Like many of us, I have looked at the small number of seniors on our two-deep and been excited about next year and especially 2014. However, while sitting in Dyche Stadium on Saturday watching the dominance of the left side of our OL, the defensive penetration up the middle by Arnfelt, and the continued great playmaking by Nwabuisi, I had to reconsider. While we are losing just a few seniors to graduation, these guys have all grown into really valuable players. Ward and Mulroe both look like NFL draftees - and who would have guessed that a year ago? Nwabuisi does everything for us. He has contributed tremendously to our run defense in the middle, still makes as many plays as anybody on the outside, and is a factor in innumerable pass plays. These guys are going to be hard to replace. It makes me think that this might be our year - not to the exclusion of success next year, but in addition to it. We controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage on Saturday. We rushed for 300 yards and but for a letdown after the bad snap, really did not allow Iowa anything on offense. I like what I know of our young OL and DL, but they will have big shoes to fill.
Our lines both have a few key seniors for sure, and that will be the only question going into next year. Left side of the OL is the biggest unknown since I don't know how much time Mogus and Jorgensen have seen. The DL may be a little better off, as Lowry has gotten plenty of time and will hopefully be able to pick up where Q Williams leaves off. Arnfelt will be a load to replace but hopefully Carter is getting some valuable experience. If Kuhar and Odenigbo are back at 100% we will work them in as well.
I agree that the quality of this senior group will be missed even though the quantity of contributors is limited. That being said, I think some of what you are observing is the impact of having most of the guys in the program for five years and how much stronger, faster, intelligent these kids are as football players when they are able to Redshirt and play as fifth year seniors. Based on our depth chart, I am confident that we will capably replace the graduating senior class. The biggest area of concern would be the left side of the OL. I fully expect Jack Konopka to switch over to left tackle next year and imagine that Jorgensen/Mertz will battle it out for RT. Mogus and Frazier should slide in at the guard spots and play well.
Catechol wrote: Our lines both have a few key seniors for sure, and that will be the only question going into next year. Left side of the OL is the biggest unknown since I don't know how much time Mogus and Jorgensen have seen. The DL may be a little better off, as Lowry has gotten plenty of time and will hopefully be able to pick up where Q Williams leaves off. Arnfelt will be a load to replace but hopefully Carter is getting some valuable experience. If Kuhar and Odenigbo are back at 100% we will work them in as well.
This is a recent, rarely-noted change, but Paul Jorgensen is working at superback, now. He was in on Venric Mark's 72-yard run. Jorgy is wearing No. 81, Evan Watkin's number, so that may mean it's a temporary move.
I sincerely doubt that Paul has been moved to Superback (though Smith's move appears to be permanent) and he is likely still practicing largely at tackle -- his wearing an eligible number is a function of wanting an extra lineman on the field in our "Rhino" package. He has been wearing #81 for quite some time now.
Paul still appears on the two-deep at Left Tackle with #81 and would likely simply put on his old #78 if he were to shift to tackle for an extended period whereas Smith appears on the two-deep at Superback wearing #87. Jorgensen is also still listed as an OL on the roster despite his number change while Smith is a SB.
Max Chapman looks to be the third guy on the LOS as he has been wearing #89 for a while now. He is also still listed as a DL on the roster.