Since we're only one day from the start of spring practice, I feel like now is the appropriate time to address pre-spring expectations.
Houston Nutt's first spring saw a clamoring to fill mutliple holes. Marshay and Jeremy McGee made the switch from offense to defense while Daverin Geralds stepped into the shoes that our previous center, Cory Actis, had so dutifully worn in a penalizing fashion. There were question marks all over that team. Who would win the starting job at free safety? Would Cordera Eason be the back we had all hoped for, or would he continue running into the backs of blockers and never finding holes that were standing right in front of him? Was Jevan Snead the next bust waiting to happen, or would our prayers finally be answered at quarterback?
Entering this spring, there are significantly fewer questions which is a sign of a very improved situation for our football team. Peria Jerry and Michael Oher's replacements must be found but, aside from that, the team returns more-or-less intact. We already know that our offense will produce because our coaches have proven they can get a team to move the ball. I'll say it: if Houston Nutt and Kent Austin somehow had a child together, it would probably be the most perfect, non-heavenly offensive playcalling being in the universe. Evar.
While injuries have sidelined some players that we wanted to see in action (Melvin Harris, EJ Epperson, the new and improved Greg Hardy), the team is generally healthy. Also, the two deep looks excellent headed into the spring. Here's how I see it:
QB: Jevan Snead / Billy Tapp (though this is probably out of courtesy)
HB: Brandon Bolden (recently announced #1 spot) / Cordera Eason
FB: Andy Hartmann / Derrick Davis
SE: Shay Hodge / Markeith Summers
FL: Dexter McCluster / Lionel Breaux
LT: Bradley Sowell / Logan Clair
LG: Rishaw Johnson / Mark Jean-Louis
C: Daverin Geralds / Brandon Green (eesh)
RG: Reid Neely / Don Mosley
RT: John Jerry / Alex Washington
DE: Marcus Tillman / Emmanuel Stephens
NT: Ted Luarent / Jelly Powe
DT: Lawonn Scott / Justin Smith
DE: Kentrell Lockett / Craig Drummond OR Gerald Rivers
OLB: Allen Walker / Lamar Brumfield
MLB: Jonathan Cornell / Jason Jones
OLB: Patrick Trahan / Lekenwic Haynes
CB: Marshay Green / Jeremy McGee
CB: Cassius Vaughn / Marcus Temple
FS: Kendrick Lewis / Jared Mitchell
SS: Johnny Brown / Fonterrian Ingram
Aside from the fact that the offensive line is a crapshoot--and not a very good one at that--the team looks pretty good. The only other real question I see on the two deep is Haynes. I've heard rave reviews (personally and from our sources which encourage us to make stuff up for cash) on Gerald Rivers, Craig Drummond and Jason Jones.
So this brings us to the question at hand. We're going to be able to make a lot of practices. We've got some guys we're sending to the ones we can't make to get notes. Which players should we focus on? Answer the poll question. We'll be sure to keep an eye on the top three players and include them in every practice report.