Coach James Franklin released his depth chart today, without a ton of surprises. Only two true freshman, offensive linemen Joe Townsend and Spencer Pulley, are on the depth chart, but Franklin says he plans to play as many guys as he possibly can against Elon, to include true freshmen.
The differences between the sneak-peek starting lineup that Jeff Lockridge gave fans last week and the real deal are these:
• Wide receiver: Jonathan Krause and Udom Umoh are listed as starters ahead of John Cole.
• Defensive end: Johnell Thomas, instead of Kyle Woestmann, is starting opposite Tim Fugger.
• Safety: Kenny Ladler hangs onto his starting free safety job, instead of losing it to Javon Marshall.
Here’s a breakdown, position by position:
Who’s on first? R-SR Larry Smith
Who’s on second? R-JR Jordan Rodgers
Who’s not mentioned? FR Josh Grady, FR Kris Kentera, FR Lafonte Thourogood
Any surprises? No. Smith has all the physical tools Franklin is looking for. Rodgers, limited in practice, may yet show he has the intangibles. Grady is the clear No. 3.
Who’s on first? JR Zac Stacy
Who’s on second? JR Warren Norman and R-JR Micah Powell
Who’s not mentioned? FR Jerron Seymour and FR Mitchell Hester
Any surprises? Only that Powell, strictly a role player, is ahead of the freshmen. Stacy looks as sharp as ever while Norman hasn’t completely returned from injury. Seymour, who’s been hobbled lately, could be a star as early as this season.
Who’s on first? SO Fitz Lassing
Who’s on second? R-SO Mason Johnston
Who’s not mentioned? R-SO Marc Panu
Any surprises? Only that Johnston, who lined up in the backfield some last year, is now listed at fullback, though he’s certainly capable there.
Who’s on first? SO Jordan Matthews, SO Jonathan Krause and R-SR Udom Umoh
Who’s on second? R-JR Akeem Dunham, R-FR Chris Boyd, R-JR John Cole and R-SO Wesley Tate
Who’s not mentioned? R-FR Trent Pruitt, R-SO Brady Brown, FR Jacquese Kirk
Any surprises? Umoh, who’s had trouble catching the ball in practice, is listed ahead of Cole as the third receiver in the event the team doesn’t open with a fullback. Boyd is apparently returning from injury and Tate is learning the ropes.
Who’s on first? R-SR Brandon Barden
Who’s on second? R-JR Austin Monahan
Who’s not mentioned? FR Dillon van der Wal and FR Steven Scheu
Any surprises? No. Expect to see Lassing and Johnston line up here as well.
Who’s on first? R-SO Wesley Johnson
Who’s on second? FR Joe Townsend
Who’s not mentioned? SO Logan Stewart and FR Jose Valedon
Any surprises? No. Stewart, who started the second half of last year, wore a red jersey throughout camp, while Johnson proved himself a natural here. Townsend, recruited as a defensive lineman, has jumped ahead of fellow frosh Valedon for the time being.
Who’s on first? R-JR Jabo Burrow (left) and R-SO Mylon Brown (right)
Who’s on second? FR Spencer Pulley and R-FR Chase White
Who’s not mentioned? R-JR Josh Jelesky and R-FR Grant Ramsay
Any surprises? Only that Jelesky, who moved from defense in preseason, has dropped below two freshmen on the depth chart. He’s a work in progress.
Who’s on first? R-JR Ryan Seymour (left) and R-SR Kyle Fischer (right)
Who’s on second? R-FR Andrew Bridges and R-JR Caleb Welchans
Who’s not mentioned? FR James Lewis and FR Jake Bernstein
Any surprises? No. Bernstein could play guard this season, while the highly regarded Lewis has been injured.
Who’s on first? R-JR Rob Lohr and R-JR Colt Nichter
Who’s on second? SO Jared Morse and R-SR T.J. Greenstone
Who’s not mentioned? R-FR Vince Taylor, FR Barron Dixon and FR Conor Hart
Any surprises? Not really. Nichter had a spectacular preseason, beating out Greenstone. Expect to hear from Taylor and maybe even Dixon before season’s end.
Who’s on first? R-SR Tim Fugger and R-JR Johnell Thomas
Who’s on second? R-FR Kyle Woestmann, R-SO Thad McHaney and R-SO Walker May
Who’s not mentioned? R-JR Dexter Daniels, R-FR Thomas Ryan, FR Darien Bryant and FR Jimmy Stewart
Any surprises? Yeah. Woestmann has been penciled in as a starter since spring but now Thomas, who’s surprised coaches with his athleticism, appears to be the opening day starter.
Who’s on first? R-SR Chris Marve (middle), SO Chase Garnham (strongside), R-JR Tristan Strong (weakside)
Who’s on second? R-JR Archibald Barnes, R-JR DeAndre Jones, R-JR Al Owens
Who’s not mentioned? R-FR Andrew East and R-FR Blake Gowder
Any surprises? No. Garnham’s had a great camp, and Strong reportedly had an edge over Barnes. Expect to see safeties enter the game instead of Jones and Owens.
Who’s on first? SR Casey Hayward and JR Trey Wilson
Who’s on second? SO Andre Hal, JR Eddie Foster and SO Steven Clarke
Who’s not mentioned? FR Derek King
Any surprises? No. Coaches have raved about the development of Wilson. King will likely begin as a special teams star.
Who’s on first? SR Sean Richardson (strong) and SO Kenny Ladler (free)
Who’s on second? R-SO Javon Marshall, JR Eric Samuels, SO Karl Butler, SO Andre Simmons
Who’s not mentioned? FR Andrew Williamson, FR Larry Franklin and FR Jahmel McIntosh
Any surprises? Not really, though Jeff Lockridge of the Tennessean got us all excited talking about Javon Marshall starting ahead of Ladler. We think Marshall could still start, at nickel back. Expect to see all six of these guys playing in big games, though maybe not at the same time.
Who’s on first? SO Carey Spear (kickoffs, placekicking)
Who’s on second? R-JR Ryan Fowler
Any surprises? No. Spear, a football player who likes to run down the field and clobber people, has been named special teams captain. Don’t expect Fowler to return for a fifth year.
Who’s on first? R-JR Richard Kent
Who’s on second? R-JR Ryan Fowler
Any surprises? None whatsoever. Kent is the man, and anybody else is an emergency backup.
Who’s on first? R-FR Andrew East (short and long)
Who’s on second? R-JR Rob Lohr (short) and R-SR Brandon Barden (long)
Any surprises? Nope. East, the rare blue-chip long snapper, gets to show his stuff.
Who’s on first? R-JR John Cole and SO Jonathan Krause (punt) and JR Eric Samuels (kick)
Who’s on second? R-SO Wesley Tate (kick)
Who’s not mentioned? JR Zac Stacy (punt), JR Warren Norman and SO Andre Hal (kick)
Any surprises? We don’t think Cole and Samuels will be our top returners by season’s end. Norman is a no-brainer if healthy and we’d love to see what Mitchell Hester could do.