Must sit out: Keston Cheatham (RSFr., 6-1, 181)
As you already know Mike Hass is one of the top receivers in the nation. Sammie Stroughter is a future star and will be a standout special teams player again. The coaches want Hass on the field as much as possible so Stroughter will see little time behind Hass, but if the other receivers are not performing look for Stroughter to be tried out at the slot and flanker spots. Bottom line is that Stroughter is a playmaker and the coaches want to put the ball in his hands.
Injured: Brandon Powers (So., 6-2, 213)
Mike Riley is very excited about Anthony Wheat-Brown being in the slot and so should you. He is athletic, has good hands and is not afraid to make the catches over the middle. Wheat-Brown is also a playmaker and the slot is a perfect fit for him to get him the ball in the open field and let him work his magic. Nate Johns had a good camp showing excellent hands and no fear over the middle. The same can be said about Nick Bodeman. Kevin Swanigan is fully recovered from his hamstring injury but faces an uphill battle for playing time.
Adam Koets will be solid during his second year on the line, but it is the depth, or lack of, behind Koets that is disconcerting. Andy Levitre has been called the sixth man by offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh as he is the team's sixth best lineman. He will be a jack of all trades as he is practicing at both guard and tackle and will be second on the depth chart at both guard and tackle positions. Levitre is a good, developing player, but if two or more offensive lineman are injured the Beavers are in for a world of hurt.
The left guard position is in good hands as long as future All-Pac-10 teamer Jeremy Perry stays healthy. J.C. Ronnfeldt provides some bulk but is no where near Perry's skill level.
Kyle DeVan beat out Adam Speer for the center position after a heated battle throughout spring and fall. Center is one of the, if not the, deepest part of the offensive line as Speer can step in without missing a beat if DeVan goes down.
Roy Schuening (So., 6-4, 316)
Andy Levitre (RSFr., 6-3, 330)
Redshirting: Gregg Peat (Fr., 6-4, 290)
Roy Schuening is another Beaver on the offensive line that will be up for post season honors but once again it is the depth chart that is a concern. Whitfield Usher may return to the program, but he will be nowhere near game ready.
Redshirting: Mike Marks (Fr., 6-5, 295)
Josh Linehan made a seamless transition to tackle from guard after his injury and is performing, once again, very well. Tavita Thompson's development is slower than expected and James Otuhiva has a lot of work to do on his technique before he will see the field. Mike Marks will redshirt.
Dan Haines (Jr., 6-5, 257)
Transfers, academics, injuries...you name it and it has happened to at least one tight end on the football team. The team is hurting to say the least at a position that perennially has been deep. Dan Haines in the only healthy tight end as Jason Vandiver has a concussion and Joe Newton is out for the season. The good news is Haines is capable of having a big year and if Vandiver can stay healthy the two of them should be able to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, if one of them gets hurt during the year it could be devastating to the Beavers' postseason aspirations.
Redshirting: Sean Canfield (Fr., 6-4, 217)
Matt Moore really separated himself from Ryan Gunderson in August as he started to piece the offense together. He showed a very nice long ball and the ability to make the tough out throws. He doesn't lock onto any receiver and goes through his progressions nicely. Moore will have to really trip up or get injured for Gunderson to start. While Gunderson has a slim shot at starting any games this season he is fully committed to the team. He has a good relationship with Moore and says he will continue to work hard on his mechanics and help Moore out where he can. Look for Gunderson to operate in similar capacity as Adam Rothenfluh did a year ago.
Redshirting: Tony Carrasco (Fr., 5-7, 180)
Yvenson Bernard will start as he is the most complete back on the team, but he will split time with Jimtavis Walker and Nate Wright until someone clearly separates themselves during the season. Look for Bernard to get the bulk of the carries at the beginning as the team works to establish its identity. But if Bernard is not working out look for Walker and Wright's carries to increase as the team try's to find its primary ball carrier.
Walker will be tough in short yardage situations while Wright presents a dual headed monster that can line up in the backfield or as a receiver. If none of the three are performing up to snuff there is a slight chance Patrick Fuller might get into the game, but don't bet on it as he is very behind with the playbook. Fuller could be a standout special teams player though.
Yvenson Bernard (So., 5-9, 203)
Olaniyi Sobomehin (So., 6-1, 228)
Dan Weis (RSFr., 6-2, 236)
With a depleted tight end group the team was forced to scrap some of their H-back formations in lieu of a two back set. For now, Bernard takes over the full back duties when Walker is in the game. Why Bernard? Because he is the most versatile back on the team. He has the most experience with the playbook and therefore knows the blocking schemes the best. Bernard also provides the threat of rushing or catching the ball.
The main concern with Bernard being the number one running back and full back is the workload. Can Bernard carry the team in two positions or will he get worn out? Our guess is that he won't get that much time at fullback as Olaniyi Sobomehin is a fine blocker. Sobomehin does not provide the offensive threat that Bernard does, but Bernard's body can take only so much punishment. Also, look for Dan Weis to see some time; he blocked well as an H-back with the second team offense.
Being one of the most experienced players in the program didn't guarantee Josh Hawkins a starting spot. A superb fall camp, hard work and a team first attitude earned him the spot over tough competition. It is time for Hawkins to put up or shut up and gauging by his play in fall ball, he is ready to put up. But if Hawkins does not perform, Ruben Jackson is willing to step in although he is significantly behind with the playbook. Jackson may miss the first game with a should injury, but his time off gives him plenty of time to focus on the routes. Zach Tarver could see some spot action, but will not start. Anthony Crosby is talented but the staff would like to redshirt him.
Alexis Serna (So., 5-8, 157)
Alexis Serna will once again be one of the top kickers in the Pac-10 as he has increased his accuracy and range. Serna consistently hit 40 plus yards kicks with ease during camp and will be a valuable weapon throughout the year.
Look for the defensive depth chart breakdown Tuesday.