So where do we start? Everybody's favorite position, the backup QB spot. Or on the defensive line where essentially the entire starting front four have to be replaced. What about having to replace three defensive starters in the secondary? Those are just some of the questions heading into March and we'll give you some insight on those spots and more. The health of Tyler Jones and who's battling for the #2 spot
Tyler Jones has fully recovered from his wrist/hand injury suffered late last season and is ready to go. BI has been informed that he is expected to fully participate in Spring Ball and will be 100%. From all indications the battle for #2 will be between spring enrollees Randy Price and Connor White.
Who are the front runners to step up on the D-line
This by no means is your 2-deep rotation, but when mentioning the D-line, several players have been mentioned as having good workouts so far this spring or really benefited from a red shirt. Marcus Dallas, converted tight end Chris Peterson, Darius Hood returns from injury and Will Trevillion are all looking good. It's not official, but Will is still vying to have last year count as a red shirt, the staff won't know for sure until closer to summer time.
Some more red shirts who are looking to make a big step in contributing are Jeff Banks, Karee' Berry, and Rusmin Nikocevic. Rusmin is a red shirt junior and the staff wants him to add more weight as the plans are to have him at the d-tackle spot. Justin Booth is also expected to fight for time at defensive tackle.
Who fills the holes in the secondary
Look for Donta Clanton and David Mims to fight out the spot left by Xavier Daniels. The safeties will be a very competitive battle with Germod Williams, Demetrius Woodard, Trey Garrett, and Brandon Jones all looking to play. Williams saw significant playing time as a true freshman last season.
Can the offensive line be one of the better units for Texas State in 2014
Many in San Marcos think this group can be special. Only 2 senior starters/contributors return in Charlie Tuttle and Collin Fissell. The rest of the two deep is full of underclassman. Matt Freeman and Felix Romero are expected to anchor down the interior. As was the case last season, can Ryan Melton supplant Adrian Bellard at right tackle or will AB nail it down. Is Melton better suited to move the interior? A wild card to monitor is red shirt junior OT Brandon Sarabia, who has drawn the praise of Coach Fran this spring.
Looking to replace Erickson and Battle
Bryce Gunter stood out last season while on the scout team and would give the defense headaches. He's picked up right where he left off this spring. He's a legit 6'3 and 205lbs. He and another RS Freshman Demun Mercer bring much needed size and athleticism to the Bobcats wide-outs. Brandon Smith flashed big play potential in 2013 and he and Ben Ijah will lead this group going forward.
Can C.J. Best make an already loaded backfield better
He's been awarded a red shirt and the staff is still very high on being able to use him in multiple roles. Handing off the ball and in passing situations as an option out of the backfield. His speed and athleticism coupled with returning 2nd Team All Sun Belt performer Robert Lowe, could make this group the best on the team. Chris Nutall, Tim Gay and Terrence Franks make this unit go 3 and 4 deep for a ball carrier.
So it's no joke, the Bobcats have plenty of work to do if they want to push through into the upper tier of The Sun Belt and fight for a bowl spot.
They'll have 15 practices to get better. Work on the timing of routes, better all around blocking from wide receivers to offensive lineman and of course the ever important ball security. It all starts on Tuesday March 18th and will finish on April 12th with the Maroon-Gold Spring game from Bobcat Stadium.
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