After our glorious 4-TD victory over Alabama to win the National Championship, I thought I should take some time and celebrate this momentous occasion.
Ok, that’s done. Back to work.
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I have gone ahead and updated the scholarship and depth charts to reflect where we are heading into the 2019 season. Without further adieu, let’s get right to it. If you see any changes that need to be made that I may have missed, please let me know. If you’re on a computer they will probably be easier to see on their page links here:
Throughout the year, you can always find the updated scholarship and depth charts under “Players” in the menu above. I will have commentary below the charts.
Obviously, the first thing that is noticeable is that the offense is loaded with returning talent. We will lose 3 starters: Mitch Hyatt, Justin Falcinelli, and Hunter Renfrow. Everybody else is back. The biggest loss is Mitch Hyatt, a 4-year starter and All American, who couldn’t have had a better career at the marquee OL position. Jackson Carman, who was much improved at the end of the year, should get the first shot to hold down that spot next year.
If Carman can’t win the LT spot, Tremayne Anchrum will probably be the guy and Sean Pollard could move back to RT. I’m currently listing Pollard as the starting Center, but that is certainly just an educated guess on my part. Gage Cervenka did so well at RG that he should probably stay.
I expect some position changes at both WR and OL that should play out this spring. We’re also still awaiting word on the status of Braden Galloway and Zach Giella in 2019, as well as whether or not Garrett Williams will return for his last year of eligibility. It’s also possible we get some transfers pre and/or post spring and a surprise exit for the NFL. Diondre Overton, T.J. Chase, and Cornell Powell are the top transfer candidates with John Simpson being a surprise NFL guy potentially.
Uh oh. With the defense, we’re hoping for some surprise returns. It’s probably too much to ask for Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell to come back since they are sure-fire 1st rounders and accomplished the mission this year. Furthermore, Dex has that 1-year suspension looming as well. So, I have removed both of them from the charts above.
Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams move up into the starting lineup and, needless to say, it’s time for them to step up if we want to have a 4th straight top 10 defense in 2019. There’s a lot to be excited about at DE with Xavier Thomas leading the way there. I think at least one of the freshman DEs, maybe 2, go straight to DT when they arrive.
At DE, LB, and DB, you really see the rebuilding project at hand. Look at all those numbers we’ve brought in. The next wave is going to be on campus starting this spring and if the upperclassmen don’t step up, there is plenty of talented competition that could be upwardly mobile next fall.
As with the offense, a transfer or surprise defection to the NFL is probably going to happen on defense as well. Candidates to transfer are Xavier Kelly and Chad Smith. Candidates to surprise us by going pro are Tre Lamar and Trayvon Mullen. Mullen especially, could make the jump. I’m not sure where he might be drafted if he came out this year though. I’m confident he’s ready for the NFL, but maybe if he stayed, he could be a first round pick.
We lose Greg Huegel, and I assume, Alex Spence as well since he’s graduated and B.T. Potter is the heir apparent. I know we’re all hoping we get a legitimate battle this spring and fall between Will Spiers, Carson King, and Aiden Swanson.