Spring football update

Spring football is almost over for the Wildcats. Here is a look at how camp is shaping up for the team.

Nothing shocking at quarterback. Willie Tuitama maintains a stranglehold as the starter. Bryson Beirne is clearly the back up and Tyler Lyon seems set as the third stringer.

Nic Grigsby remains firmly entrenched as the team's top running back. Although he was "dinged up" and missed a few days, he's a focal point of the team's offense. Right now Xavier Smith and Joseph Reese are battling for the back-up job. Both have done some good things, but no one has created much separation.

Three wide outs are set. Mike Thomas, Delashaun Dean and Terrell Turner will certainly see the field. The rest of the rotation is still up for grabs. Terrell Reese has the experience, but Derrick Barkum and some of the younger redshirts are getting great opportunities to play.

The line seems to be having great depth. With four starters back the main emphasis is to create depth and figure out where the deficiencies are since a handful of players will be joining the squad over the summer.

Johnathan Turner has cemented his role at defensive end. There is a full-on battle for reps at the other spot and the team could go four or five deep. Brooks Reed and Cory Elmore have shown a lot at defensive end and don't count out Ron Jackson just yet.

The defensive tackle spot is still a jumble of players. Donald Horton, Lolomana Mikaele and Kaniella Tuipulotu will all see the field and Earl Mitchell is seeing a lot of reps. Expect this spot to be by committee for a while.

Linebacker is not set. Ronnie Palmer has a starting job and the other spots are battles. Xavier Kelley, Adrian McCovey, Vuna Tuihalamaka and Sterling Lewis are all in the picture.

The defensive backfield is shaping up. Devin Ross and Marquis Hundley have the slight edge over Trevin Wade and Michael Turner. Cam Nelson and Nate Ness have the starting safety jobs as of now.

Both kicking specialists are in no danger of losing their jobs. Keenyn Crier will be the punter and Jason Bondzio will continue being the place kicker.

Injuries have not been much of an issue. Ronnie Palmer missed the first week of camp. B.J. Dennard, Phillip Garcia and Adam Grant have all been limited. Other than a few other bumps and bruises, the team has been solid.


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