More Depth Chart Observations . . .

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by HelixTrojan, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. More Depth Chart Observations . . .
    HelixTrojan

    HelixTrojan Junior Member


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    #1
    Depth charts are usually written in sand at a lot of positions after Camp breaks.

    But besides the big and obvious stories we've chewed the fat on . . . QB, WR, CB and even PR . . . there are other sub-plots that bear watching this early season:

    · Frosh WR Devon Williams securing the 2nd string spot behind Tyler Vaughns over Soph. Randle Grimes. Williams and Grimes are the same size (6’4, 205lbs), but I’m told Williams' uncommon maturity has given him the early nod. Both of these kids can play.


    · OG Alijah Vera-Tucker has taken as much of a leap as any of the redshirt frosh. And although he’s backing up Soph. Andrew Voorhees this season . . . I look for him to be a starter next season opposite Voorhees at the other Guard spot when seniors Chris Brown and Jordan Austin graduate.


    · There’s always a valuable “swiss army knife” on the OLine – and this season it is probably Clayton Bradley who will be the primary back up at BOTH offensive tackle spots, even with Jalen McKenzie listed as 2nd string on the right side.

    . Young CBs Greg Johnson and Olajiah Griffin were as consistent as any of the DBs, with Johnson getting a co-starter designation. It is interesting and sad how Johnson and his close friend former HS teammate, WR Joseph Lewis, veered in opposite directions so quickly.

    · Notice the co-starter label for Sophs. Brandon Pili and Marlon Tuipolotu at the NT spot – which means Marlon is back to his old self after last year’s injury. The coaches rave about his technique as young player. This rotation of 630+lbs will be fun to watch.


    · The “D” in DLine stands for depth as Jay Tufele, Caleb Tremblay and Hunter Echols are reserves who will be heard from on the deepest unit of the team.


    · RBs for days – is there another trio like Stephen Carr, Aca’Cedric Ware and Vavae Malepeai in the Pac 12? The big news is Carr’s health . . . but the underrated news is the great camp that Aca’Cedric Ware had.


    · It was good to see backup ILB Levi Jones bounce back from early chest and ankle injuries. He is ready to play at either inside backer spot at a moment’s notice. And do not forget about Palaie Gaoteote’s return early this season.


    · The Nickel Back position is worth a lot more – Ajene Harris and Jonathan Lockett are as experienced as you can get. Lockett is fully back from injury and can play outside or inside, making the DB unit much stronger.


    · Redshirt Soph. CJ Pollard quietly had a very good camp and secured the back-up spot at strong safety over frosh Talanoa Hufanga. Talanoa will be good, but didn’t follow up his strong Spring this Fall. Coach Pendergast values scheme knowledge, and Pollard is rarely out of position.


    · Frosh OLB Kana’i Mauga was rewarded for his consistency and aggression with the 2nd string spot behind starter Jordan Iosefa. Mauga is 20lbs heavier since the Spring, and is currently ahead of Juliano Falaniko who is a solid football player.


    · One of my favorite developmental players is Safety Isaiah Pola Mao who occupies the 2nd string Free Safety spot behind Marvell Tell. But I’m not counting on Isaiah being the first guy off the bench if something happened to Tell. Isaiah is still learning to put the mental side of the game together with that outstanding physical tool set. Someone like Ajene Harris might be moved to that role in a pinch.


    Overall, the most encouraging thing to me is that for nearly every starter, there is a co-equal OR back-up who is young and talented in the reserve spot(s).

    We've seen this before . . . but it has not been this way for a little while.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
       
  2. Arhedge

    Arhedge Junior Member


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    #2
    Good post.

    I wonder how long Tufele will occupy that #2 spot on the depth chart. Malik Dorton is a good football player and a leader. I think it makes sense for him to be listed as the starter. But I'm not sure Dorton has the same physical skills that the youngster brings to the table. This feels similar to the Langley-Johnson situation to me.
     
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  3. HelixTrojan

    HelixTrojan Junior Member


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    #3
    It's interesting because the DT spot in Clancy's defense is a "situational" position.

    Tufele is a better pass rusher, but Dorton knows what he's doing in every scenario.

