Two last bits about Seantrel: (1) it would be very interesting to quantify how much it cost Minnesota to unsuccessfully recruit him (perhaps we include the tuition and fees Tim Davis paid Cretin-Derham Hall so that he could enroll his son there and have unlimited access to Seantrel), and (2) maybe Brewster deserves a mulligan on the rest of the 2010 class, because had he understood he was fighting a losing battle versus Doggy Fizzle Televissle, he's have saved the hundreds of hours wasted on Sean Henderson's recruitment and would have been able to secure other highly ranked recruits (Earnest Thomas? Corey Nelson? Securing Josh Huff's hand in commitment - this proved elusive).
Well, enough about Sean Henderson. Let's talk about players who not only have spent or plan to spend a lot of time eating pizzas, playing video games, going to basketball games at the Barn, and taking stuff out of the U's budget, but also plan to actually play for the team we support and put something back into TCF Bank Stadium.
This piece begins TDG's attempt to formulate 2010 depth charts at each position, taking into consideration the returning starters and the incoming recruits. This is done in the hopes of understanding what Spring Ball will uncover, and what we have to look forward to, or from, this fall.
First up, the quarterbacks.
The Starter - Adam Weber (RS Senior) - Yes, he's the starter, and he better darn well be this fall. He didn't have a good year in 2009 at all, but we should understand the reasons why: (1) Fisch screwed up his throwing motion; (2) Fisch introduced a Byzantine hieroglyphic scheme which required Weber to take more time in the huddle to decipher and explain, thereby causing confusion in the pre-snap progressions; (3) the offensive line was deplorable, to be kind, and forced Fisch to take receivers out of route running to protect Weber from linebacker induced death; (4) no Decker? big problem; (5) young wideouts who needed to gel with their QB; (6) oh yeah, back to Fisch - terrible playcalling and a complete lack of understanding on how to rotate Gray and Weber to maximize their talent and keep momentum in the offense; and (7) back to those linemen, the rushing game was non-existent.
So, I expect Weber to improve this year under the new OC, Jeff Horton, who has quite a track record developing quarterbacks. If Weber were to revert to his form of sophomore year, that'd be good enough for me, and it's make me chuckle that we let Fisch go to work for that former Trojans coach. Watch Hasselbeck turn into 2009 Adam Weber!
The Backup - Moses Alipate (RS Freshman) - Hear me out. Alipate is a traditional drop-back passer, with a rocket arm, and is guru-approved. I expect him to be at a point where he could contribute this year. If he is, well, we should hope he's the number 2 and can get some time (perhaps in the blowout loss to USC or blowout win over South Dakota) in anticipation of 2011.
Wait, you're asking, where is:
The WildCard - MarQueis Gray (Sophomore) - I know. I have heard Brewster's bluster about a full-on QB competition in spring camp. I've also heard Brewster talk about an unchanged staff in 2010, that Roof was going nowhere after 2008, and that Minnesota would stay a spread offense after Tim Davis was hired. Here's what I expect: Weber and Alipate, with proper QB tutelage this spring, will solidify themselves as numbers 1 and 2 at QB.
Ever heard of Marvin McNutt? Yep, he was a QB in high school and when he signed for Iowa. Well, he's the same height as Gray, and you saw Gray catch that beautiful over the head pass in the Insight Bowl. Also, don't we need a slashing threat with Whaley off the team? Gray is a taller, slightly slower Denard Robinson (that freshman QB who wasn't Tate Forcier last year at Michigan) - a guy you need on the field more than 5 mixup QB options per game. Brewster and Horton should use Gray in multiple sets, with multiple looks, at WR, at H-back (remember that sneak against Cal?), at RB, as the WildRodent. Gray should only be used as the drop-back QB as a last resort or if Alipate can't handle it. Gray is the offense's biggest weapon and needs to get the touches this year. Brewster keeps him under wraps this year to the potential peril of his continued employment in Dinkytown.
This would also solve the "uh, will Alipate really be the starter for only one year at QB?" issue. Of course, this could all blow up and Gray could transfer after losing the QB battle in the spring. However, I'm trying to find a solution for this QB logjam.
The Signal Caller on the Sideline - Adam Lueck (RS Sophomore) - bless you Adam, but if you're ever in a game within 3 scores I will spin my own head Goldy-style.
The New Guy Here This Summer - Tom Parish (incoming frosh) - Six foot three, two hundred pounds, went to Hartland Arrowhead in Wisconsin (which means to me he's a preppy kid - for Hartland, think Eastview). I expect him to be in the incubator this year safe in a crimson shirt.
Pre-Spring Ball Grade: A. This is easily the most talented, exciting, stocked, and developed part of the team. There is a jam of talent between Alipate and Gray that needs to be solved, because: Weber for 2010, Gray for 2011 and 2012, Alipate for 2013, Parish for 2014 and 2015 seems to be one too many QBs. Solving this issue, however, is a problem worth having.