North Texas defensive tackle Richard Abbe is back on the Mean Green’s roster and could be in the lineup by the time the Mean Green opens its season against Idaho.
UNT head coach Dan McCarney suspended Abbe indefinitely after he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated May 2.
While McCarney reinstated Abbe to the roster, he did revoke his scholarship. The former Lubbock Monterey standout has paid for his college expenses since being suspended.
UNT’s coaches will monitor Abbe closely to ensure that he is following the conditions McCarney laid out after his arrest that will allow him to continue his career.
“It will be a day-to-day situation,” McCarney said. “He paid a heavy price for what happened.”
Abbe, one of UNT’s biggest defensive linemen at 6-4 and 315 pounds, started four games last season, posting 13 tackles and a sack.
He was listed as a starter coming out of spring practice at a position where UNT lacks depth. Tevinn Cantly graduated after starting nine games last season, while fellow defensive lineman Ryan Boutwell is expected to split time between defensive end and defensive tackle, where he started five games in 2012.
Mean Green largely healthy
UNT will begin fall practice Aug. 5 with nearly all of its players available.
McCarney said that only two players are not expected to be ready: defensive end Quenton Brown and running back Konockus Sashington.
Brown tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during spring practice. UNT is hoping to get Brown back by the middle of the season. The injury was a key setback for the Mean Green, which must replace K.C. Obi, one of its more productive defensive linemen who was a senior last season.
Obi led UNT in sacks (5 1/2) and tackles for loss (10 1/2) in 2012.
UNT will have senior starter Brandon McCoy and Aaron Bellazin, a productive backup, returning. McCoy posted 22 tackles last year, while Bellazin posted 32 to go along with 5 sacks.
QB rotation remains
McCarney has settled on a pecking order for his quarterbacks heading into fall practice. It’s the same one that was there at the end of spring practice.
Senior Derek Thompson will enter the fall as UNT’s starter. Sophomore Andrew McNulty will begin practice as Thompson’s backup, while highly regarded transfer Brock Berglund will start out with the third team.
Berglund was expected to challenge Thompson during spring practice but missed most of UNT’s workouts with a hamstring injury.
UNT will have two major scrimmages in the fall. How UNT’s quarterbacks fare in those workouts will go a long way toward determining who will start, McCarney said.
Ryan product Young in line to start in Ruston
Barring a change over the next few weeks, it appears as if UNT will face one of the better quarterbacks to play for a Denton-area high school in recent years when it travels to Louisiana Tech on Oct. 19.
Former Ryan standout Scotty Young transferred to Louisiana Tech from Texas Tech last summer and enters fall practice as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback. Young considered transferring to UNT before winding up in Ruston, La.
Young didn’t play in two years at Texas Tech and sat out last season at Louisiana Tech.
The former Texas high school player of the year has made a big impression on Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz despite that long layoff.
“Scotty has done a great job,” Holtz said. “You never know how a young man is going to handle the responsibility of that starting role. You are talking about a quarterback. It’s not just your play on the field, but also your leadership qualities. Scotty has done a great job for a guy who hasn’t taken a snap in college football. He has really matured and grown.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870.