Alright, everyone. I wanted to put out a two deep and get people talking. Where do you like our depth? Where are you concerned?
QB: D’Eriq King; Quentin Dormady
RB: Terence Williams; Mulbah Car
WR: Raelon Singleton; Jeremy Singleton
WR: Marquez Stevenson; Julon Williams
WR: Courtney Lark; Keith Corbin
TE: Romello Brooker; Parker Eichenberger
LT: Josh Jones; Bo Alexander
LG: Mason Denley; Kam Eloph
C: Will Noble; Keenan Murphy
RG: Braylon Jones; Ryan Deshotel
RT: Jarrid Williams; Dennis Bardwell
DL: Jerard Carter; Zach Vaughan
DL: Ed Oliver; Aymiel Fleming
DL: Isaiah Chambers; Payton Turner
OLB: Emeke Egbule; David Anenih
ILB: Darrion Owens; Elijah Gooden
ILB: Austin Robinson; Derek Parish
OLB: Leroy Godfrey; Amaud Willis-Dalton (our starter if we play in a 3-3-5?)
CB: Nick Watkins; Alex Myres
CB: Isaiah Johnson; Javian Smith
S: Garrett Davis; Darius Gilbert
S: Deontay Anderson; Gleson Sprewell
The biggest piece to the puzzle that I think we are missing as things stand now is a RT. Get a RT and let Jarrid Williams backup. Then we could move Dennis Bardwell inside and let him backup Braylon Jones. We would have a very solid two deep in that scenario.
Position groups in order of strength
Defensive Line - Ed Oliver. Enough said, but add Isaiah Chambers (top 150 prospect out of high school) along with a healthy Jerard Carter and we have the best defensive line in the conference, and one of the best in the country. I’m very excited to watch the growth of Payton Turner in year two. He looks like he can be a monster.
Safety - Deontay Anderson and Garrett Davis give us the best starters at safety in the conference. I expect both to be all conference performers at the end of the season, and expect Garrett Davis to be a late day two, early day three pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It was also big for us that Gleson Sprewell and Garrison Vaughn got to campus in January. Gives these guys a full spring to get acclimated with D’Onofrio’s defense.
Running Back - The addition of Terence Williams is HUGE. There’s no other way to put it. He has been a 1000 yard runner in the Briles’ offense. If he can give us 80% of what he did a couple of years ago, then we are looking at about 850 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. Also, Mulbah Car looked like our best back last season, despite not getting as many touches as Duke Catalon. A one-two punch in Williams and Car may be the best in the conference.
Quarterback - I had a hard time ranking 2-4. D’Eriq King is going to be a star in the Briles’ offense. Bringing in Quentin Dormady to push King reminds me a lot of the first season that Herman got to campus. King has a very nice touch on his long ball, and I’m very eager to see him explode in the Briles’ offense.
Cornerback - I cannot believe I’m putting this group at 5, but the Nick Watkins addition is huge. He started 9 games at Notre Dame last season while being second in the team in pass breakups. On the other side of the defense is Isaiah Johnson. A guy that will probably be drafted in day two of the 2019 NFL Draft. Our elite defensive line is also going to give our corners the ability to play more aggressive at the point of attack with receivers. I do not expect to see 10 yard cushions off the line of scrimmage this season from our corners. A healthy Javian Smith is critical as well.
Wide Receiver - There are a lot of unknowns here, but we have a ton of guys with potential. Raelon Singleton was bringing in 30 catches and 500+ plus yards with four touchdowns the past two seasons at Utah. Courtney Lark, Marquez Stevenson, Keith Corbin, Julon Williams, and Jeremy Singleton to round out the two deep gives us a ton of guys that had offers from a ton of P5s. I believe this group has the potential to be a top three group by the end of the season.
Offensive Line - I love our LT, C, and RG in this offense. If we can keep Josh Jones, Will Noble, and Braylon Jones healthy all season then this group has a chance to be very good. Especially with the coaching hire of Clements. I’m a little concerned about LG and RT, and am concerned with the depth at RG. Landing a T in the grad transfer market will be huge.
Linebacker - The addition of Darrion Owens is huge. Also, getting back Austin Robinson for another season is big for us as well. I love our starters, but the reason I put them at 8 is due to the inexperience behind the starters. It will also be hard to replace Matt Adams and D’Juan Hines. Darrion Owens battled injuries in his time at Miami, so his health is key for this linebacker group.
Tight End - I have no clue what to expect from this group, and am unsure of how they fit into a Briles’ offense.
I fully expect our defense to be elite. The additions of Anderson, Chambers, Watkins, and Owens are huge. Our offense should see an uptick due to the Briles’ system and D’Eriq King getting first team reps all offseason. And the Terence Williams addition is probably our biggest of the offseason. Bigger than Deontay Anderson, IMO. This team has the potential to win every game on the schedule. Anything less than 9-3 is a disappointment. But an 11-1 or 10-2 type of season is definitely a possibility. I cannot wait for September 1st!