There are some positions that have no question marks. Quarterback is one of those. There are some, when you look into the details of the order, kind of send a message that hasn’t been so clear until now.
Let’s take a look at the offense…
There is no real story here. This falls like anyone should expect it to fall. Many are putting Trask ahead of Franks at this point, but McElwain has no reason not to list either ahead on the chart as this is something that could change at any time anyway. Some raised the question that maybe Trask could play ahead of Appleby, but McElwain was clear today that Appleby was the clear number two behind Del Rio.
BIG QUESTION: Will they play one of the freshmen this year if they don’t have too? McElwain said they have to make sure they get them ready just in case. Don’t rule out al of hem playing.
Again, we shouldn’t be really surprised at the order here. They list Scarlett, Thompson, and Cronkrite as possible starters and I think the order is reflective of Cronkrite missing some time away from the field over the last week. He is set to return on today (Monday) so they will know more then. This one could go any way during the week in my opinion. Herndon would be the next guy and has had a really good fall camp. Perine has been excellent as well. I think he plays, but he is farther behind in terms of learning all the dirty details of the job.
BIG QUESTION: Will one back be the dominant ball carrier? I don’t think so. The SEC is a rough and tumble league, I believe there will be plenty of carries to go around for the top three.
OUTSIDE RECEIVER 1
Again, not much a surprise at this first outside receiver spot. I know Josh Hammond is a serious talent that will play a lot, but do believe that Worton is behind right now because he has been injured for almost two weeks. He returns Monday, but they don’t know what they will get out of him. I fully believe we will see a lot of Worton this season.
OUTSIDE RECEIVER 2
This one is a bit of an eye opener. There are a couple of things going on here. One is that they usually want receivers with size to play outside and in this case you have a 5-foot-11 Powell playing ahead of a 6-foot-4 Fulwood. That says something about both guys in my opinion. Fulwood is going to have to fight to get on the field in his senior year and McElwain is not going to be afraid to play a good bit of Powell and Dre Massey on the field at the same time in order to make defenses quit from guessing what they are going to do next.
Coming out of fall camp you could just tell that Massey was going to be a big time contributor this year. He was maybe the most mentioned player by McElwain both in the spring and the fall and he can do a bunch of different things that can allow them to have fun with the offense. Powell will see some time both inside and outside, as will Massey in my opinion. Swain is a diamond in the rough and one of the best route runners in the squad. He will make some kind of mark this season.
BIG QUESTION: Why is Chris Thompson (SR) not listed? Some are speculating this is because he is the senior that is suspended for the game. If so, where does he fit back in the mix among the outside receivers? That one will have to be answered.
Sophomore Cyontai Lewis is out and Goolsby is coming back from a minor injury that kept him out a bit. There is no doubt that Goolsby is the leader here. I believe Stephens will be called more upon that Knight when asked to spread out wide. Knight may get the nod as an in-line blocker more often. All three will play Saturday.
BIG QUESTION: Can Stephens continue his recent excellent play and put some distance between him and Knight? I think that can very well happen. If Stephens shows he can move someone off the snap, he will get on the field a lot more often.
I think the significance here is Harkless. In the middle of fall camp he was really making a move and then got hurt. He returns Monday and they are expecting him to fill in on the rotation now. He is someone we were not expecting to contribute any time soon, so this is a real positive.
There is nothing new here really, but there remains a battle between Buchanan and Sandifer. Sandifer has also shown the ability to slide outside and play tackle, which is a bonus. I personally think this is a healthy competition to have.
No surprises here either. McCoy has to work on his snaps and he could make more of a push in my opinion. Both continually get better.
Again no surprises. Jordan could end up being the best of the linemen. He still has a lot to prove, but he will do a lot of that this season. Desir-Jones is playing the best of the backup guards at this point. His transition from the spring to the fall was a huge one and he continues to progress.
I expected this to read like this in week one, but won’t be surprised if we start seeing that “OR” between these two in the upcoming weeks. That is because of a combination of things. To start the fall Johnson struggled a bit with some things. Combined with Taylor’s solid play for a guy that just arrived in June, and the staff has found their
BIG QUESTION: Andrew Mike is the only non-true freshman not listed on the depth chart… what does that mean? It means that Mike needs to step it up as he is getting passed by at this point.
We will tackle the defensive depth chart shortly…