Thursday, August 10, 2006

Early Position Battles

This is the time of year when the coaches have the chance to evaluate talent on a daily basis without having to prepare for a game. That means there is a lot of competiton going on for playing time, and of course being included for the game plan for SJSU.

I thought I would highlight the major preseason position battles.

ILB.....Taj Bomar goes into fall as the starter but the coaches would like to see Tuiasosopo make a move for playing time. Not exactly close starting drills as Tui is still knocking off the rust.

OLB....We have all heard about the Howell vs White battle. Good possibility that White quits the team rather than battle it out with Howell. It is going to nice to see EJ Savannah finally play and get into the mix.

DE....SR Brandon Ala is listed behind RS Daniel Teo Nesheim. Ala has had plenty of opportunity since he has been here, hopefully he will be able to have a stellar year filling in, because don't think he can beat out Daniel.

S.....Forrester, Hemphill, Wells, and Palmer. Palmer is still waiting to get in, Forrester won the job this Spring and most likely will be the starter against SJSU. Wells can play corner or safety. Darin Harris is out for the year with a back injury.

RB....James and Ranking square off with the advantage going to Rankin because of health. Shelton Sampson needs to show he can hang onto the ball. Mosley will start out at RB since Meyers isn't in yet, the coaches like his quickness.

FB....Palaita and an improved Kravitz will fight it out all year. Paul Homer is a frosh that could end up playing if there is a problem with depth.

TE...,The Huskies are getting close to getting the talent level at TE back to where it used to be. Gottleib is the starter going in, but there will be heavy competiton between him, Kirton, and Lewis. All three will play. Behind them Williams and Harris are capable, and talented.

WR....The Huskies have nine good pretty good receivers. Russo, Williams, and Shackleford are going to be your starters, but Marcel Reese is a possible star waiting to happen. Daniels, Ellis, Wood, and Mercier are all in the mix too. The Huskies may have found a diamond in the rough that other schools missed in recruiting Goodwin, the early returns on him is that he is a player...they love his speed.

No word yet on what is going on with the return teams. Wood will probably be the main option for returning punts and kickoffs if he is 100%. Russo of course has experience returning punts. Not sure who the other kickoff return guy will be, maybe Rankin. We could use another guy or two to emerge here. Another spot to try Mosley at who has great quickness.


Jim said...

All of those players at WR and DB. Sure would be nice if we could improve the quality on the lines.

Health Insurance Expert said...

That is the key to the whole year, the performance of the offensive line. If they can get productivity up there they have as good a chance as anyone to get to a bowl game.

prrbrr said...

JohnB, I think you forgot CJ Wallace at safety, I think by game 4 (pac10) it will be Wallace and Palmer, with Hemphill and Forrester gettinhg much play also. If Scott White is gone, should we move up a safety like Forrester a little closer to the line like we did with Carothers?

Health Insurance Expert said...

I didn't forget CJ, he just isn't in a position battle, he has his spot nailed down. I think he may be the best Safety in the conference.

White by the way is staying, he just had to blow off some steam. I think it's good, the coaches got his attention and raised the bar for him.

Forrester is definitely staying at Safety, as well as Hemphill, not enough depth to move any of the DB's. If White had quit Trew, Gage, and Houston would have battled for the backup spot.

It says a lot when you have been in the program as long as Trew when younger walkons are out performing you.

hairofthedawg said...

I agree with John that Wallace has his spot nailed down. Best in conference? We'll see, but I hope so. My favorite part of the secondary is Goldson at corner, as long as he knows when to switch on and off the killer instinct. Some RBs coming around the edge are going to feel the pain...and it makes me smile.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I think the secondary is going to be solid, but the loss of Harris because of a back injury, and the absense of Ashley Palmer can hold back what the defense can do.

We are still shallow back here despite the best of efforts as far as recruiting goes. While we are shallow, compared to last year we are in much better shape going in.

I think Goldson is going to have a great year if he learns how to play the ball.

Is Wallace the best Safety in the conference? I think he will prove to be exactly that.

Too bad bonehead Gilby played him, Gunheim, and Rayford as frosh, what a waste.

hairofthedawg said...

I agree with you about the use of them as true frosh, but in the situation Gilbertson was, I would have been desperate too. Hindsight's for fans, foresight is what Keith should have used.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Funny thing is the redshirt years were just wasted because none of those guys were ready, or even contributed more than a few series.