Wondering what the two-deep depth chart will look like on September 4th? Here's a look at who we project to be on the first team, and also who we project to be the first reserves off the bench for the season opener against Wake Forest.
Notes: Pickens has proven to be a strong pass blocker, and even though Roman Fry played the entire scrimmage at left guard on Saturday, it makes more sense to have Fry remain at left tackle this season. The key to left tackle also rests with FR Barry Richardson (6-7, 356). If Richardson continues to develop, he could force his way into the two-deep with Pickens. That also could afford Fry to move over to left guard, his more natural position.
Notes: Johnson didn't enjoy the strongest offseason in terms of strength and conditioning, and some have suggested that he might even be in the doghouse. Nevertheless, he was one of the most reliable linemen to take the field last season for the Tigers. Pilgrim missed some of last week with an injury (pulled groin), which aided in the decision to give Fry a chance at left guard. While Johnson hasn't lived up to expectations yet, it's hard to imagine a starting line up without him.
Notes: Sharpe has proven his worth as a former walk-on, and will not relinquish the starting spot to Dustin Fry, but don't be surprised to see Fry in the game in an increased role as the 2004 season wears on. Fry set the record for most reps of bench pressing 225 pounds (42) earlier this year, and appears to be learning the ropes as a back up.
Notes: Chip Myrick's illness (mono) has set him back here. Myrick, who was listed as the starter heading into fall camp, was essentially held out of practice all of last week, and also missed Saturday's scrimmage. His status was eventually upgraded but it may not be enough for him to re-claim his starting spot before the season opener. Downer was just awarded a scholarship and should be able to fill in for Bennett when called upon.
Notes: Marion Dukes has enjoyed a strong fall camp, and has locked down the starting position at right tackle. Tim DeBeer, who has been noted for his good technique by the coaching staff, is probably not the long term answer here. Robinson will force his way onto the field this season and avoid a redshirt year. Even as a true freshman, Robinson is one of the most athletically gifted linemen on the team. How quickly he continues to learn the offense will dictate how quickly he sees the
Notes: One of the biggest surprises of the year has to be Ben Hall, who has now clearly defined himself as the top tight end on the team. Freshman Zach Green is a big target, and has good hands should he be called upon.
Notes: Grant has emerged over the last week of practice and appears to be headed towards a starting position against Wake Forest. McCloud, who enjoyed a strong spring, hasn't been as consistent but will still be called upon this year.
Notes: Stuckey may prove to be the best receiver on the team before the 2004 season ends. He's elusive, fast, and catches everything in sight. He's also a student of the game. Jefferson caught a long pass during last Tuesday's scrimmage, and figures to see action this season as a redshirt freshman.
Notes: Currie has worked hard to insure that he remains healthy for the 2004 season. He's enjoyed a strong fall camp that has seen him burn even the fastest defensive backs with relative ease. Meanwhile Harris has been one of the pleasant surprises of camp. Physically, he's ready to play and he's also demonstrated the ability to catch everything in sight.
Notes: An early camp injury (separation of the shoulder) limited Baham's effectiveness but the rising redshirt junior will still be utilized as a possession receiver this season. The backup Z-receiver would go to Michael Collins, but he continues to miss practice with a torn quad. Most estimates have him returning during the early stages of the season. One freshman wide receiver will play this season between Aaron Kelly and Harris. The early edge however, goes to Harris.
Notes: Charlie Whitehurst is enjoying another strong camp, and has become an unquestioned leader of the entire team. Back up Will Proctor has continued to improve in the eyes of the coaching staff, but a few good series under his belt in a game would go a long way in his overall development.
Notes: Yusef Kelly has proven to be the most reliable running back on the roster and can handle anything thrown his way. There still are some concerns with Merriweather's blocking assignments, although he continues to have the best yards/carry on the team during scrimmages. Kyle Browning will push for playing time here as well and don't be surprised to see all three backs carry the ball in the season opener.
Notes: The fullback position will be utilized mostly in blocking situations this season. Both Harrell and Jackson have enjoyed strong fall camps and should provide sound support when called upon to carry the football.
We project freshmen La'Donte Harris and Akeem Robinson to avoid a redshirt this season. Barry Richardson is next line, followed by Aaron Kelly. While Richardson may be currently developing ahead of Robinson, there is a greater need for a back up right tackle- which makes Robinson more likely to play.