Lewis and Clark graduate Ethen Robinson is granted a sixth year by the NCAA, as defending national champions begin preparations for Sept. 3 opener at UW
Safety Ethen Robinson will perhaps be the happiest of 93 players who will report next week for the start of Eastern Washington University’s preseason football practices in Cheney, Wash.
Players will report on Aug. 8 and 9, then the team will practice together on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 3 p.m. Eastern will practice in pads for the first time on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 3 p.m., followed by its first of six days of two-a-day practices on Aug. 15.
The Eagles, who won the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Championship and have been to the playoffs in five of the last seven years, will scrimmage twice before the team’s season opener on Sept. 3 at Washington. That game will be televised live regionally by Root Sports, starting at 4 p.m. Pacific time.
Eastern’s first scrimmage of preseason camp will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20 at approximately 3:30 p.m., and a second scrimmage will take place a week later on Aug. 27 at about 10:30 a.m.
Both scrimmages are free and open to the public, and will take place on the red Sprinturf surface at Roos Field.
Robinson graduated from Lewis and Clark in 2006, but a variety of knee, shoulder and Achilles tendon injuries have resulted in him playing just nine games in parts of two seasons. He received word on Thursday (Aug. 4) that his hardship appeal was approved by the NCAA after approval was granted by the Big Sky Conference.
Robinson, in fact, was so hopeful he would get back his sixth year -- an appeal rarely granted -- that he elected not to be recognized with the other seniors last fall. Instead, he’ll now be recognized with the class of 2011 on Oct. 29 when the Eagles host Portland State in their final home game of the regular season.
“It’s great for him,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “Because he hasn’t been able to play and practice very much in his career, he’s quite a ways behind our other more-experienced players. But the bottom line for Ethen was for him to get another chance to play as he finishes his college degree.”
Baldwin also announced that several players who were on EWU’s spring/summer roster will be unavailable this season. Included are returning letter winners Chandler Gayton (foot surgery) and Domonic Sheppard (ineligible). Also unavailable are transfers Andru Pulu (NCAA transfer rules) and Jarred Walker (back injury). Baldwin hopes all four players will be available for the 2012 season.
Not including Gayton and Sheppard, Eastern now returns 50 letterwinners from last year’s team that finished 13-2 and closed the year with an 11-game winning streak. The Eagles return 15 starters, including eight on offense and seven on defense, plus two kickers.
Seven Eagles have received preseason All-America recognition this summer, including safety Matt Johnson and his twin brother, linebacker Zach Johnson. Additionally, defensive tackle Renard Williams, wide receiver Brandon Kaufman, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, center Chris Powers and offensive tackle Gabriel Jackson were honored.
Most recently, five players were honored on the squad selected by The Sports Network, including Powers (first team), Matt Johnson (first team), Kaufman (second team), Williams (second team) and Zach Johnson (third team). The College Sporting News tabbed four -- Powers (first team), Kaufman (first team), Williams (first team) and Matt Johnson (second team).
An updated list of Eastern Washington preseason honors and rankings is available at:
Tentative Schedule of EWU Practices
(practices usually last for two hours. Media interviews take place after practice or 20-30 minutes before the time listed)
Monday, Aug. 8 - Newcomers Report; Orientation &
Tuesday, Aug. 9 - Veterans Report; Orientation & Conditioning
Wednesday, Aug. 10 - 3 p.m. - First Practice
Thursday, Aug. 11 - 3 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 12 - 3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 13 - 3 p.m. (first practice in full pads)
Sunday, Aug. 14 - 3 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 15 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 16 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 17 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 18 - 3 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 19 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 20 - Scrimmage, approx. 3:30 p.m., Roos Field
Sunday, Aug. 21 - Off
Monday, Aug. 22 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 23 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 24 - 9 a.m. & 3 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 25 - 3:45 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 26 - 9 a.m. (no afternoon practice)
Saturday, Aug. 27 - Scrimmage, approx. 10:30 a.m., Roos Field
Sunday, Aug. 28 - Off
Monday, Aug. 29 - 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 30 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 31 - 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 1 - 3 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 2 - Travel Day
Saturday, Sept. 3 - EWU at Washington, 4:05 p.m. Pacific time.