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Las Vegas Leftovers

Published: July 23, 2008, 11:37 am, by admin

I got back to Colorado last night, but I still have some more Air Force notes from the Mountain West Conference media days in Vegas.

-Air Force will add a second patch to its uniforms this season.

Last year, each of the Falcons wore a patch from one of the Air and Space Expeditionary wings in the Air Force on the left shoulder of his jersey. This year the Falcons will wear those plus the official U.S. Air Force symbol on the other shoulder.

“I love it,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. “It’s the worldwide Air Force symbol. It’s what the young, enlisted soldier wears on his workout sweats. That’s what we are. We’re the Air Force’s school. Anything that helps us identify and realize the connection we have with one another, I want that to be a part of us. And we’re always looking for ways to make that bond even stronger.”

-Calhoun called his incoming freshmen “a tremendous recruiting class.”

He said the exposure Air Force received by playing in a bowl game was “a huge part” of attracting the class.

“All the kids that we recruit had a chance to watch that contest,” he said. “And I think probably some of them looked out there and thought, ‘I’m a little bit bigger than the guys Air Force is playing with right now,’ or, ‘I move a little bit better than the guys that are out there representing the academy at this time.’”

-On the front cover of the newly released media guide are senior Travis Dekker, juniors Nick Charles and Chris Thomas and sophomore Reggie Rembert.

Often the front covers of media guides are reserved for seniors (and all four players on the back cover of this year’s guide are seniors – Ryan Harrison, Ryan Kemp, Hunter Altman and Keith Williams). But having a pair of juniors and a sophomore up front, I think, captures Calhoun’s philosophy that the best players will play, regardless of age.

“I think that’s the only fair way to do it,” Calhoun said.

-Calhoun said Monday that there was nothing new to report on linebackers Drew Fowler and John Rabold and all-purpose back Chad Hall, the recently graduated players who had hopes of catching on with an NFL team, at least for training camp.

But, “Where that may change is here in seven to 10 days as these NFL camps open,” Calhoun said. “Most of them open this Friday, this weekend. And if guys are injured, now they bring a new guy in. And I think for those guys, those are the most viable opportunities.”

-Senior Z receiver Ty Paffett, who is recovering from back surgery, likely will be limited early in the preseason, and nose guard Jared Marvin still is recovering from offseason knee surgery. But Calhoun said Air Force should begin the preseason with “a very healthy football team.”