I know we still need to win out for this to be a successful season, but I am wondering who will return, emerge, or arrive next year to be SEC caliber players? At this point, the proven SEC caliber players returning are:
Now, who might emerge after another year with Herbert and after spring/fall practices?
a. Froholdte (He came a long way this year and I think he can be very good in time.)
b. Gibson (He made a huge difference this year after he finally got to play and expect him to season up nicely.)
c. Hammond (I think Enos can scheme him as a slotback-jetsweep-screen terror in the SEC.)
d. Jones (Great speed and a better head than Reed)
e. Cantrell (275 pounds, catches passes, runs well, and a good blocker)
f. Capps (I think he can be scary good after a full year with Herbert.)
g. Bijhon Jackson (he played well against LSU and may finally be coming into his own)
h. Scoota Harris? Maybe
i. Ramsey? Maybe
Who might arrive on campus and make an instant impact?
A. Jeremy Patton (Top rated JC tight end. Can he come in, learn the offense, and adjust to the speed of the game in the SEC?)
B. Montaric Brown (Can a true freshman play safety in the SEC? Probably not, but if any can this one can and the position is wide open.)
On offense, we are two tackles away from having a very good offense. Can Wallace, Jackson, Merrick, etc. develop into SEC caliber tackles? Is there a JC tackle who could come in and start? On defense, we need help badly at defensive end, at safety, and at corner. That assumes Scoota, Greenlaw, and Ramsey can play well at LB. Could Jamario Bell suddenly blossom into an SEC defensive end? We badly need new players to come in or come up and play well on defense and, so far, I am not seeing near enough on the roster or in this recruiting class. Looks like another year of having to outscore the opposition to win. JMVVVHO
I think I’d list Briston Guidry as a difference maker on the list of defensive players. I didn’t see him on your list. I’d also add Jonathan Marshall. All four of the freshmen DLs will play next year. I also think you will see juco transfer Michael Taylor (sitting out this year because of juco transfer issues and on the UA practice field) make it into the rotation at end.
Cornerback Britto Tutt will be back after ACL surgery. He should be full go by summer and I’d expect him to add some speed to the secondary.
I think there will be some new faces at safety, both from last year’s class with Edwards and Micahh Smith.
As far as helping in the offensive line, don’t be surprised to hear a lot about walk-on Dylan Hays during the bowl practices. I know the coaches like him a lot. I think Paul Ramirez and Jake Heinrich will make a move, too. Jalen Merrick has been getting better all season. I am hopeful that the worst is over as far as offensive line play.
I will be interested to see who emerges at the OT positions. I think Wallace is now set, but I think the team is heavy on guards and low on tackles. Replacing Skipper might be the hardest to do.
Next will be the secondary. It just can’t remain like this. I would be looking at every athlete on the team to see if they can help here. They will never make that last big step with a Sunbelt secondary. I like the players as individuals and thought some would be SEC quality, but they continue to fail.
I think they have the athletes to handle the rest of it.
Don’t forget TJ Smith on the DL. CBB is very high on him.
After watching Coley take a bad angle and never touching the QB on his 76 yard run first and then Ramirez barely touching him on a missed tackle on his next TD run, I give up on these safeties. They try hard, occasionally make a big play like Ramirez’s hit on Kelly, the OleMiss QB, to win the game but they are just too inconsistent and usually don’t make the play.
Our safeties failed to make a one-on-one tackle on a QUARTERBACK twice. We are not talking about Fournette or Guice from LSU. We are not talking about great athletes with great quickness. Is expecting them to grab an ankle and hang on expecting too much?
I hope there is a player somewhere in the pipeline that can kick off into the endzone for us,As well as as someone that is proficient in the return game. Both of these things are costing us dearly in my opinion.
Sigh. People are so darn fixated on this that they can’t see that we’re on the whole better off now than we would be if every kick went out of the end zone. If you kick to the 3 and make the tackle on the 22, you’re three yards better than a touchback. And on average the starting position after our kickoffs is the 24. We’ve given up one long return this year, when the TCU guy broke a tackle.
Improvement in the return game would help, but the problem is not the returner. Our kickoff return unit seems to be allergic to blocking anyone. However, we had our best kickoff return of the season Saturday night at Moo U; Stewart got out to the 39 late in the third quarter!
When Hogmo says “After watching Coley take a bad angle and never touching the QB on his 76 yard run first and then Ramirez barely touching him on a missed tackle on his next TD run, I give up on these safeties.”
This is the point I made; notably, that of Ramirez’s “artful dodge”. I think it’s a mindset, and I wonder if it is alterable with good coaching. If he’s been trained time and time again about the importance of proper tackling and then plays his flag football, then to me he doesn’t have the mindset to challenge the ball carrier and he will continue to reach for that flag and, therefore, remain/become a liability to our program. He might need to wear a pink jersey.
I’m not giving up on Ramirez and Coley, but I do think we’ve got to develop depth in the secondary as a whole, and most especially at safety. Depth (i.e., competition) tends to make people improve if they want playing time.