Let's start with looking at the current breakdown of the team roster by position and class. Most fans would think that with the team losing 29 seniors from last season's team that the roster would be a little on the young side. I was surprised to find out that the 2010 Spartans are not that bad off. On the roster just posted for the 2010 season, there are 22 seniors and 21 juniors listed. The underclassmen have 18 sophomores and 14 freshmen. By my count, that gives us 75 players on the current roster without any of the new recruits being listed as of yet.
The underclassmen numbers are a little alarming but that has a lot to do with the lack of recruits the last two to three years due to the APR issues as well as coach Tomey not using all he was allowed. The one plus for coach MacIntyre and his staff is most of last years freshman along with a number of the sophomores redshirted allowing them to gain some experience, get acclimated to college life and hopefully grow physically. That should pay dividends in the next couple of years. Mike Morgan wrote in an article in mid December stating coach Tomey redshirted 24 players in 2009. 24 redshirts have to be the largest number redshirted over the last 30 years. Look for coach Mac to do close to the same this season depending on players that may leave the program and heaven forbid, injuries. There were also a few true freshmen that played large rolls on last season's team gaining valuable experience along the way. CB Ronnie Yell, DE Travis Johnson, S James Orth and CB Chris Hill all got playing time with Yell and Johnson being named to the WAC All-Freshmen team.
Under perfect circumstances, it would be nice to have the same amount of players from each class and coach Mac mentioned he would also like to have an even number of scholarship players (41) on offense and defense with three special-teams specialists. Coach Mac also has a good idea of how many players he wants to have at each position and in the years to come should be able to achieve those numbers.
Let's take a look at the Spartans by position. Out of the 75 players on the pre-spring practice roster, Coach Mac will open with 38 defensive players, 35 offensive players and two kickers. Broken down by position, there are two centers, six OG, four OT and three listed as plain old O-line. Sticking with the offense, there are three TE, six RB, eight WR and three QB. On the defensive side of the ball, there are seven DE, eight DT, seven LB, five CB, nine safeties and two listed as DB. Evaluating the numbers, the LB and CB numbers look a little light, as does TE on the offensive side of the ball. We should expect some movement in some of these positions this spring and into the fall when the new recruits come in.
We should also expect to see a few additions to the spring roster with the JC players that enrolled in January such as Matt Faulkner, Rashad Gayden and Ja'Rodd Watson, that is if reports are correct. One final stat from the roster is there are only 12 players that played JC ball, which has to be one of the lowest amounts of JC players on any Spartan roster. That will grow when the new recruits come in this spring and fall but it will still be lower then most Spartan teams over the last 30 years or so. It will be interesting to see how coach Mac's first roster shapes up over the spring and into the fall and start of the season. In the coming days, we will break down some of the positions, the strengths and the weaknesses going into the start of spring practice.Follow Inside Sparta on Twitter and Facebook
Phil Paulsen is the Football Editor of Inside Sparta. You may contact Phil with any questions, comments, or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
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