Friday, April 14, 2006

Post Spring Offense Outlook

The offense had a rough spring despite some great individual spring performances. This can be attributed to the wet weather, new offensive assistants at every spot except WR/TEs, key starters that missed spring and a new quarterback behind center.

The offensive line has 15 scholarships that could have all started in Pat Hill's early years. The line, however, suffered all spring with only two healthy starters, and constant shuffling. It didn't help that they were facing the best defensive line is school history, either.

The receivers and backs had a good spring overall. It looks like new offensive coordinator Steve Hagen will continue to run "Hill's" offense with just a few wrinkles. Spring was expected to be learning experience with the new OC and new quarterback.

......defense and special teams coming soon, sorry for the delay, but I will try to pump these out before Easter.

2005 starter italicized

QBTom Brandstater So.*

Sean Norton So.*

Jordan Christensen Sr.*

The heated spring quarterback battle does not look much clearer today than it did prior to March 13. Brandstater and Norton will take their battle into August, while Ryan Colburn will more than likely redshirt. If the season started today, Brandstater would be the guy, based on his gameday experience. Norton did not due enough in the spring to wrestle the job away from Brandstater. Norton can still win the job with a solid first week in August, but all signs point to a 2006 Bulldog squad led by Brandstater. Norton and Brandstater had average springs, but considering the weather conditions all spring, it is about as well one can expect from the young quarterbacks. August looms even more important for the future starting quarterback.

Outlook- Cloudy. Someone needs to take control, and not win the job by default.

RBDwayne Wright Jr.*Shannon Dorsey Jr.*Andrew Jones Fr.*Rich Owens Fr.*Kreig Peters So.*

The biggest question mark in spring was Wright's health. Well, he is back at full strength and looks to be in the best condition of his career. Clifton Smith sat out spring ball, but hopes to be back by August. Shannon Dorsey had a great spring and will be solid contributor behind Wright. Jones and Owens had some eye opening moments this spring, and give the 'Dogs quality depth, but neither are capable of carrying the team like Wright or Dorsey. Peters missed spring ball, but looked very impressive in"solo" individual drills. He is still not at full strength but should be a solid third option come August.

Outlook- Great. Questionable durability, but very deep backfield.

FBRoshon Vercher Sr.*Frank Padilla Fr.Reynard Camp Fr.*Kyle Richard So.*

The fullbacks are back in full force. Vercher showed no signs of the injury that kept him out of the team's final three games. Padilla is a load at fullback that can block and catch, and had a great spring. With so much depth, there could be the temptation to redshirt, but he is too good to keep off the field. Camp is a true power back that can pound the ball near the goal line, but had an otherwise average spring compared to his FB counterparts. Junior Nathan Adams was the opening game starter back in 2004, but might not crack the lineup in 06. He is still recovering from a season ending injury, and missed spring practice. Along with Richard, he will battle for the 3rd or 4th spot on the depth chart.

Outlook- Spectacular. Vercher has to be considered one the best in the nation.

TEBear Pascoe So.*Jesus Tapia Jr.*Drew Lubinsky So.*Isaac Kinter Fr.*

The tight ends had a decent spring. Pascoe has slightly moved ahead of the pack, but Lubinsky or Tapia could move ahead with a good August. Kinter is listed as a FB, but practiced with the tight ends and receivers all spring. He could be that hybrid back/receiver that the offense lacked last year. He is big enough to block out of the FB or TE position, but fast enough to beat a safety at the slot. This unit needs to have a great preseason, Hagen has a host of new formations and plays that call for a good pass-catching TE.

Outlook- The jury is still out.

WRPaul Williams Sr.*Jaron Fairman Sr.*Chastin West Fr.*Seyi Ajirotutu Fr.*

Williams is the best deep threat in Bulldog history and had another great spring. He is unstoppable and will garner all-conference honors for the second straight year. Fairman had a good spring, and will need to continue to shine to fend off the hot shot redshirt freshman. One of those hotshots is West. West, in my opinion, had the best spring of any offensive player. His athleticism will be showcased all year. Ajirotutu's spring was cut short due to an injury, and will have to have a great August to get some time in the rotation with this deep group.

