The depth chart is finally available and there really are not very many surprises. Here is what we know heading into Thursday’s season opener against Buffalo.
The Depth Chart
- Quarterback is listed as “OR” between Demry Croft and Connor Rhoda. The consensus among people have been attending practices is that Croft will be the guy, maybe as soon as Week 2. This is an “OR” situation because neither guy really took off with the job (in stark contrast to the “OR” at running back where it is because both backs are just that good).
- Defensive End is...interesting. Winston DeLattiboudere was expected to get the start on one side and Carter Coughlin starting at the other was pretty much expected as well. But our starting defensive ends are both under 250 lbs. Love the edge rush capabilities, worried about stopping a Big Ten ground game.
- We have a lot of sophomores starting, especially on defense. If I make the assumption that Croft is “really” our starting QB and then say RB is a junior (really it’s two juniors) and TE is a senior (same logic as RBs)...we have 8 sophomores starting, 7 seniors, 4 juniors and 3 freshmen. But 5 sophomores on defense is pretty significant. And they are pretty talented sophomores as well. We are going to love our defense in a couple years.
- Along the offensive line Garrison Wright is finally returning from his injury and is listed as the starter at right guard, but don’t be surprised to see Vincent Calhoun there as well. Also don’t be surprised to see true freshman Blaise Andries playing. He’s listed at second string right tackle, but he may be playing before too long.
- Special Teams returners is fairly interesting. Shannon Brooks is the only one listed as the team’s kick returner. Not sure how I feel about that, but let’s see how it goes. Returning punts is another “OR” situation with three possible returners in Antonio Shenault, Antoine Winfield Jr and Demetrius Douglas.
- I love our linebackers. A unit that has Blake Cashman and Cody Poock as your backups? I like this unit an awful lot.
- Wide Receivers should be interesting with a number of guys who have a chance to breakout. Tyler Johnson (SO) and Demetrius Douglas (FR) are both starting and have had rave reviews throughout camp. Rashad Still moves to the 2’s but don’t count him out cause when the switch goes on for him, he may dominate.