    I think they'll just rotate all season long . . . but I will be looking for #78.

    That DT spot probably plays the most against Stanford - who overloads a side of the line of scrimmage with OL, blocking TEs, and a fullback (who may be an OL too).

    Clancy employs my favorite defensive formation in those games . . . the "6, 4 , 1" . . . six defensive linemen, 4 linebackers, and 1 safety.
     
  4. reaLchaZZZy

    reaLchaZZZy Junior Member


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    #4
    great post Helix.

    The Pittman/Amon Ra #1/2 at the outside receiver position is really interesting.
    They both have different skill sets with similar big play explosiveness and I really wonder how this will play out over the course of the season. With this much talent at one position, I would much rather have them both on the field at the same time with one of them playing the slot. That to me presents the defense a much more difficult to defend matchup, especially with JT's ability to deliver an accurate long ball.
     
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  5. PickSicx

    PickSicx Junior Member


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    #5
    Just reading through the OP, its stunning how many Polynesian players we've got all over the depth chart. These are kids who flat-out play hard-nosed football and compete from morning to night.

    The number of vowels within the names on the depth chart has increased by 60% since Clay Helton started recruiting. Faith, Family, Football makes all the sense in the world to these kids and their families.
     
  6. GarryP

    GarryP Publisher

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    #7
    Glad you mentioned Pollard. He's got the Chris Hawkins-type trait of knowing where everybody is supposed to be and helping get guys lined up right. I really thought he had a good fall camp.
     
  7. HelixTrojan

    HelixTrojan Junior Member


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    #8
    . . . and we will see the trio of Vaughns, Pittman, and St. Brown on the field at the same time a lot.

    It just won't be exclusively.
     
  8. holt7153

    holt7153 Junior Member


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    #9
    I sure hope we see plenty of bodies rotated on the d-line. Jay, Marlon, Caleb, etc. are guys that need and deserve reps.
     
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  9. Tunaslam

    Tunaslam Junior Member


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    #10
    Fun read!
     
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  10. Rodgarnay51

    Rodgarnay51 Junior Member


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    #11
    Yes, there is another trio like Stephen Carr. . . . Bryce Love and any two guys with a pulse.
     
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  11. Rodgarnay51

    Rodgarnay51 Junior Member


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    #12
    I agree, and to take the Langley-Johnson comparison a step further, CB is the only area on the team that seems thin, IMO.
     
  12. Troy70

    Troy70 Junior Member


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    #13
    Agree, when I saw Jay in Spring camp he looked like rising star
     
  13. HelixTrojan

    HelixTrojan Junior Member


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    #14
    . . . and you know where CJ's football IQ comes from . . . Papa Marvin.
     
  14. twincitytrojan

    twincitytrojan Junior Member


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    #15
    Haven't been this deep in a decade...amazing.

    This season hinges on that o-line. Plain and simple. The rest will take care of itself, including a true freshman QB.
     
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  15. El Rincon

    El Rincon New Member


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    #16
    I've seen a report where Dedich has been used as a short yardage fullback...
     
  16. TrojanFireHorse12

    TrojanFireHorse12 Junior Member


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    #17
    I'd rather see CJ take that Tell spot, instead of Harris.
     
  17. mvpreed2

    mvpreed2 Junior Member


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    #18
    I wouldn’t say thin, to me more like unproven.
    We have quality veterans in Marshall/Harris/Langley and Lockett.
    Then we have a lot of heralded freshmen that are unproven in Johnson/Williams/Griffin/Taylor-Stuart, but the potential seems to be there, they just need the reps to get there.

    S would be our thinnest position in terms of quality with only one returning S (Tell) and our only other proven returner is now going to transfer (Ross).
     
  18. mvpreed2

    mvpreed2 Junior Member


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    #19
    I do enjoy seeing so many underclass men sitting at #2 or co-starters on the depth chart.
    That shows me that the talent is beginning to close the gap regardless of experience.
    2019 and even 2020 are going to be fun to watch with so many Soph/RS Fr & Fr coming down the pipes right now.
     
  19. heyrev

    heyrev Junior Member


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    #20
    When we see several Redshirt Juniors/Seniors along that OL, we'll really know the roster's back in full.
     

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