1. Gaining the Edge At Outside Receiver: Keenan Holman and Der'rikk Thompson have been competing along with Arrius Holleman and others to try and create separation from not only defensive backs, but creating separation from other receivers on the roster for a starting spot on the outside. Der'rikk Thompson has displayed his speed during spring practice, which cannot be denied, but fans will get their first opportunity to see just how much he has come with his chemistry with Gilbert this offseason. Holman has had an up and down spring, and Holleman has an improved attitude so watch and see if one of them can step up and be a big target.
2. The Mumme Effect: Fans will get their first opportunity to see just how much of an effect Hal Mumme has had on the Run N' Shoot. Mumme came to SMU with some hype due to his Air Raid offense, but it has yet to be seen if his ideas and schemes will be included in June Jones' offense. Garrett Gilbert has played well this spring in the offense, but Neal Burcham has shown tremendous growth as well, which may be a testament to Mumme and even Timmy Chang having some serious time to work with the quarterbacks in this scheme.
3.Defensive Line Battle: With Beau Barnes out for the spring with a shoulder injury, there has been plenty of battling going on along the defensive line with Zach Wood leading the way as one of the younger players to step up. The defense has been more physical this spring than ever and a part of that has to do with the athletic ability across the board, but along the defensive line, there are some players who are raw and while the team waits for heralded recruit Zelt Minor to arrive on campus, the staff will look for players to step up and show they can compete at the highest level.
4. Defensive Backfield Shuffling: With J.R. Richardson nicked up this spring and still possibly not 100 percent from his knee injury, the staff has been looking for players to step up in the defensive backfield. Ajee Montes and Horace Richardson have also been hurt as well so tomorrow should be a big opportunity for younger players to step up and earn some playing time. Shakiel Randolph and Chris Parks have been inconsistent and with Hayden Greenbauer bearing down on a starting safety spot, this battle should continue into the fall.
5. Traylon Shead Time: One of the biggest signees was JUCO transfer Traylon Shead. and he has looked extremely impressive in practice, breaking tackles, making defenders miss and showing a good burst of speed as well. With Prescott Line, Ronnell Sims (even though he has been injured), and Jared Williams even getting some carries, it has been a battle all spring, but it is evident that this is Shead's job. It is time for him to show Mustangs fans what all the hype is about.
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