First off, let's be clear that the spring game serves two main purposes. This is clearly the fan's game for the most part. The huge crowds that consistently show up for this game are almost always rewarded with an entertaining performance. Secondly, this game is a reward for the players who have just endured 15 intense practice sessions as well as two highly charged jersey scrimmages. Obviously the players want to perform well but it's mostly for personal pride and bragging rights among their friends.
I'm going to disagree with my esteemed colleague, Nevadabuck, and predict that the Gray has drafted the better team and will win the spring game. Let's take a close look at the Gray team.
As a strong Tressel disciple, I've learned the importance of special teams and must point out that the Gray team has both starting specialists in A. J. Trapasso and Aaron Pettrey. Thrown in backup punter Jon Thoma and the Gray will win the special teams battle easily, especially considering there are more players fighting for jobs on this team, as opposed to certain starters on the Scarlet team who could let down in this area.
Offensively the Gray will be led by one of the hottest players on the team at quarterback, Antonio "Willie Steamin' Beamon" Henton. Henton has made major strides in the past week or so and just might be ready to announce his presence as a player this Saturday. Henton might have been the most impressive offensive player in last Saturday's jersey scrimmage. A repeat performance will go a long way in leading the Gray to victory.
The Gray will be a force running the football also with Tyler "Tank" Whaley leading Mo Wells around and through the Scarlet defense. The Gray has two starting offensive linemen in Jim Cordle and Ben Person. Throw in Bryant Browning and walk-on pit bull Zach Slagle and the Gray will be able to move the football in a variety of ways.
When Henton needs to throw he can count on Ray Small and Devon Lyons to make plays for him. Dumping the ball out of the backfield to Wells and getting him in open spaces will be deadly as well. Throw in Henton's amazing ability to make plays with his arm or his feet and it's evident the Gray will light up the scoreboard.
They won't need a lot of points because the Gray defense is going to be lethal. Football is decided in the trenches and the combination of Lawrence Wilson, Ryan Williams, Alex Barrow, Nader Abdallah and the ultra-promising Dexter Larimore can rush the passer and stop the run. Larimore has been nothing short of a terror the entire spring and should see a lot of playing time in the fall.
You need good linebackers to win football games and the Gray is simply loaded, beginning with James Laurinaitis, one of the top defenders in all of college football last year. Add in Larry Grant, Ross Homan and Mark "Hit Man" Johnson and this is a group that every Big-10 team would love to have.
In the secondary the Gray is lead by potential All-American Malcolm Jenkins. Also at cornerback is the duo of Chimdi Chekwa and Brandon Underwood. At safety there is plenty of talent with Aaron Gant and Tyler "Tasmanian Devil" Moeller. The Scarlet receivers will need flak jackets and body armor when they go across the middle against these hitters.
The Gray team will win the spring game even though it could be very close. I'm calling for a narrow three point win, with "Steamin' Beamon" Henton leading them on a last minute drive that culminates in a long Aaron Pettrey field goal. You can take it to the Bank.