Outlook-Great. West is a future star.

WRJoe Fernandez Sr.*Kevin Ciccone So.*Jason Crawley Fr.*Marlin Moore Fr.*

Fernandez missed spring, but should not lose his starting spot despite a decent spring by Ciccone. Crawley is an amazing athlete, and for the first half of spring was the best looking WR on the field. He will battle for a spot in the rotation, and could even start. Moore might make a move to defense to help out a struggling defensive backfield, after an average spring at wideout.

Outlook- Good. Phil Ghilarducci will give this unit even more size and talent come August.

CKyle Young Sr.*Robin Kezerian Sr.*Cameron Harris So.*Joe Bernardi Fr.

Young is considered by many the best center in America, but did line up at right tackle a bit in spring. He had decent spring, but the O line was working with a new assistant coach, Derek Frazier, and battled numerous injuries. Kezerian had a solid spring. He could start for just about any WAC school and about half of the Pac 10, that is how talented and deep the 'Dogs are at center and the entire O line. Harris is an athletic center. He had a decent spring, and would be a starter if the line wasn't so deep. Bernardi is a future four-year starter, and had the best spring of the bunch, but will probably redshirt considering the immense depth.

Outlook- As long is Young is at C, and not RT, this unit is the best in America.

RGCole Popovich So.*Richard Pacheco So.KezerianPierce Masse Fr.*

Popovich has moved to right guard, but missed spring while recovering from offseason surgery. Pacheco had a good spring, but probably not enough to unseat the incumbent. He can play either guard spot, and center if needed. Kezerian can play here if needed, showing his versatility. Masse had a solid spring and is a great young talent who gives the unit great depth.

Outlook- Outstanding. Lots of young talent.

LGRyan Wendell Jr.*Chris Piligian Jr.*Masse

Wendell was the only "healthy" starter besides Young during spring. He played some center in preseason practice in 2004, and again this spring. He has a strong hold at LG, and had a decent spring substantiate his position. Piligian has lined up at tackle and guard, but more than likely will back up Wendell, along with Kezerian and Masse.

Outlook- Outstanding. Best depth is Hill's tenure.

RTChris Denman Sr.*James Meeks Fr.*James Paulk Jr.*

Denman missed most of spring practice while nursing an injury, but should return to his spot at RT without a challenge. Meeks is as good as a tackle prospect Hill has had in his 10 years at Fresno State. He is still a little raw, but still would be an effective player at either tackle spot if needed. Paulk missed part of spring due to transfer issues. His absence was hardly noticed as the former JC standout was not in football shape all spring. Come August, Paulk will be one of many trying to fill the void at left tackle.

Outlook- Great, as long as Denham is 100%.

LTBobby Lepori So.*Adam McDowell So.*John Guevara So.*

Lepori took hold of this spot with a good spring. He will still have to fend off McDowell and Paulk come August though. McDowell moved back to OT from DE this spring and was impressive. He has bulked up to a solid 270-280, and has great footwork. Guevara is a talented young prospect, but got overpowered a bit much at the critical LT position during the spring. Guevara might be more suited for guard, or bulk up some more to be a better LT.

Outlook- Decent, Lepori took control, but lack of experience is a concern.


Anonymous said...

I noticed that Wright is listed as a Jr. Does he really have two years of eligibility left?

mdg said...

Wright missed two years with the same injury, and will be granted a medical reshirt giving him 6 years instead of 5.

However, most believe Wright will leave for the NFL after this year, if he has a good year. Can't blame him, he has a family to think of. But he will have the option to come back in 07, to elevate his stock or if he just wanted to play one more year.