Marcus Riley has to wait until August to assume his role as the team's best LB.
I spent only about the first hour at practice, and focused mainly on the defensive lineman and linebackers. I did see some 11 on 11 drills, and caught a little bit of the offense, but I wanted to really see the defensive front seven. Some notes to mention:
Louis Leonard and Jason Shirley need to stay healthy all season. These two are a menacing front, but the depth behind them is a lot smaller and inexperienced. #94 DT Jon Monga has gotten bigger, quicker and should be the No.3 guy in the rotation. #91 DT Kenny Avon needs to bulk up some more, and seems to lack the motor be more effective. With all the talk about Jason Roberts and Mike Stuart, I seemed to have forgotten about Marlon Brisco. Brisco looks good opposite Tyler Clutts, and is for fight to fend off the bigger and quicker Roberts. #93 stood out of the new and unrecognizable players. Ricky Miller is gone, so I am assuming it is Cornell Banks, since he and Roberts both shared #99 on the roster. Two players I didn't see were DE Adam McDowell and DT Charles Tolbert. Also not sure if I am mistaken, but I assumed Stuart was a mid-year transfer and would participate in spring drills, but I haven't seen him yet.
Marcus Riley will be out for spring and Quaadir Brown is taking his place with the first team defense. Brown is fast becoming a very good OLB that will be tough to keep off the field. Dwayne Andrews has the hold on the middle, and won't face any real test until fall when Robert Schenck enrolls. Alan Goodwin is the incumbent at SLB, and he is being backed up by Ahijah Lane. Isaac Kinter, I believe, is still working with the offense(tight ends??) unless he switched his #45 jersey back to a number in the 50s. #58 Ryan McKinley impressed me with his intensity, I have underestimated him. There were a host of other LBs with new or unfamiliar numbers: 49, 53, 54, 56, and 59. Aaron Oliver wore #53, but I believe he has switched to offense. LB Max Navo is listed on last year's roster with #53, too. Seth McDaniels is list on last year's roster as #56. Todd Chisom is listed as #49, but the player who wore #49 at practice did not have a helmet, I am assuming he is a walk on. Chisom was a 2005 recruit who redshirted.
The secondary "starting" four was Marcus McCauley and Damon Jenkins at CB, Josh Sherley at SS and Vincent Mays at FS. Backing them up were CB Elgin Simmons, SS Moses Harris, and FS Marvin Haynes. I couldn't make out who was backing up Jenkins. There were a host of new players wearing familiar jersey numbers of departed players like 24 and 27. I am really impressed by Harris, and believe he can unseat Sherley at SS, just like James Sanders did in 2002 to the incumbent Bryce McGill.
Offensively, from what I saw in the first hour, Brandstater and Norton worked with the first offense, and Colburn worked with the second team. WR Joe Fernandez is out for spring, but the offense was running some 3 WR sets with Paul Williams, Jaron Fairman, and Kevin Ciccone. Fairman has been impressive thus far. JC standout James Paulk lined up at RG with the second team offense.
Without a correct roster it is hard to pick out some of the new players, and some of those that have switched numbers. For instance the WRs have a number 5, 6 and 13. I am guessing two of those are former #35 Marlin Moore and former #82 Jason Crawley. I have yet to take a closer look at the offense or secondary, I will do that on Friday. But I did not see Moore practicing with the defense, unless he changed his jersey number, so I presume he is practicing with the receivers. This is only the 2nd practice, Moore could move to DB and Kinter could move back to LB, if he is indeed with the offense.
From what I saw this is how the depth chart is looking right now, of course unofficially. Numbers listed for the new or unfamiliar, and ??? for uncertainty of player and/or jersey number. ? for unknown lettermen that was on last year's depth chart. Projected starters that are injured for spring are in gray.
WR- Paul Williams, Kevin Ciccione, #19 Seyi Ajurotutu
WR- Jaron Fairman, #86 Chastin West, Joe Fernandez(INJ)
TE- Bear Pascoe, #80 Drew Lubinsky, Jesus Tapia
LT- #72 Bobby Lepori, #54 John Guevara
LG- Richard Pacheco, #75 Chris Piligian, Cole Popovich(INJ)
OC- Kyle Young, Robin Kezarian, #67 Cameron Harris, #74 Joe Bernardi
RG- Ryan Wendell, #71 James Paulk
RT- Chris Denham, #68 James Meeks
QB- Sean Norton/Tom Brandstater, #15 Ryan Colburn, Jordan Christensen
RB- Dwayne Wright, Shannon Dorsey, #20 Andrew Jones, #27 Rich Owens
FB- Roshon Vercher, Nate Adams, #44 Frank Padilla???
DE- Tyler Clutts, #96 Wilson Ramos, Adam McDowell?
DT- Louis Leonard, #91 Kenny Avon, Charles Tolbert?
NT- Jason Shirley, Jon Monga, #93 Cornell Banks???
DE- Marlon Brisco, #99 Jason Roberts, Ikenna Ike, #46 John Green
WLB- Quaadir Brown, Marcus Riley(INJ)
MLB- Dwayne Andrews, #57 Christian Carleson???, #47 Ryan Machado???
SLB- Alan Goodwin, #58 Ryan McKinley, Ahijah Lane
CB- Marcus McCauley, Elgin Simmons, #26 Matt Davis???
SS- Josh Sherley, #3 Moses Harris
FS- Vince Mays, #19 Marvin Haynes, #23 Jake Jorde
CB- Damon Jenkins, Simmons