2017 RU spring depth chart projection – Receivers and O-line

As RU’s bowl eligibility and respectability have evaporated with the horrendous play lately, it is time to start preparing for 2017. So let’s continue by looking at  the spring 2017 projected depth chart on offense with WR and OL (QB/RB here). For the first pass we will not assume any early enrollees.

Wide Receiver/Tight End:

This unit is the opposite of the QB position where there will be a lot of turnover, and with Mitchell and Washington eligible after transferring, could be vastly improved. At the very least it provides hope that the team will have more completions against the B1G East powers. The depth on the unit could be tested.

First guess:

  1. WR1 – Mitchell / ??: From what we have heard, he is a stud if he can remain on the field. After that, it’s anybody’s guess who would be the backup.
  2. WR2 – Harris/ Tsimis: Harris has shown a ton of promise despite spending his springs on the baseball diamond. Tsimis is reliable
  3. Slot – Grant / Bailey: Pending his medical redshirt and not trying the NFL draft, this would be a nice addition. He also might still be injured so Bailey would get the first shot at this position to get the best players on the field.
  4. Tight End – Washington / Flanagan: This guy will be eligible with two years remaining and could be a star based on his recruiting rankings. Flanagan can catch the ball when defenses ignore him.
  5. Reserves – Perry, Jabbie, Parker, Bah, Blunt: Hopefully one will emerge, most likely Jabbie who will at least play on special teams.

Offensive Line:

The offensive line was supposed to be the strength of the team, but has been average or below average at times this season. With another year in the new scheme coupled with the ascension of some of the more athletic linemen we will hopefully see signs of improvement. With all the graduating seniors, this group does look thin, which is normal on the offensive line as it usually takes guys time to develop.

First guess:

  1. LT – Cole: He has the athleticism and will continue to improve.
  2. LG –  Applefield: Has already shown to be a servicable backup and with continued improvement could be a sold starter.
  3. C – Miller: Has has played guard for two years, but with the experience at other positions might need to slide to center.
  4. RG – Heeman: Like Applefield, he has shown he can be a backup and looks to be a better fit in this system than a pro set where he might have been overpowered as a tackle.
  5. RT – Seymour: Only moved to OL this fall, he has the size and quickness evidenced by already being on the two-deep. He could be real good.
  6. Reserves – Taylor, Jackson, Venesky, Krimin. The first three have been in and out of the two deep and seem to possess more athleticism than current starters. Krimin was a high recruit but it’s not clear what position is most appropriate for a guy of his size in this offense yet. If he’s good, they will find a spot, right guard if I have to guess because then Heeman can be a fall back plan at RT if Seymour does not progress.

RU spring depth chart projection – offensive backfield

With the New York Mets fan contingent in the Bay Area, we held an annual “Mets funeral” where we vented our frustrations about the current season and looked forward to the following season (even as soon as July in 2011-2012). Luckily, Rutgers still has 5 games that with a whole lot of luck, could result in a win or two. Regardless, as bowl eligibility and respectability have evaporated with the horrendous play lately, it is time to start preparing for 2017. So let’s start by looking at  the spring 2017 projected depth chart on offense with QB and RB. For the first pass we will not assume any early enrollees.

Quarterback:

The good news: everyone is eligible to return. The bad news: everyone is eligible to return. This will be the third straight spring where it’s the same cast of characters: Laviano, Rettig, Gio, and Mike Dare. Throw in Oden, Zach Allen and we have more players (6) than passes completed (5) in the two week stretch of death. Throw in the possibility of an early enrollee (Lewis PLEASE!!!!!!) and we’re in for drama yet again barring huge strides from someone for the last 5 games this year.

First guess:

  1. Gio – he can run and has thrown significantly fewer passes than anyone else on the roster seemingly giving him a lot more potential. If the offense shows signs of life, he will get the first crack in spring.
  2. Oden – With Gio starting, Tylin Oden gets the logical backup job because he is the closest in terms of skillset making game planning easier. He has shown signs of game breaking running ability as a true freshman.
  3. Laviano – He could transfer, but remember that he has been through 4 offensive coordinators so there is still a chance he could improve, but the team and fans may never embrace him regardless.
  4. Allen – He also has one year of eligibility remaining and has a strange road this season. He was the backup since he and Laviano are close in skillset, but when the team wanted a change of pace would go with someone else. He could still be shaking off rust so you never know how he will improve.
  5. Rettig – He never got a fair shot in actual games but as has been written many times, three coaching staffs did not feel he could play game snaps, so he could transfer to FCS for his last year of eligibility. But it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he made a random appearance this year and just chucked the ball all over the yard.
  6. Dare – He has been a trooper, but has to be a candidate for a transfer to the FCS, especially due to the lack of fit in power spread and three more years of eligibility.

