Leach’s Cougs have few surprises
Mike Leach has strayed away from officially naming a starter at various positions throughout a camp clouded in secrecy — something we’ve all been accustomed to during Leach’s brief stint as the Cougars head man.
Onto the Depth Charts.
In what is more than likely just a ploy to make BYU think and game plan for either quarterback, Leach included the classic “or” title to the quarterback position. Barring something drastic happening this week, Tuel will be under center to start the season.
Once again, Leach was not definitive as to who would be starting at running back but that was expected. We could easily see all three backs starting a game at some point this season.
Z-WR: Gabe Marks, 6-0, 167, Fr., Isiah Myers, 6-0, 176, So.
No surprises on the wide receiver front. For those of you who haven’t followed fall camp closely, Galvin was moved from running back to the slot receiver a few weeks ago and has impressed enough to earn the starting job.
LG: Wade Jacobson, 6-6, 300, RS. Sr. – OR - Matt Goetz, 6-4, 272, RS Jr.
RG: Jake Rodgers, 6-6, 300, RS So.
RT: Dan Spitz, 6-7, 201, RS Sr.
The offensive line has been set in stone for the majority of the offseason despite injuries that have required some juggling among personnel. The loss of Rico Forbes (ACL) at right tackle required Spitz to move over to fill that void which has created a serious lack of depth across the line.
Jacobson, who earned a medical redshirt last season, has a slight edge on Goetz for the left guard spot, but a starter has yet to be named.
NT: Ioane Gauta, 6-3, 305, Jr., Kalafitoni Pole, 6-1, 277, RS So.
It appears that the injury to Cooper’s right ankle is improving and he will be starting at the tackle position along the defensive line. Coerper and Bock will split time at defensive end and Gauta, a massive junior college transfer, will get the nod at nose tackle.
The defensive line is another positional group that is lacking big bodies due to injuries and the dismissal of Anthony Laurenzi.
WIL LB: Chester Su’a, 6-1, 224, So., Justin Sagote, 6-0, 221, Jr.
The starting linebackers have remained the same since the beginning of camp led by Long. The group is young, with exception to Long, but their speed and depth should ease concerns over the losses of starting linebackers C.J. Mizell, Sekope Kaufusi and Alex Hoffman-Ellis.
FS: Taylor Taliulu, 5-11, 184, Fr., Tyree Toomer, 5-11, 200, RS Sr.
The only surprise, if you want to call it that, is Taliulu starting at free safety as a true freshman. Toomer has struggled to defend the pass in his Cougar career so it should be a welcoming sign to see a fresh face manning the secondary.
The rest of the defensive backfield is the same as last season and their depth and experience are going to be relied upon as their defensive assignments are vital in Mike Breske‘s attacking defense.
Cougar Special Teams
P: Michael Bowlin, 6-4, 204, Jr.
PK: Andrew Furney, 5-10, 218, Jr.
KO: Michael Bowlin – OR – Andrew Furney
PR: Leon Brooks, Theron West, 5-7, 171, Jr.
KOR: Leon Brooks, Rickey Galvin, Teondray Caldwell
Bowlin is the punter. Furney is the kicker. Bowlin will take over kickoffs and Brooks will return all balls that are kicked by opposing kickers. No surprises here.
Thoughts and Analysis
Obviously, there are some questions still to be answered even after the release of the depth chart. Undoubtedly, there will be injuries and the depth chart is always subject to change week-in and week-out.
Leach has proven to be very unorthodox and any player could immediately jump up the depth chart all the way up until kickoff.
Overall, the depth chart shook out like many expected it to. Despite two true freshman starting at free safety and wide receiver, there is a considerable amount of experience up and down the depth chart.
This is a young and experienced team on the brink of making some noise in the Pac-12.
We’ll find out how prepared they are this Thursday night. Until then, Go Cougs.
**An official WSU-BYU preview and depth chart can be found here.