Now that spring practices have concluded, it's only natural to assess where things stand. The most common way to do so is in the form of a depth chart, which coincidentally (or not) what we have for you today.
As with all of our spring coverage, it comes with the caveat that this only includes players who were here for the spring. So, at least for now, you won't see any of the other 2012 signees who will arrive later this summer and could have a significant impact on what the depth chart might look like the week of UTEP. However excluding those players just wouldn't be what we do here, so we'll give you some thoughts on how they could change things as well.
|Weak End||91||R.J. Washington|||||98||Chuka Ndulue|
|Tackle||97||Jamarkus McFarland|||||92||Stacy McGee|
|Tackle||53||Casey Walker|||||80||Jordan Phillips|
|Strong End||90||David King|||||37||Chaz Nelson|
|Strongside LB||5||Joseph Ibiloye|||||9||Gabe Lynn||OR||2||Julian Wilson|
|Middle LB||21||Tom Wort|||||55||Jaydan Bird|
|Weakside LB||7||Corey Nelson|||||20||Frank Shannon||OR||25||Aaron Franklin|
|Boundary CB||15||Lamar Harris|||||23||Kass Everett|
|Free Safety||1||Tony Jefferson|||||9||Gabe Lynn|
|Strong Safety||30||Javon Harris|||||29||Quentin Hayes|
|Field CB||6||Demontre Hurst|||||19||Joe Powell|
Some quick thoughts:
- Knowing Stoops, we're never going to really know who the backup QB is and given that the only way we'd likely ever know is Landry going down, I'm willing to bet you're just like me in that I'm just fine not knowing.
- The RB two deep is just window dressing until Dom Whaley comes back and Damien Williams arrives on campus. You might be somewhat surprised to not see Danzel Williams' name here, but I just think he's at least a year away from legitimately getting carries.
- As far as WR, I think there is a ton of room for movement here. I did not like having to put Trey Franks in as a starter I can tell you that. I firmly believe that once Durron Neal, Sterling Shepard, and Courtney Gardner arrive on campus they all seriously push the guys ahead of them for playing time. I do really like Kameel Jackson in the slot though.
- Been hearing some talk that has me worried about Ben Habern and his return from neck surgery. So for that reason I left him off the depth chart, at least for now. Don't think it's anywhere near the point of having to plan for the season without him, but I also don't think we can just assume he's back at 100% for UTEP.
- Assuming Habern does come back, I'm really not a fan of Ikard moving back to left guard and Adam Shead being a backup which is what I believe would happen. It's nothing against Ikard at all, I just firmly believe this line is at its best with Shead as a starter. And I don't think the coaches bump Tyler Evans for him, don't ask me why I'm just convinced it doesn't happen.
- It's funny to me that I'd be happy about a sophomore at left tackle that's never really played, but I really am. I've made my feelings on Lane Johnson being this team's starting LT pretty clear, but I also believe the coaches won't hesitate to pull the trigger if Thompson struggles.
- No real big surprises along the front four. Hoping that Geneo Grissom can come back from his foot surgery and find some kind of role on this defense, even if it's just in spots. Probably could have put Torrea Peterson as an 'OR' with Phillips as I think he'll get some snaps at DT this year as well.
- Much like Lane Johnson, I've made my opinion on Joseph Ibiloye pretty clear. I do think there is a role on this defense in which he could very successful, but in my opinion the coaches continue to fail to find that spot. I really like either Lynn or Wilson in this spot, but Ibby being the senior easily gets the nod with these coaches unless he really struggles.
- Mike Stoops is going to have a really difficult decision to make once Aaron Colvin comes back. Do you move him to corner which leaves Javon Harris, who has clearly struggled at times, at safety? Or do you leave him at safety and play an untested Lamar Harris and/or Kass Everett at corner as well as try and find some other spot for Harris? Tough call. I can see positives and possible negatives for both to be honest.