After playing sparingly last season behind Lawrence Turner, Piscitelli will be asked to slide into the starting role. The confident player is more athletic than Turner and can deliver the big hit, but he still has to learn the game.
2. SS Harvey Whiten.
Whiten is a gifted player and returns kicks because of his playmaking ability. He won’t start due to the outstanding play of incumbent Mitch Meeuwsen, but he will be a solid backup, get plenty of playing time and he could give special teams a needed lift.
3. LB Chaz Scott.
4. DT Alvin Smith
5. DT Sir
6. DE Brandon Scales.
If Scales plays up to his ability opposing teams will be looking at a pair of fast, physical defensive ends in 2004. Scales’s play could allow Bill Swancutt more room to wreak havoc because opposing teams will not be able to double team the sack machine.
7. LB Keith Ellison.
Ellison is another junior college player that could have an immediate impact in the system. Ellison is a highly decorated and talented athlete with a nose for the ball. If he lives up to the hype he will be part of the regular linebacker rotation with Trent Bray, Jonathan Pollard, and Chaz Scott. And, as Beaver Believers painfully learned last year, you can’t have too many linebackers.
Dan Norz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.