Monday, August 25, 2008

Breaking down the depth chart


Bret Bielema announced the Badgers' opening day depth chart last week, and here's what it looks like. Not many surprises, but a few things I feel compelled to comment on.

Offense
Quarterback
4 Allan Evridge, 6-2, 212, Sr.
18 Dustin Sherer, 6-4, 213, Jr.

Again, feeling strangely confident in Evridge. What might hold him back is not his performance, but the inexperience of his receiving corps, although we have arguably the best group of tight ends in the country.

Tailback
39 P.J. Hill, 5-11, 236, Jr.
30 Zach Brown, 5-11, 207, So.

Is John Clay #3, or is Bradie Ewing? I really hope it doesn't matter.

Fullback
44 Chris Pressley, 6-1, 259, Sr.
34 Bill Rentmeester, 6-1, 248, Sr.

Sounds like Pressley's going to miss the opener with a broken finger. Doesn't matter much, as long as we can run out of two-tight end sets, as I think we can.

Wide Receiver
85 David Gilreath, 5-11, 165, So.
1 Nick Toon, 6-3, 214, Fr. OR
13 Daven Jones, 6-1, 200, So.

Wide Receiver
3 Maurice Moore, 5-11, 167, So. OR
7 Kyle Jefferson, 6-5, 175, So.
6 Issac Anderson, 5-11, 176, So.

Right now, this looks like the weakest group of Badger wide receivers since 2002, when Lee Evans' injury forced Jonathan Orr, Brandon Williams and Darrin Charles into prominent roles prematurely. Then again, two years ago I might have said the same thing about Luke Swan and Paul Hubbard. If Jefferson becomes the big-play guy he can be, and Gilreath becomes the slippery underneath guy a la Williams, they'll be fine.

H-Back
9 Travis Beckum, 6-4, 235, Sr.
84 Lance Kendricks, 6-4, 227, So.

Tight End
89 Garrett Graham, 6-4, 237, Jr.
36 Mickey Turner, 6-4, 252, Jr.

Really like what this group can do.

Left Tackle
68 Gabe Carimi, 6-8, 301, So.
78 Jake Bscherer, 6-7, 294, Jr.

Left Guard
75 Andy Kemp, 6-6, 315, Sr.
60 Jake Current, 6-4, 278, Fr. OR
66 Peter Konz, 6-6, 300, Fr.

Center
74 John Moffitt, 6-4, 323, So.
76 Bill Nagy, 6-4, 300, So.

Right Guard
63 Kraig Urbik, 6-6, 332, Sr.
70 Kevin Zeitler, 6-4, 285, Fr.

Right Tackle
71 Eric Vanden Heuvel, 6-7, 324, Sr.
67 Josh Oglesby, 6-7, 328, Fr.

Three true freshmen on the two-deep, as well as a redshirt freshman in Oglesby. I don't see a big drop-off in the line next season.

Defense
Left End
50 O’Brien Schofield, 6-3, 232, Jr.
45 Dan Moore, 6-2, 280, Jr. OR
97 Brendan Kelly, 6-6, 230, Fr.

Left Tackle
91 Jason Chapman, 6-4, 285, Sr.
95 Patrick Butrym, 6-4, 264, Fr.

Right Tackle
54 Mike Newkirk, 6-3, 264, Sr.
79 Jeff Stehle, 6-6, 290, Jr.

Right End
92 Matt Shaughnessy, 6-6, 253, Sr.
99 Kirk DeCremer, 6-5, 230, So. OR
93 Louis Nzegwu, 6-3, 228, Fr.

Sam Linebacker
11 DeAndre Levy, 6-3, 228, Sr.
42 Erik Prather, 6-3, 227, Jr.

Mike Linebacker
47 Jaevery McFadden, 6-3, 220, Jr.
15 Culmer St. Jean, 6-1, 228, So.

Elijah Hodge isn't even on the two-deep. After his brother's outstanding career at Iowa, he was one recruit I was really excited to get, second only to Beckum in that recruiting class. But he couldn't beat out St. Jean, who was no world beater last year, and McFadden, who doesn't appear to be the second coming of Mike Singletary. Hopefully he can still pull it together and contribute in his last two seasons.

Will Linebacker
2 Jonathan Casillas, 6-2, 226, Sr.
27 Blake Sorensen, 6-1, 217, So.

Sounds like Casillas won't play against Akron, and I would bet he's not on the field much against Marshall. We're going to need him against Fresno, though.

Left Cornerback
23 Mario Goins, 6-1, 186, Fr.
7 Aaron Henry, 6-0, 191, So. OR
26 Antonio Fenelus, 5-10, 175, Fr.

Interesting to see Fenelus's name here, didn't count on him being in the mix so early in his career. I like Goins' size.

Strong Safety
12 Jay Valai, 5-9, 197, So.
8 Aubrey Pleasant, 6-1, 198, Jr.

Free Safety
25 Shane Carter, 6-2, 202, Jr.
21 Chris Maragos, 6-0, 189, Jr.

Right Cornerback
17 Allen Langford, 5-11, 189, Sr. OR
29 Niles Brinkley, 5-10, 177, So.

Special Teams
Punter
98 Brad Nortman, 6-3, 215, Fr.

Placekicker
96 Matt Fischer, 5-11, 179, Jr. OR
18 Philip Welch, 6-3, 190, Fr.

Long Snapper
81 Dave Peck, 6-5, 246, Sr.
57 Drew Woodward, 6-4, 228, Jr.

Holder
21 Chris Maragos, 6-0, 189, Jr.
98 Brad Nortman, 6-3, 215, Fr.

Punt Returners
85 David Gilreath, 5-11, 165, So.
3 Maurice Moore, 5-11, 167, So.

Kickoff Returners
85 David Gilreath, 5-11, 165, So.
3 Maurice Moore, 5-11, 167, So.

If Gilreath and Moore are indeed our starting receivers, that's not a lot of beef out there. Jefferson's no sumo wrestler, either. Weight and strength are not necessarily a prerequisite for success at the position, but they certainly help beating jams and in the running game.

Finally: what's with all these "ORs" that started popping up on the depth chart a couple years ago. It's a two-deep, not a three-deep — make up your mind and pick someone!

15 comments:

Mr.Man said...

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the O-line next year. With both starting guards graduating, and the back-ups at both positions being freshmen, I have to think they'll move Bscherer to guard. You would not want a guy that talented serving as a back-up his entire career.

Scott Tappa said...

Interesting you note Bscherer. If he was so talented, why didn't he beat out Carimi at left tackle last year? Is Carimi that good? Or could it be that Bscherer, like some other highly-touted linemen that have come to Madison, isn't as good as his high school rankings? I hope it's because Carimi, EVH, and the other starters are just really good, and that Bscherer will enjoy a couple good years as a starter.

Mr.Man said...

From what I've read, he's not untalented. He's just not the athlete that Carimi is. I think they went with the guy with the biggest upside, and that was Gabe.
And they've been using Bscherer as their jumbo TE in short-yardage situations for a while now. I do admit to being unduly influenced by the recruiting rankings though.

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