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2017 DEPTH CHART ANALYSIS: Week 1 (Central Arkansas)

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BracketCat breaks down the depth chart for the Central Arkansas game by position group, and looks at what he predicted correctly and what he didn’t quite see coming.

#58 Trent Tanking
As expected, Trent Tanking will find himself lining up as the starting middle linebacker Saturday night.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The first official depth chart for the 2017 season was unveiled today. Have a look:

Offense

There are not a lot of surprises below, which is a good thing because it means that the offense has held steady through fall camp and we haven’t been plagued with injuries.

Quarterback, running back and tight end are exactly as expected. The only surprise at fullback is that Lenners will line up there instead of at the tight end position. It also is intriguing that Delton hasn’t yet put away Thompson as the backup quarterback.

I know some are disappointed that Strickland isn’t yet a sure-fire starter, but let’s not forget the guy hasn’t actually played a down yet. I am not at all surprised that Snyder would go with the proven, if still somewhat inexperienced, Zuber over Strickland.

I am glad Mitchell beat out Matthews for that right guard position, simply for the sake of continuity. This essentially means four returning starters will bracket Holtorf, who has taken all of the fall snaps at center and should be fine transitioning into that role.

Quarterbacks

  1. #16 Jesse Ertz
  2. #5 Alex Delton OR #10 Skylar Thompson
  3. #5 Alex Delton OR #10 Skylar Thompson

Fullbacks

  1. #38 Winston Dimel
  2. #87 Nick Lenners
  3. #25 Terrance Richards

Running Backs

  1. #34 Alex Barnes OR #32 Justin Silmon
  2. #34 Alex Barnes OR #32 Justin Silmon
  3. #3 Dalvin Warmack

Wide Receivers (X / Slot / Z)

  1. #9 Byron Pringle / #4 Dominique Heath / #7 Isaiah Zuber
  2. #21 Carlos Strickland II / #2 Isaiah Harris / #83 Dalton Schoen
  3. #15 Zach Reuter / #6 D.J. Render / #13 Chabastin Taylor

Tight Ends

  1. #88 Dayton Valentine
  2. #89 Blaise Gammon
  3. #84 Matt Jones

Left and Right Tackles

  1. #74 Scott Frantz / #71 Dalton Risner
  2. #77 Nick Kaltmayer / #78 Bryce Fitzner
  3. #76 Josh Rivas / #72 Evan Curl

Left and Right Guards

  1. #61 Abdul Beecham / #62 Tyler Mitchell
  2. #58 Breontae Matthews / #73 Alec Ruth
  3. #64 Glenn Williams / #54 Hayden Perry

Centers

  1. #79 Adam Holtorf
  2. #75 Dylan Couch
  3. #51 Tom Killilea

Defense

No real surprises in the defensive end ranks, where experience reigns, or at the starting linebacker positions. The same goes for the starting secondary, where the only battle of interest is Cre Moore’s attempt to hold off Durham after a position change.

It is nice to see fellow JUCO newcomers Patton and Walker already cracking the two-deep, if only for depth. Young linebackers Hughes and Sullivan also are making a move.

Parker and Neil took a lot of snaps with the twos at Fan Appreciation Day, so I’m not surprised they’re already backups, but man, that’s a lot of inexperience at a crucial position if either starter has to come out of the game. One hopes we won’t see a repeat back there of Dante Barnett being thrown into the fire at Baylor in 2012.

The biggest defensive surprise has to be true freshman Wiley beating out a ton of older defensive tackles to put himself in position to skip a redshirt and play snaps.

Newlan’s absence from the two-deep is surprising and makes me wonder if he’s still not fully recovered from whatever injury held him back last season. Or maybe we’ve just recruited over him, as the chrysalis emergence of Goolsby seems to indicate.

Defensive Ends

  1. #51 Reggie Walker / #34 Tanner Wood
  2. #44 Kyle Ball / #93 Davis Clark
  3. #90 Bronson Massie / #94 C.J. Reese

Defensive Tackles

  1. #60 Will Geary / #99 Trey Dishon
  2. #95 Ray Price / #59 Drew Wiley
  3. #91 Mitch Copeland / #50 Jordon Robertson

Linebackers (WILL / MIKE / SAM)

  1. #46 Jayd Kirby / #58 Trent Tanking / #41 Sam Sizelove
  2. #5 Da’Quan Patton / #32 Justin Hughes / #3 Elijah Sullivan
  3. #55 Ian Rudzik / #13 Chase Johnston / #37 Tyler White

Cornerbacks

  1. #8 Duke Shelley / #2 D.J. Reed
  2. #12 AJ Parker / #15 Walter Neil Jr.
  3. #4 Jordan Noil / #9 Gervarrius Owens

Nickelbacks (Cat Safeties)

  1. #23 Cre Moore OR #6 Johnathan Durham
  2. #23 Cre Moore OR #6 Johnathan Durham
  3. #17 Isaiah Stewart

Safeties (Strong / Free)

  1. #20 Denzel Goolsby / #21 Kendall Adams
  2. #7 Eli Walker / #18 Brogan Barry
  3. #19 Colby Moore / #29 Sean Newlan

Special Teams

There really are no surprises here at all. If we avoid the injury bug, this well could be one of Bill Snyder’s greatest overall special teams units in his entire coaching career.

Place Kickers

  1. #16 Matthew McCrane
  2. #22 Nick McLellan
  3. #10 Blake Lynch

Punters

  1. #14 Nick Walsh
  2. #9 Mitch Lochbihler
  3. #22 Nick McLellan

Kickoff Specialists

  1. #9 Mitch Lochbihler OR #16 Matthew McCrane
  2. #9 Mitch Lochbihler OR #16 Matthew McCrane
  3. #22 Nick McLellan

Kickoff Returners

  1. #9 Byron Pringle
  2. #2 D.J. Reed
  3. #4 Dominique Heath

Holders

  1. #9 Mitch Lochbihler
  2. #22 Nick McLellan
  3. #10 Blake Lynch

Punt Returners

  1. #4 Dominique Heath
  2. #9 Byron Pringle
  3. #2 D.J. Reed

Long Snappers

  1. #43 Drew Scott
  2. #45 David Tullis
  3. #38 Dalton Harman