen our football team and Johnie is a young man that we think has some athletic ability and some explosion in his play so we are trying to find ways to best service our football team and at the same time best service Johnie so he can take the next step to the next level,'' Willingham said.

D-line coach Randy Hart pointed out that Kirton was originally recruited as a defensive linemen as well as a running back and thinks Kirton can make the transition.

Offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said he is not worried about the depth at the tight end spot, especially with Kavario Middleton coming in this fall. "I think we'll be fine there,'' Lappano said.

--- Willingham said E.J. Savannah and J.R. Hasty "will not at this date be involved in spring practice'' because "they have not lived up to all the responsibilities of the football team. They are eligible and could be back at any time.''

Willingham said the issues are not legal or academic, seeming to confirm rumors that the two have not been as diligent with their off-season work as coaches expected. Willingham said the window is still open for both to come back to the team and contribute.

Savannah would be more of a loss at the moment than Hasty as he would be expected to be the starter at strongside linebacker. With Savannah currently out of the mix, the starter is junior Josh Gage, a former walk-on who is on scholarship, backed up by Matt Houston.

--- Guard Ryan Tolar will be limited in spring drills after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. So that means Jordan White-Frisbee is listed as the starter at that spot, backed up by Scott Shugert. O-line coach Mike Denbrock said White-Frisbee has had a really good off-season and said "I'm looking forward to him making a major step forward.'' Also in the depth at guard is Morgan Rosborough. Denbrock also lauded his off-season work and said "I think he's in the best position since he's been here to contribute.''

Tolar is expected to be fully recovered by next fall.

More later.


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