Kenley on Media Day

Contrary to some of my colleagues' beliefs I am not dead nor have I fallen off the face of the earth. Machine pitch baseball for 6 and 8 years olds has ruled my life for the last few months, which is sort of a ridiculous statement. I remember back when we played 12 games in the summer not 40 plus games.

Anyway now that my 8 year old has won the World Series, I was happy to travel to Jonesboro with the rest of the AStateNation crew to attend Media Day. It signaled that football is finally here.

For the most part media day is one big gigantic outpouring of coach speak. Coaches and players alike aren't going to say anything more than they are "excited to get started" or "that we will figure that out during fall camp". And to a certain extent that is what you got from the Red Wolves as well. But after listening to coaches, players and even the media types I felt like there were a few themes that came out of Bryan Harsin's first Media Day.

The main theme of the day, and for that matter the summer, is who is going to replace Ryan Aplin.

Quarterbacks were the main players getting bombarded with questions. The thing that I came away with was that Harsin feels like he has the right guys on campus to compete for that job. He hopes to have one guy separate himself from the pack by the 10th practice. That will give the starter time to develop a rhythm during the remaining days of fall camp leading into game 1.

When Harsin was asked about the team depth, he stated that there was good depth at offensive line, tight end, running back, and some very skilled players at wide receiver.

That pretty much sums up the offense when we all know about the aforementioned battle for quarterback. After installing a large amount of the offense this past Spring, this group can now jump into fall with the chance to build consistency in Harsin's scheme. The quicker the starter at quarterback separates the quicker the offense can gel as a unit.

The area that Harsin said was not quite as deep as on offense was, well, the defense.

AStateNation has discussed this multiple times that the returning defensive starters and those that will step into the starting roles are very good group of about 11 or 12 players. Guys like Carrethers, Porter, Lee, and Young lead a very talented 1st line of defenders.

We have stated that the youth behind that bunch will need to step up and provide quality snaps come this fall. That was confirmed by both coach Harsin and defensive coordinator John Thompson.

The basic plan for the fall according to Thompson is to throw as much as you can at the younger players and find out which ones will be ready to jump in with both feet and win a role.

Special Teams was an issue last year and in true Media Day/coach speak style, the fall will determine how that group moves forward.

The biggest question from the day was about punting. Fall camp will be a full scale tryout that will involve returning guys like Brian Davis, Luke Ferguson, Max Coffin and some walk-ons that special teams coach Kent Riddle has brought in to compete for the job. A roster provided at the media day listed two high school walk on punters to add to the mix – Robert Holmes from Dallas, TX and Paul Jones from Australia.

Fall camp will be required to determine a lot of things for this team, but for the most part it will be a chance for Coach Harsin and company to prepare for another run at a Sun Belt Championship and I think we can all say we are excited for it to get started!.