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post-spring(/pre-fall) depth chart

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#1 Hoosier_Husker


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Posted 25 April 2018 - 10:08 AM

this is of course prior to the arrival of the remainder of the 2018 class (although I'll include some of them on the depth chart because I think they're simply that talented or a better fit or due to lack of depth on the team currently) and this is before any off-season attrition and players departing


QB - Martinez/Gebbia, Bunch, Vedral - I could see this changing over the summer and fall camp, and Vedral, unless he wins a miracle appeal from the NCAA, will be ineligible this season due to having to sit a year as a transfer.  right now even as impressed as I was with AM in the spring game, there's so much we don't know about practices and what plays were called, etc, that I think it's still pretty even.  I think the starting QB is going to be decided based on how much these guys study and work in the offseason and how they run the offense in the fall.  I also wouldn't be surprised to see both of them play early in the season and even a early/mid/late season change as the season goes on.  right now, imo, AM seems to have that extra something in the run game, so if he can continue to strengthen his shoulder, learn the offense better, and make good decisions with the football, I see him having a higher ceiling, in this offense, compared to the others. 


RB - Bell, Bradley, M Washington, Wilbon/Ozigbo, Mazour - I don't see Bell losing the starting job to anyone barring injury.  the question for me is how well Bradley comes along and how prepared and in shape the true frosh Washington is when he arrives.  imo Miles Jones will be used as a hybrid RB/WR and wont truly be "taking carries" from the above group, just as JD Spielman and Tyjon Lindsey aren't on the RB depth chart but will line up behind the QB on occasion. 


WR - Morgan/Spielman/Lindsey, McQuitty/M Williams/Woodyard/Jones, McGriff/Reimers/Honas/K Williams - I like the talent and depth here.  I think incoming WR Watt will redshirt because of the depth, but I see incoming frosh Miles Jones playing.  I'm actually not sure who plays what WR position in this offense, and I'm not even sure how SF and staff designate those WR positions, so it could easily be that Lindsey and Spielman are playing the same position and McQuitty/Woodyard play the same (different) WR position.  anyway, I think there's a solid 5 right now with Woodyard/Jones coming in soon


TE - Stoll, Allen, Rafdal, Jurgens, Snyder, Engelhaupt - I'm not sure if Jurgens will skip a redshirt, it probably depends on his recovery and strength after his injury, nor am I sure if SF routinely plays or needs more than 3 TEs over the course of a game due to the speed/tempo/whatever.  regardless, I think the top 3 TEs are decent, although Allen and Rafdal are young and need experience and some gains in strength and conditioning


LT - Jaimes, Gaylord

LG - Foster, Raridon

C - Decker, Conrad, Farmer

RG - Farmer, Wilson

RT - Farniok, Conrad, Sichtermann


I could see a surprise OL name pop up in fall camp after a good summer of weights and conditioning, but for the most part I think it's going to be tough to unseat the returning starters, of which NU returns 6 OL with starting experience from last season.  but, if conditioning is an issue, I could see one of the younger cats making a move


DE - Davis, Stille, Davis

NT - Stoltenberg, Daniels, Newell

DE - Freedom, Neal, Thomas


the DL is probably what I'm the most uncertain about.  it sounds like almost all of them have played multiple positions across the DL in spring ball, so I'm not sure where some of them end up (K Davis, D Thomas, etc)


OLB (2) - Dixon/Gifford, Davis/Tannor, Ferguson/Miller

ILB (2) - Young/Barry, Honas/Weinmaster, Ward/Hampton


I wouldn't be surprised to see ILB Avery Roberts leave the team in the offseason.  if he stays, he's probably a second teamer unless he gets in the doghouse or the younger kids in Ward/Hampton pick things up enough to pass him.  I feel good about Young/Barry/Honas, though, and regardless of Roberts' situation, I think those 3 are who you're going to see most of the season in a rotation. 


as for OLB, that's a much tougher call.  I think this staff wants to be more aggressive with their OLBs rushing the passer, and they're looking for more athletic players at that position like Dixon who can rush but also drop into coverage.  if Dixon gets his waiver granted, I expect him to be on the field almost all of the time.  Gifford was a great surprise last season, but it remains to be seen how he's going to recover from his hip surgery, and it remains to be seen how he fits into this defensive scheme.  He was the best OLB last year because of his smart and being in the right position most of the time, but I'm not sure he is the best athlete that they want out there.  I wouldn't be surprised to see incoming frosh Tannor really push for snaps just simply due to his athleticism and speed. 


CB (2) - L Jackson/Bootle, Cam Taylor/Lee, Butler - I think one of the incoming frosh is going to challenge to start right away, and my money would be on Cam Taylor just based on his size/strength and athleticism.  CB is traditionally a position where a kid can play early just based on talent, and I could see someone like Taylor making a mark just by being aggressive in coverage and being physical as a tackler.  plus, let's face it, it's not like there's a murderer's row of CB talent on the depth chart. 


S (2) - A Williams/Reed, D Williams/Cam Jones, Dismuke - I'm just not sure that Domann will be ready by fall camp, or how in shape or ready he is to play after his injury/recovery setback.  Dismuke seems to have a ton of talent but maybe has trouble picking up the schemes or takes himself out of position too often.  same as CB, I can see one of the incoming frosh pushing for playing time right away just based on their athleticism and speed.  Jones seems to be more physically read to play at this level although I think CJ Smith is supposed to be pretty fast... A Williams is probably a start again because he'll be making the coverage calls for everyone.  Reed seemed to get better and better last season.  D Williams could see time at safety, CB, and might be the starting nickel DB. 


P - Lightbourne  - and will also handle kickoff duties


K - Pickering - I think he'll win the kicking job over the walkon Frahm, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see Lightbourne have the long distance field goal duties


LS - Ober, D Jackson - Ober is a senior so it would be nice to see former navy seal walkon Damion Jackson learn to be the long snapper to take his place.  I love the guy's spirit, but to expect to walkon at a major P5 university having never played football in high school.  at.  all.  and become a contributor at a regular position is a bit unrealistic.  but hell, I could see him becoming a great long snapper and actually making a roster in the NFL someday because of it. 






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