The 2nd scrimmage is in the books.
The big topic is who the starting QB will be, in a race so close multiple players & those close to the program have said they legitimately don’t know who it will be. Ken Scott & Covey both said they wouldn’t want to have to make that decision.
My hunch is it will be Brewer, based mostly on his demeanor, a large base of experience at Baylor, accuracy.
But I was wrong on Troy Williams vs Huntley, and I think most expected it to be Bentley last year based on experience, though Whitt revealed late the differentiator: accuracy.
This year I think the differentiator will be experience.
No matter who gets the nod, odds are we’ll see the other guy, as well - getting through a PAC schedule with one QB is unlikely.
Running Back - unlike the QB position, we’re likely to see a RB-by-committee, unless somebody demonstrates they can be an every down back .
Tavion Thomas #9’ name keeps coming up, he’s a big back - 6-2/225 - but with deceptive burst past the LOS and at the edges. Thomas came in at 240 & they wanted him to drop some weight, but noting his burst at the edge (or up the middle) even at a higher weight reveals he’s seriously athletic. (EDIT - Thomas is fast, was the anchor on his HS team’s 4x100 state championship in Ohio.)
Whitt compared TJ Pledger #5 to John White IV (who is still playing in the CFL and was a great back for us in 2 years). That’s high praise, he could be a potent weapon that keeps defenses on their heels and helps open up the middle game.
I’ve heard less about Curry #0, other than he’s more of a power back. Having Thomas & Curry as backs who can punch it 2-3 yards if need, along with Pledger & some of the youngsters as more evasive backs is a good position to be in.
Whitt mentioned Micah Bernard #2 is athletic enough to play WR. (Is that a sign? We’ll see)
Solomon Enis #21, Covey #18, Jaylen Dixon #25 are known quantities. Solo is a leader & definitely due for a breakout. Devaughn Vele #17 likewise seems primed for a breakout, after a couple of promising years in development.
UCLA / OU transfer Theo Howard #1 is intriguing at 6-0/190, seems like he could be a rough replacement for Bryan Thompson. I remember Howard at UCLA doing damage in PAC play. If he just wanted some snaps he would have transferred down to be a star, but with Thompson & Nacua departing, Howard saw a P5 opportunity. Another transfer whose name comes up is Munir McClain #13, 6-4/210 from USC.
Whitt said they feel like they have 7 solid WRs - I listed 6 - so we’ll see how this develops. The enthusiasm Solo expressed after the spring game where Brewer was 15-15 was notable - I’m interested to see how things open up for a group that has felt neglected.
Safeties - It’s great to have Vonte Davis #9 back, and from there it appears UW transfer Brandon McKinney #28 has the inside lane on the other spot, with freshmen Kamo’i Latu #13 & Cole Bishop #6 at the 2s.
Corners / NBs - JT Broughton #4 is only a SO (!), has NFL size & speed. Clark Phillips #8 was thrown into 100% reps at Nickel during this scrimmage, so if something happens with Malone Mataele #15 he’ll be credible playing inside, which meant a lot of snaps were given to yesterday to others:
- Fabian Marks #23 got plenty of game reps last year, looked promising.
- Caine Savage #5, Drew Rawls #3, Aaron Lowe #2, Kenzel Lawler #25 - who will step up and demand game snaps?
Scalley mentioned last year they played a lot of zone because with all the youngsters they didn’t have time to work extensively on man technique. I think it’s an advantage to be able to switch up man & zone, so we’ll see who emerges among the 2s in terms of who has got man coverage down, and I hope to see some changeup looks with zone thrown in, to confuse opposing QBs.
With Tupai out, who will be opposite Mika Tafua #42?
Van Fillinger #7 (6-4/260) and Xavier Carlton #44 (6-6/272) are both still true FR and got plenty of game snaps & an offseason. Their size is impressive, but depending on the opponent could be an issue if technique hasn’t been perfected ala Bradlee Anae.
I’ve heard Jonah Ellis #83 (of course!) mentioned along with the DEs, so we’ll see. He’s just 6-3/232, but could probably get up to 245 pretty quickly, if that’s what they’re looking at to get some speed off the edge. (Remember, Tafua is just 250 lbs)
The LBs and DTs have less intrigue, other than who will be the 2s at LB and how many DL we see.
Time to get amped up! We got out of 2020 exactly what we needed - game snaps for teenagers - and I’m hesitant to compare this team to 2019, but that idea is out there, so the challenge is on!