Pre-Spring Depth Chart

The complete depth chart heading into Tim Beckman's third spring.


Wes Lunt: 6-5, 220, Sophomore
Aaron Bailey: 6-2, 225, Sophomore
Reilly O'Toole: 6-4, 220, Senior
The Word: Much attention will be paid this spring to who replaces four-year start Nathan Scheelhaase. Bailey played some as a freshman last season while Lunt sat out after transferring from Oklahoma State. Both will get a shot and will probably see the field no matter who wins out, but it appears the job is Lunt's to lose.

Josh Ferguson: 5-10, 195, Junior
Donovonn Young: 6-0, 225, Senior
Lakeith Walls: 6-2, 210, Redshirt Sophomore
The Word: Ferguson emerged as a playmaker in 2013, with Young taking a backseat due to fumbling issues. Although the senior contemplated leaving, his return is important given Ferguson's past injury troubles.

Tight end:
Jon Davis: 6-3, 240, Senior
Matt LaCosse: 6-6, 240, Senior
Tyler White: 6-5, 245, Sophomore
The Word: A position full of versatile options, the tight end spot should be more productive in 2014. Davis, LaCosse and White are all considered among the most elite athletes on the roster.

Wide receiver:
Martize Barr: 6-0, 195, Senior
Devin Church: 5-8, 185, Redshirt Sophomore
Mike Dudek: 5-11, 180, Freshman
The Word: Barr started last season strong being fading late. He should be in line to take over the slot receiver spot, with Church providing a running back/receiver look. Watch out for the technically sound Dudek, who enrolled early and has already drawn praise for his work ethic and skills.

Wide receiver:
Geronimo Allison: 6-3, 185, Junior
Dionte Taylor: 6-0, 180, Sophomore
The Word: Expectations for Allison are high after the JUCO prospect enrolled in January. Replacing Steve Hull's late season production won't be easy, but Allison appears to be the most equipped to do it.

Wide receiver:
Justin Hardee: 6-1, 195, Junior
Marchie Murdock: 6-1, 190, Redshirt Freshman
The Word: Hardee struggled in fall camp before slowly earning his way back on the field later in the season. The staff was high on Murdock last August before redshirting him, a nod to keeping him in the program as long as possible.

Left tackle:
Simon Cvijanovic: 6-5, 310, Senior
Patrick Flavin: 6-7, 300, Redshirt Junior
The Word: Cvijanovic enjoyed a good season before an ankle injury hobbled him late in the year. He'll return for one more go round as one of the more important pieces on offense.

Left guard:
Michael Heitz: 6-5, 305, Senior
Alex Hill: 6-3, 310, Senior
The Word: Heitz is one of the more versatile linemen on the roster, but is much better suited for guard than tackle. A host of players could be used as his back-up.

Alex Hill: 6-3, 310, Senior
Tony Durkin: 6-3, 290, Redshirt Sophomore
The Word: This is Hill's spot, although he could move to guard if a better line-up crops up. Durkin missed all of last year with a shoulder injury, so that's the spot that is more in question.

Right guard:
Ted Karras: 6-4, 300, Redshirt Junior
Scott McDowell: 6-5, 290, Redshirt Sophomore
The Word: Karras joins Cvijanovic as the best and most steady linemen on the team. He'll be counted on for his consistency and nasty streak, already with two years starting experience and two years to play. Again, this is another spot where the starter isn't in question, but the competition to be the back-up should be stiff in the event Karras needs a replacement.

Right tackle:
Austin Schmidt: 6-6, 285, Sophomore
Joe Spencer: 6-4, 300, Redshirt Sophomore
The Word: Schmidt filled in here and there during his first year on campus, doing well enough that he should enter spring as the favorite to replace the exiting Corey Lewis. Again, the back-up at this spot could be filled by any number of players, with coach A.J. Ricker's opinion that the five best players will play, regardless of position or lineup.


Defensive end:
Kenny Nelson: 6-6, 250, Junior
Jarrod Clements: 6-3, 285, Sophomore
The Word: Both Nelson and Clements flashed potential in 2013, so expect this to be one of the better position battles of the spring.

Defensive tackle:
Teko Powell: 6-3, 295, Junior
Jake Howe: 6-3, 300, Senior
The Word: The staff needs Powell to fulfill his potential and take a step forward in production, starting this March. The defensive tackle position has been among the weakest groups during the Beckman Era.

