Fred Bennett is bigger than the coaches originally understood. He is closer to 6-3 and 205 pounds which might move him out of cornerback consideration and more into a free safety spot. The coaches want to see his cover skills in the spring and if he manages to remain at corner he will be one of the bigger cornerbacks in the country.
Andy Boyd has come on so strong that he is giving us a double-threat at tight end. Hart Turner will be looked at by the NFL this season. He is now pushing 260 and still runs well.
Chavez Donnings has caught the coaches' eyes and is being talked about as being a real potential threat at wide receiver and perhaps on kickoff returns this season. Matthew Thomas may join him on KOR and both will see plenty of action as wide receivers.
While Andrea Gause and Taqiy Muhammad may see time at wide receiver during the spring, both will be cornerbacks by the summer. The coaches also feel that Tremaine Tyler is going to be a special cornerback and will contribute this season.
As we have been saying on the Digital Perch for weeks now ... Darel Slay has been moved to defensive end. Marcus Lawrence could end up there as well but they will keep him at LB if at all possible.
For that reason Moe Thompson has been moved back to the DE spot and Eric Stroman has been moved back to the DT spot. Thompson is losing baby fat and Stroman is gaining muscle so it all balances out.
The coaches love Kris Mick. He has a mean streak that they really like in their offensive linemen and he is being talked about a legit RFr that might contribute this year. John Strickland is going to be counted on to contribute on the offensive line in a big way and Jabari Levey, we were told, has the potential to be the best offensive lineman this staff has ever coached.
The coaches like what they are seeing from Mike Rathe a lot right now. He is strong, particularly in his upper body ... and he is working the lower body right now. He has a cannon for an arm, throws a very nice spiral both his touch passes and those he drills. He seems to be absorbing the offense very well and they are happy that they signed him.
We are very close to removing the asterisk from Ben Swygert's name on the Hotsheet. He has almost completed his rehab and he appears to be back to full strength. The coaches are happy about that and are expecting him to compete this spring ... as it stands right now.
Regis Edgerson is starting to come on and will be a force as an upback in the future. He actually has very very good speed for a big man. Break-a-way type speed.
Demetris Summers is going to receive a serious shot at a lot of playing time. This is shaping up to be one of the better battles that might take place this summer. But here's the deal. Kenny Irons has improved so much and worked so hard he does not intend to relinquish his role without a fight and the highly touted Summers might find it difficult to take away Irons' spot on the depth chart. Irons is going to have a decided advantage in this battle when the time comes this summer.
Dacus Turman is going to be the workhorse upback for us next season. He'll receive the majority of the responsibilities when it comes to working out of the fullback slot.
As of today we are almost certain both Newton and Mitchell will redshirt this season. It would take something very drastic for either of them to be called into action during the 2003 campaign. We just do not see it happening and neither do the people that we spoke with when compiling this report.
Robert Pavlovic is a stud according to those that have seen the film on him. He is very agressive. They like him as a tight end but he is rough around the edges and will most certainly be redshirted this season.
David Laggis has already enrolled at Camden Military and we have removed him from the Hotsheet until next season. He'll be a defensive end when he finally does enroll at USC.
Unlike last season, the coaches seem to be somewhat unsure about who what where and when on our offensive line this season. A lot is going to depend upon how some of the younger players contribute. One of those is Woodley Telfort. Now they are not absolutely sure he will play, but they do believe he will. So for the time being there is probably no need to consider him a redshirt candidate. Still, we want to make a note here. If some of the other players like Malloy, Strickland, Mick, Walker and Barnes really step it up this year, the coaches would not object to redshirting Telfort. So it could happen we were told.
The love DeAdrian Coley. He is up to 230-235 and still runs like a deer. Coach Cosh says he will play this year no doubt about it.
Charles Silas is special. The coaches are saying he will play on Sundays. Now that does not mean he will come in and be an All-American right out of the chute. But they do seem to believe that he has great tools and once he adjusts to the speed and size of the SEC game he will be dominant. As we were told, they are happy that he is on our team and they are not having to worry about facing him on someone else's team in the future.
As we have been saying on the Digital Perch for sometime now. Dunta Robinson and DeAndre Eiland are slated as bookend corners this season. They love Tremaine Tyler. But they are not expecting Ty Erving to play this year. He has tons of talent. They loved him in camp. But he will redshirt.
We would spend three pages talking about what we have heard about Shropshire and Saint Pruex so far. Shropshire is absolutely dominant. He played most of last season with a hurt shoulder but that has recently been repaired and he is expected to be full speed by the spring. Let your imagination run wild with the thought of both Shropshire and Saint Preux on the same defensive line manning the interior. Combining them with the returning talent really has the coaches abuzz it seems.
Cory Boyd says he will play tailback as a freshman. But unless he is willing to take a shot at the slotback spot he will redshirt. Now, if he does give the slot a try anything is possible. The coaches say he is a tough kid with a lot of talent. They like him a lot as an offensive back and will honor their promise to play him there. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
Noah Whiteside is already penciled in as a contributor this next season. And the coaches really like Derrick Harper a lot. He is tall and rangey and has most excellent speed.
The coaches are wanting to redshirt as many from this class as possible. Particularly the incoming freshmen. So do not expect a lot of the newbies to play this year no matter how badly you would like to see them participate. There are a few expected to play, but not many. And that is a good thing.