It’s fairly common to hear about visa problems among Dominican-born shortstops, not so much with French fullbacks.
But a snafu with Yvan Banag’s student visa means the backup fullback is ineligible to play Thursday against N.C. State. USC coach Steve Spurrier said he expects Banag, who was born in France and came to the U.S. in eighth grade, to be back next week against Vanderbilt.
Spurrier was uncertain about the specifics of Banag’s case, but said Banag might have been late in re-applying for his visa.
“His green card didn’t come through and his citizenship - he’s got to do some legal papers,” Spurrier said. “So he’s not a citizen right now. He’s an immigrant.”
Banag went to high school in Buford, Ga. Spurrier said Banag’s mother lives in the Atlanta area.
TB Taylor Rank. The Washington state native could surpass his 2007 total of two carries on the opening series Thursday when he makes his second career start.
TB Brian Maddox. The sophomore began preseason drills No. 2 behind Mike Davis. But when Davis was injured, Rank received the majority of the first-team work.
Starting “Spur” LB Darian Stewart (left foot) practiced on a limited basis Monday but remains questionable. If Stewart does not play, Spurrier said converted receiver Larry Freeman would start.
Signee Darrell Simmons, a safety from College Park, Ga., failed to qualify and could be headed to prep school, Spurrier said. Simmons had re-taken a standardized test in the hopes of posting the necessary score. … LT Hutch Eckerson’s father, Todd, was a three-year letterman at N.C. State from 1979-81.
Quote of the day
“I really appreciate the opportunity. (Former) coach (Fred) Chatham was sort of wishy-washy on a lot of things. Coach Ray (Rychleski) told me from the get-go I was going to have an opportunity. So it really helped out and gave me a little motivation,” - walk-on Spencer Lanning on winning the punting job.
N.C. State has its own success story from a third-string tailback. Jamelle Eugene was stuck behind Toney Baker and Andre Brown at the start of last season. But when injuries sidelined the Wolfpack’s top two runners, Eugene responded with three 100-yard rushing games and an average of 83.7 ypg over the last seven games.
-- Joseph Person