Doeren On The Quarterbacks...
We're excited for Jacoby to be our starter at that position. I think every good quarterback has to understand that they don't have to win the game on every play. Sometimes the next play is the most important.
Just because we've named him the starter doesn't mean we've named him the Heisman winner. We've named him the starter, that's it. He has a lot of stuff to do to prove what his production is going to be and all he needs to be is the best that he can be everyday for us.
Last year at this time we had no idea who that guy would be and this year we do. I feel a lot of comfort in that. Our guys really look up to him. The leadership he brings at that position will help our football team. The production will come, and I know he's excited to be competing again.
Garrett Leatham and Josh Taylor will be the backups this spring. All three of those guys have had good offseasons from a leadership standpoint.
Obviously when Jalan McClendon gets here we'll add him to that competition as well. I'm not going to say what Jalan is until he's on campus. Garrett has been here ad he's very smart. I don't want to burn Jalan's year unless he can help us.
Doeren On The Offensive Linemen...
I'm excited about the depth. We added a couple of young guys at the semester with Tony Adams and Terronne Prescod, Big T. Those two guys are here. That helps.
Tyson Chandler is probably in the best shape he's been in since I've been around him, and Patrick Roane, we've moved over behind him [at right tackle] to compete with Tyson.
Alex Barr, Big T, and Ali [Kassem] are three guys we have at the right guard position competing.
Quinton Schooley, Tony Adams are competing at center with John Tu'uta behind him.
Being able to put Joe Thuney back at [left guard] is something we're adamant about. His mobility at guard is a huge plus. Not just as a puller, but also when you're trying to cut-off nose guards and three-techniques... to have a mobile guard is a big deal. It doesn't matter what play you're running, if you're pulling him on power or stretch or running a zone scheme.
Then the second-level part of what he can do... not just getting to a player but actually being athletic enough to block a player at the second-level and in space will help us quite a bit. Duran Christophe played almost every snap last year and we're losing Duran, but replacing him with Joe helps us inside quite a bit.
If we have to play him at tackle again we will, but we're getting him back inside in the spring with Bryce Kennedy and Cole Blankenship behind him.
At left tackle Andy Jomantas and Tylar Reagan.... look for Tylar to really compete with Andy for that job.
In the summer we will have Rob Crisp back with us. We're excited about that. With Rob, we applied for his year to come back through the waiver process and that has been granted.
We're going through the proper steps to have him back for summer school and conditioning. I'm excited for Rob's eligibility and to have him back with the football team this summer.
Doeren On The Tight Ends/Fullbacks...
David Grinnage and Benson [Browne], two big tight ends that are 270-pound guys that, in my opinion, are good receivers at the position who need to become better blockers. I look forward to watching them do that.
Lucas Wilson, Tyler Purvis, and [Devin] O'Connor, those three guys are H/fullback guys. Tyler obviously played a lot for us last year and O'Connor at the end of the year started to get a role and is more of a hammerhead-type at fullback. Lucas Wilson redshirted last year is an athletic guy that we look forward to watching.
Doeren On The Running Backs...
At running back we had some good gains in the offseason.
Matt Dayes maybe had the best offseason. He's lost a lot of body fat and really looks a lot better from that standpoint... extremely strong lower body.
Tony Creecy and Shad... the status on [Shadrach] is the same that it was. He's still suspended. Once I have all the details pending the outcomes of everything I'll be able to make a statement on where we go in the fall.
He's with the team everyday, trains with the team, I'm around him everyday. That's the only way to make him grow as a person. Putting him in a box won't help Shad. We keep him around us and we're still waiting on all the things we need to find out to determine playing time in the future of the program. We'll see where that goes. The punishment will definitely suit what happens in the end.
Dakwa Nichols is a kid we're really excited about seeing.
All these guys have had good offseasons. One of the moves we made was Bryant Shirreffs moving from quarterback to tailback. Having a 225-pound guy back there... obviously when he played quarterback a year ago a lot of it was as a runner. We feel like that's a more natural position for Bryant.
Those five guys give us some pretty good depth at tailback until the fall when our signees get here.
Doeren On The Wide Receivers...
At receiver, Bryan Underwood is healthy. He came off a shoulder injury and broke his collarbone last year. He lost a lot of strength and was able to regain that strength in the offseason. He has tremendous strength in his lower body. He almost squatted 500 pounds the other day, and for a little guy that's pretty impressive. I'm excited to see Bryan in his final spring here.
We have a young group of receivers. We played four freshmen last year in Ramos, Valdes, Austin, and Cherry, and all four had good offseasons.
We have two true freshmen that are here already, Bo Hines and Stephen Louis. They both had good offseasons... Maurice Morgan as well.
I feel like we have eight guys there that we can see compete as we go into spring ball.