– Decommits weren’t a bad thing. There are four true freshman in starting slots to begin the season – CB Chris Westry, TE C.J. Conrad, OT Georga Asafo-Adjei, and KOR Sihiem King. Four other true freshman made the two-deep. Of those eight true freshmen that will be asked to play early, four of them were late pickups after the late decommittments – Westry, King, Derrick Baity, and Josh Allen.
For those keeping score on the redshirt freshmen, 12 grace the coveted two-deep.
– Juice is so nice, they named him twice. He hasn’t done anything on the field yet, but his hype is reinforced by being the only wide receiver on the depth chart at multiple positions, starting at the slot and third as an outside receiver. Man, I can’t wait to watch this guy do work on Saturday.
– Westry is solid, the other corner will be competitive. Westry has looked the part and played the part, likely locking up his spot, but the other cornerback position will be an interesting storyline to follow. Cody Quinn has fought rigorously to keep his spot, but Baity’s length and quick-twitch response is impeccable. Kendall Randolph is listed as McClain’s backup at nickel, but he’s too good to be a reserve and will likely see time on an island at cornerback. I don’t know how he will do, but as one of the defense’s best blitzers, he could play a dynamic role for the defense.
– Does Timmons Still Got It? If he does, we will definitely see a return touchdown this season.
– The two-deep at DLine is solid. This defensive line doesn’t have the names that WOW you like Bud and Z, but all are formidable. No matter who you throw out there on the two-deep, Jimmy Brumbaugh and D.J. Eliot shouldn’t lose a step. It doesn’t matter what the name is on the back of the jersey, you can feel confident in their production. The only exception is Melvin Lewis, but Matt Elam isn’t too far behind.
– Montgomery’s knee is still an issue. Stoops didn’t reveal any minor setbacks until today’s press conference. It’s unfortunate, because Montgomery’s massive frame and hands are invaluable. Hopefully he can get some game reps and regain his confidence.
– Outside responsibility will fall on True Freshmen. Jason Hatcher’s two-game suspension hasn’t left the Cats empty-handed, but if Jabari Johnson cannot go, true freshman Josh Allen will be forced to take his place. The same applies to the other side of the ball – if RS freshman Denzil Ware needs to be replaced, early enrollee Kengera Daniel will have to step in. I am concerned, because there aren’t many more spots on the defense with more responsibility than containing the outside, either standing up or with their hand on the turf.
– Redshirting Greenwood and Richardson is HUGE for future wide receiver depth. Both guys are able enough to play, but Stoops will be playing it safe to start, redshirting them if depth allows it. Most of the receivers are either true sophomores or redshirt freshmen. Redshirting Greenwood and Richardson staggers the classes so there isn’t a mass exodus that leaves the receiving corps empty-handed.