BYU football: Defensive end Matt Putnam ruled academically ineligible
PROVO — BYU players reported to campus Friday in preparation for the start of fall camp on Saturday afternoon, but one of last year's starters wasn't among them.
The school announced Friday that defensive lineman Matt Putnam is academically ineligible. Putnam will not participate in fall camp while he works on academic qualifications, and if he remains academically ineligible, he would miss the 2011 campaign.
Putnam, a 6-foot-6, 271-pound senior, played in all 13 games a year ago and started nine, recording 31 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, two sacks, seven pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, and one forced fumble.
Sophomore Graham Rowley, who played sparingly in 2010, and senior Ian Dulan, who recently returned from an LDS mission, are among those expected to vie for the starting spot at left end.
Others who won't be joining the team for practice today include sophomore defensive end Thomas Bryson, redshirt freshman running back Drew Phillips, and redshirt freshman defensive back Kori Gaines. Those three players are expected to join the team once classes begin in the fall, according to school officials.
Meanwhile, sophomore running back Malosi Te'o, who left the program a year ago, reported to camp Friday, as did a handful of returned missionaries: freshman linebacker Kevan Bills, freshman defensive lineman Justin Blackmore, freshman offensive lineman Solomone Kafu, and sophomore running back Iona Pritchard.
Senior linebacker Jadon Wagner, who withdrew from school to enter the Canadian Football League draft, will rejoin the team for fall camp after his request for readmission to the university is processed.
Among the new freshmen who reported Friday are linebackers Austin Heder, Lene Lesatele, Va'a Niumatalolo and Manoa Pikula; defensive linemen Moses Kaumatule, Baker Pritchard and Stehly Reden; defensive backs Gavin Fowler and Teu Kautai; running back Adam Hine; wide receiver Terenn Houk; tight end Colby Jorgensen; and quarterback Alex Kuresa.
Junior defensive back Joe Sampson, a transfer from the College of San Mateo, also reported on Friday.
Players and coaches are expected to arise early this morning to participate in the traditional run up "Y" Mountain. Then, this afternoon, the Cougars will hold their first of 28 scheduled practices before their season-opener at Ole Miss on Sept. 3.
On Friday, players listened to messages from athletic director Tom Holmoe and coach Bronco Mendenhall. The players underwent physicals and participated in an academic orientation and a team activity.
Four practices will be open to the public: Aug. 12 (10:15 a.m. and 4:50 p.m..) at the outdoor practice field; Aug. 13 (10:15 a.m.) at LaVell Edwards Stadium; and Aug. 16 at 10:15 at the outdoor practice field.
Cougar Kickoff, a fan event featuring the football team and other BYU teams, will be held on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. at Haws Field.
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