HomeTrending TopicsFaculty soccer’s greatest depth chart battles and hardest choices coming into Week 1 – CBSSports.com
Posted in Trending Topics on 25th August 2018

After an extended offseason and a tumultuous preseason camp, Week 1 is sort of right here. And with the arrival of recreation week comes the discharge of depth charts. Although quite a lot of the preseason camp battles have already been fought and gained, there’s nonetheless some suspense as to who’s atop these first depth charts and takes these first snaps subsequent weekend.

These are the battles nonetheless publicly undecided and what it’s best to learn about every. In spite of everything, you realize we’re simply going to get a bunch of co-starters and “OR” designations this week.

Alabama quarterback

Contenders: Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts

The rundown: That is essentially the most hyped place battle of the offseason. It is Hurts’ 26-2 file versus Tagovailoa’s nationwide title-winning half. There isn’t any query who makes this offense higher, and that is the lefty from Hawaii. Tua is likely one of the most gifted pure passers within the nation. and he has an arsenal of weapons to distribute to. So, he in all probability needs to be the starter. That does not imply he can be.

Alabama is all the time leaning on its protection. That it’s going to have its most dynamic offense of Nick Saban’s tenure does not essentially imply it will likely be anxious to go all Massive 12 on us. Terrell Lewis, Christopher Allen and the dismissal of Vandarius Cowan cuts into the depth of a entrance seven that feels extra shallow than we’re used to seeing from the Tide. Maybe meaning Saban desires to lean on the ball management, methodical drubbing that Hurts can hand opponents over the quick-strike, increased danger Tagovialoa.

Projection: Tagovailoa … and the protection can be simply positive.

Clemson quarterback

Contenders: Kelly Bryant, Trevor Lawrence

The rundown: Bryant led Clemson to a Faculty Soccer Playoff look. Lawrence has a pair highschool state championships and a spring recreation underneath his belt. They’re enjoying underneath the identical coach that was happy with a freshman Deshaun Watson sharing time with Cole Stoudt.

However rather a lot has modified since 2014. A real freshman beat one other true freshman to win a nationwide title final yr. A real freshman practically beat Clemson one yr earlier. And Lawrence is likely one of the most adorned highschool quarterbacks of all-time. For maybe the primary time in Dabo Swinney’s tenure, something lower than a nationwide championship this fall can be disappointing. Lawrence is definitely the one that provides Clemson the higher shot.

Projection: Kelly … till Clemson runs up towards a protection that calls for a dynamic passer at quarterback. That will not be till Florida State in late October. Or it might occur at Kyle Area in Week 2. Then, Lawrence takes over.

Auburn operating again

Contenders: Kam Martin, Jatarvious Whitlow

The rundown: It does not matter. Gus Malzahn will discover a option to run the soccer. That is the place it all the time begins with Malzhan: a downhill run recreation. This yr, Auburn returns one of many high quarterbacks within the nation and a protection that’s loaded. For as soon as, operating again is the query.  

Malzhan is 2 years faraway from milking 1,200 yards out of Kamryn Pettway. He is had a unique main rusher every of his 5 years as head coach at Auburn. The excellent news is there are many choices. Martin is essentially the most skilled. Whitlow is essentially the most proficient. They’ve completely different kinds. There are different our bodies within the secure too that may add extra selection in Asa Martin, Shaun Shivers, Devan Barrett and Malik Miller.

Projection: Martin … however I envision the extra bodily Whitlow turning into the workhorse by season’s finish.

Florida State quarterback

Contenders: Deondre Francois, James Blackman

The rundown: Florida State’s season final yr fell aside when Francois went right down to damage. And but, one way or the other, Blackman went into this offseason as a quiet favourite to win the beginning job that he inherited final fall. However then Francois bought wholesome, and now we’re beginning to keep in mind why Francois was thought-about a risk to take a redshirt sophomore soar to the NFL Draft.

Willie Taggart inherited a proficient roster however neither Francois nor Blackman have the athleticism that he is used to out of his final two quarterbacks in Justin Herbert and Quinten Flowers. So it is all about which one is healthier. Which one is successful the workforce. It is comforting to know that Florida State has two quarterbacks to guide it, however this would possibly not be a two-quarterback system.

Projection: Francois … and abruptly FSU appears like a nationwide powerhouse as soon as once more.

LSU cornerback

Contenders: Kelvin Joseph, Kary Vincent, Terrance Alexander, Kristian Fulton

The rundown: Throughout his 2017 redshirt freshman season, Grasping Williams was one of many nation’s high cornerbacks, pulling in six interceptions alongside the best way. The caveat is that Williams was the No. 2 man for LSU final yr with the good thing about enjoying reverse second spherical NFL Draft decide Donte Jackson. Now, he is the No. 1 man, and except LSU finds an acceptable associate in crime, he’ll be a simple man to keep away from for opponents.

What was as soon as an enormous query mark simply bought much more readability when Fulton’s enchantment was granted and the second yr of a two-year suspension was lifted. Fulton, a former five-star cornerback, has elite capacity and reviews are that he is stayed in form and is able to roll. If he steps into that lock-down position reverse Williams, LSU’s protection takes an enormous step ahead.

Projection: Fulton … who makes up for misplaced floor because the starter shortly. All of the corners that have been vying for that spot now change into starter-quality defenders in nickel and dime roles.

Virginia Tech cornerbacks

Contenders: Caleb Farley, Bryce Watts, Nadir Thompson, Jovon Quillen, Jermaine Waller, Armani Chatman, DJ Crossen

The rundown: Virginia Tech is quietly within the dialog for DBU with the best way it usually reloads and develops NFL-level defensive backs. Final yr, it misplaced Brandon Facyson and Greg Stroman to the NFL from the cornerback place. They have been imagined to be getting again NFL prospect Adonis Alexander, however educational points despatched him packing to the NFL, too. Then there was the damage to JUCO enrollee and projected starter Jeremy Webb to a season-ending damage. Abruptly, Virginia Tech was with none expertise at cornerback.

However do not cry too laborious for the Hokies. Among the many choices that do return are a number of very inexperienced however very proficient prospects. Take into account Farley, a 6-foot-2 redshirt freshman who would have made an affect final fall at huge receiver if not for a season-ending damage. He is bought a 10.7 100 meter time to his credit score. Thompson, a real freshman, has a 10.6-second 100 meter on his resume. Watts has a 21.5-second 200 meter on his ledger. This is not monitor, however the expertise is there.

Projection: Farley and Watts … Expertise apart, Farley is just too proficient to maintain off the sector. He’ll be joined by one of many upperclassmen, doubtless Watts, however do not be stunned to see extra of the younger expertise begin to work their approach into the rotation because the season progresses. 

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