Running back:

The running back position which appeared to be scarily devoid of talent in spring 2013 became the best unit on the team the last four years despite the decommits of two stars on other teams Hilliman (BC) and Barkley (PSU). Hicks and Snorweah have been moved to the secondary and now back to HB. This group may be scarily thin with a transfer or injuries.

First guess:

  1. Martin – Please don’t leave for NFL!!!!
  2. Hicks – This staff needs to get him on the field more.
  3. Sneed – Has showed promise and could be a solid player.
  4. Snorweah – Most of the time RBs play right away if they are good, but academic issues and positional logjam have not let him show what he can do yet, so he could also be a good player.

Rough weekends … first world problems … sports

My wife has a job where actually lives are at stake, so anytime I have a bad day (like this past Monday), it should make me feel better about my first world white collar problems. That said one way to express the emotion you can’t when staring at a computer is by watching sports! And what’s great is even if your team loses it doesn’t really matter, best described by Jerry Seinfeld. One example.

So i caught up with the most invested sports fan I know, Mr. Dirty Jersey. He lives in San Francisco which means he watches his teams alone or at bars filled with their fans (like the Wreck Room for the Jets). Note that Jets fans will take any excuse for doing the famous J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! chant when surrounded by other fans. San Diego example.

BD: I’m sure there have been worse sports weekends in your near 30 year career as a fan, but how do you measure this one?

Dirty: Penn Sprint football won 14-9, which game some level of satisfaction being that they beat Army, but otherwise I didn’t have much other than pent up emotion that had no where to go.
BD: What happened on Saturday?
Dirty: In the Rutgers game, the tying TD to make it 7-7 and a sack on 3rd down of the following drive were the only times I got to Jersey fist pump and cheer, which they then turned over and give up a TD first play afterward. Their best play which was a 76 yard screen pass to their best player didn’t even end in a cheer because A. he’s now out for the season after being injured on the play and B. they failed to score on 4 plays inside the 5. And then they have OSU next week, ouch. And the Mets go down 10-0 only to come back to 10-8 with so many chances in the final innings.
BD: Ouch. Literally.
Dirty: This frustration carried to the Jets, but then …. 8 turnovers! Not a single Jets chant, even though much like that soccer announcer who doesn’t do anything except say a goal might be near and then yells GOOOOOL, there were so many chances in the red zone (4) that were just about to cause an eruption of emotion. This is the earliest in the season dud ever, and may have the most near Jets chants that were not to be unlike 2012 Niners game where there was no sniff compounded by being surrounded by 49ers faithful.
So looking at the past 7 seasons when i exclusively watch at bars, I recall the following zero Jets chant games. Which is ridiculous how many there actually are, but off the top of my head 2010: 45-3 game which was then avenged making it ok, the aforementioned 49ers game in 2012. ’13: Down 28-0 to Cincinnati in the 1st quarter! The bills game after the bye, 2014: bills 38-3 after they did not practice due to a blizzard! None last year.
But how many would the pats have?!?!?!?!?
BD: And all this on a day when the Mets, yes the New York Mets won 17-0.
Dirty: True, and at the end of the weekend, the Mets still lead the wild card, Jets have a lot of football to play, and Rutgers still has 4 winnable games (maybe) on their schedule to achieve bowl eligibility. So sports doesn’t matter anyway and this weekend may go down not even being remembered.
Full list compiled:
2010: full: the 45-3 game, possible: the 9-0 packers loss (though im sure there was a 3rd down stop somewhere)
2011: possible: Eagles loss that made them 8-6
2012: full: 49ers game, possible: miami game, doesn’t count: bills week 17
2013: full: Cinci, weeks 11-13 worst 3 weeks of football i have ever seen
2014: full: SD 31-0, and bills 38-3
2015: zero, though week 17 was painful we still had jets chant on Decker’s TD
2016: this game