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FOOTBALL: Status of McKnight, Morton still unclear

Heather VanHoegarden | Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Offensive lineman Bob Morton, who came out of Saturday’s game early in the fourth quarter with an injury, may play this weekend, Irish coach Charlie Weis said Tuesday.

“Bobby isn’t necessarily out this week,” Weis said. “It came out better than we thought it was going to be. Now I don’t know whether he’s questionable or doubtful, but he’s not out. … I thought when it happened, whatever it was, not knowing medically whatever it was that he would definitely be out, but I’m very encouraged meeting with the trainer and the doctors, and they said that he has a chance of playing this week.”

Wide receiver Rhema McKnight missed his second straight game after undergoing a minor procedure on his knee following the Sept. 10 game against Michigan.

Weis said he is making improvements, but it he is still unsure when McKnight will play.

“Rhema’s getting closer,” Weis said. “I don’t know if he’ll be able to go this week but it’s going to be pretty soon. He’s a lot closer.”

Impressions of their leader

Senior tight end Anthony Fasano got a few pokes in at quarterback Brady Quinn after Tuesday’s practice. Fasano talked about when he first met the junior on a recruiting visit in which Quinn stayed with Fasano.

“He just seemed like a stiff California kid from the Midwest,” Fasano said. “He talks like a surfer and he wears all the surfer clothes, but he’s from Ohio so I was kind of confused. He was just like the Hollister dude, like ripped shorts, shaggy hair. He was just a dude.”

But Fasano acknowledged that the offensive captain has excelled since taking on the leadership role.

“He’s shaped up a little bit,” Fasano said. “He’s cut his hair a little shorter and he still talks kind of funny for a kid from Ohio, but he’s definitely done a great job of leading.”

Changes in the depth chart

After a returning his first career kickoff for 31 yards against Washington, freshman David Grimes has moved ahead of Justin Hoskins on kick returns on the depth chart.

“Well, he had one kickoff return last week and it went for about 34 yards, so I don’t think I’m going to be in a big hurry to be taking him out,” Weis said.

Also, two freshmen linebackers have moved up to second string, according to this week’s depth chart. Middle linebacker Scott Smith has moved ahead of Mitchell Thomas as the backup to Corey Mays, and Steve Quinn has moved ahead of Anthony Vernaglia at the Apache linebacker spot, behind Maurice Crum, Jr.

Terrail Lambert is now the only player listed behind Mike Richardson at right cornerback. Previously, LaBrose Hedgemon was listed behind Richardson as well.