Defensive tackle:
Austin Teitsma: 6-2, 290, Senior
Vontrell Williams: 6-4, 300, Redshirt Sophomore
Joe Fotu: 6-3, 275, Junior
The Word: A healthy Williams and figuring out what Fotu is all about would help establish depth at this spot. Teitsma is an A-plus-plus in terms of personality and character, but his starting job isn't a guarantee.

Houston Bates: 6-3, 250, Senior
Dejazz Woods: 6-3, 255, Senior
Dawuane Smoot: 6-3, 250, Sophomore
The Word: Smoot is one of the more promising young players on the roster and could use this spring to prove he needs more playing time. Bates was supposed to be a force last year, but finished with only 3.5 QB takedowns. Another offseason and spring to prepare at the spot can only help him improve those numbers.

Mike Svetina: 6-2, 235, Junior
Eric Finney: 6-1, 215, Junior
James Crawford: 6-2, 205, Redshirt Freshman
The Word: Svetina did his best to fill in while Finney was recovering from a knee injury early last season. While Finney never reclaimed the starting spot, the general consensus was play from the STAR position could have been better. The young Crawford is a player to watch after redshirting in 2013 after a successful fall camp.

Middle linebacker:
Mason Monheim: 6-1, 235, Junior
Zeph Grimes: 5-11, 225, Junior
The Word: Monheim enters after two seasons as a starter, although he won't have tackling machine Jonathan Brown alongside him. He's the new face of the linebacker group.

Weakside linebacker:
T.J. Neal: 6-1, 235, Redshirt Sophomore
Ralph Cooper: 6-1, 230, Senior
The Word: Neal came on strong at the end of last season, totaling seven stops against Ohio State and five versus Northwestern.

V'Angelo Bentley: 5-10, 190, Junior
Darius Mosely: 5-11, 185, Sophomore
Dillan Cazley: 5-10, 190, Sophomore
The Word: A spot with plenty of depth, Mosely and Cazley played as true freshmen and will be starters at some point, either next season or later on. Bentley was up and down in his first season as a starters in 2013, but should be on the field as a starter again.

Eaton Spence: 6-0, 185, Redshirt Junior
Jaylen Dunlap: 6-1, 175, Sophomore
The Word: Dunlap very well could earn this spot, and will certainly be in the mix with Mosely to be on the field in nickel packages if Spence holds on.

Free safety:
Zane Petty: 6-1, 200, Senior
Jevaris Little: 6-1, 185, Redshirt Sophomore
The Word: Petty earned a starting spot late last season and immediately jumped to the top of the tackling stat sheet.

Strong safety:
Earnest Thomas: 6-2, 210, Senior
Taylor Barton: 6-1, 215, Redshirt Sophomore
The Word: Thomas had over 100 stops last season, but came under scrutiny for failures in both pass coverage and stopping the run. He'll return for one more year, with back-up Barton at the ready after making a few starts in 2013.

Special teams:

Kickoff returner:
V'Angelo Bentley: 5-10, 190, Junior
Martize Barr: 6-0, 195, Senior
The Word: There's a host of young playmakers that should push for time on the return teams, but look for Bentley to hold it down. As seen in 2013, he's too explosive not to throw out there as much as possible.

Punt returner:
V'Angelo Bentley:
Darius Mosely: 5-11, 185, Sophomore
The Word: Mosely and fellow sophomore Caleb Day could give Bentley a spell on punt return if needed.

Taylor Zalewski: 6-3, 220, Redshirt Junior
Ryan Frain: 6-2, 220, Redshirt Sophomore
The Word: Zalewski converted 12 of his 17 field goal attempts last season, a decent percentage (70 percent) considering he was just a sophomore and the usual weather conditions in Memorial Stadium.

Justin DuVernois: 6-1, 190, Senior
Ryan Frain:
The Word: DuVernois' average went down in 2013, from 41.9 to 41.1, but he doesn't have much competition for the starting spot. He'll look to improve in his final season.

Long snapper:
Zach Hirth: 6-4, 220, Redshirt Sophomore
Michael Martin: 6-4, 225, Sophomore
The Word: Hirth was considered one of the best long snappers in the country in high school. He lived up to that billing in his first season as a starter in 2013.

Justin DuVernois:
Reilly O'Tooole: 6-4, 220, Senior
The Word: DuVernois split time as the holder in practice last season with Tim Russell, who exhausted his eligibility. DuVernois would be the safe route, with a guy like O'Toole or perhaps even Aaron Bailey a potential candidate due to the ability to throw the ball on fake field goals/extra points.

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