Looking at the Offense

July is a month that some football fans love, and others just cannot stand. For many, they are excited because it is the final month without football for the remainder of the year. Others, look at it as yet another month without football. Many fans are putting the finishing touches on vacations, kids all star baseball seasons, or long afternoons at the swimming pool.

Today, I am going to take a look at what I believe will be the depth chart once the season begins. We all know what it should look like when camp opens in a few weeks, here is my prediction on how I think things will look prior to boarding the busses and heading to Morgantown in September for the final edition of the "Coal Bowl."

The quarterback position should be a no brainer. I don't see any movement taking place at this position. Rakeem Cato finished the year on fire with two excellent football games which piggybacked off a fourth quarter come from behind win on the road in Memphis to keep the Herd bowl eligible. Incoming freshman Gunnar Holcombe if fully prepared to come in at the bottom of the ladder and work his way up. Here is my thoughts on the Quarterback depth chart:

1. Rakeem Cato 2. Blake Frohnapfel 3. Gunnar Holcombe

The running back position could and should be very interesting. Tron Martinez and Travon Van both return as a vaunted two headed monster which did nothing but gain steam as the season came to an end. Both running backs did set out spring for injuries, but like the staff said many times, they know what those two guys can do.

Those of you that follow the social networks know that there is an incoming running back out there who has been working hard, and putting up staggering speed numbers. Kevin Grooms, a former University of Miami commit, and a non qualifier from last season will have to get on the field somewhere. Reports of sub 4.3 forty yard dashes are just too much to overlook, right? Also coming back are senior Martin Ward, redshirt freshman Remi Watson, and highly touted former Arizona State commit Steward Butler. Here is my take on the running back situation.

1. Tron Martinez 2. Travon Van 3. Kevin Grooms 4. Steward Butler 5. Remi Watson

Tight End is a spot where Marshall has produced stars for a few decades. Starting in the 80's with Sean Doctor and Eric Inhat, and going through the 90's with Gregg Kellett and Jermaine Wiggins, and more recently guys like Jason Rader, Cody Slate, and Lee Smith. This year should be no exception.

Marshall returns a three headed monster at tight end which could explode this season. Gator Hoskins, local boy C.J. Crawford and sophomore Eric Frohnapfel all three scored touchdowns last season, made big catches, and more importantly made timely catches when the team needed to move the chains. Crawford missed most of the spring with an injury but should be good to roll this fall. Here is my look at the tight ends:

1. Gator Hoskins 2. CJ Crawford 3. Eric Frohnapfel

Over the past four seasons Marshall has had multiple offensive lineman leave the program. Multiple reasons were the cause of this, ranging from personal issues, to homesickness, to injuries. Coach Doc Holliday goal was to have a full depth chart on the offensive line with good, talented, tough, strong football players. That goal has finally been reached.

Rather than back filling with walk ons, Holliday finally has some guys to work with. Add in the likes of Gerald Right, Michael Selby, and Cody Collins and this group is going to be a force to be reckoned with in CUSA for years to come. Here is my take on the 2013 Marshall Thundering Herd offensive line.

Left Tackle: 1. Gage Niemeyer 2. Jordan Jeffries

Left Guard: 1. Josh Lovell 2. Alex Schooler

Center: 1. Chris Jasperse 2. Channing Smith

Right Guard: 1. John Bruhin 2. Clinton Van Horn

Right Tackle: 1. Garrett Scott 2. Corey Tenney/Billy Rone

The final position to go over will be the wide receivers. Everyone knows what the Herd will get from future NFL player, Aaron Dobson, but where will the rest of this crew fall into place, and who will take over and be Dobson's back up? The slot position expects to be one that is manned by numerous people thoughout the season with Holliday most likely running with the hot hand. Andre Booker should start, with Tommy Shuler and Jermaine Kelson backing him up. All three will get enough reps to where there may not be an actual starter.

The other two spots are where it gets interesting. The expected starters are seniors Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson, and it will take something crazy or unfortunate to unseat Dobson. Wilson has had two slow season, but in the spring appeared faster and more athletic than he has thus far in his career. He will have a lot of competition this fall in Demetrius Evans, Chris Alston, and Craig Wilkins.

Those three guys should make up the depth chart at both of those positions, but which ones, and will one of those have a chance to overtake Wilson? I don't think they will, but Evans will have a shot. Who will take over for Dobson next season, will it be Willkins, or is there a surprise out there that could be joining the program over the next one to six months? Wink, wink. Stay tuned on that front. Ok, here is my take on what I think is the most talented position within the program.

Wide Receiver: 1. Aaron Dobson 2. Craig Wilkins

Wide Receiver: 1. Antavious Wilson 2. Demetrius Evans

Wide Receiver: 1. Andre Booker 2. Tommy Shuler

Not too many suprises on the offensive side of the football, which is a good thing. I don't really forsee any of the incoming freshman stepping in and playing right away, with the exception of Chris Alston who was here to practice this spring.

The one player I am not sure of where to place is incoming Junior College Transfer Billy Rone. One would expect he was not brought in to set at two or three on the depth chart. If he breaks into a starting roll over one of the five I have listed, then he must really be good, because those five have played well.

Tomorrow I will break down the defense. Will A.J. Leggett start this season with the ones? I think he will. I will break down the rest tomorrow.

Stay tuned to Herdhaven.com for further updates and analysis.

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