With the very large caveat that spring games are a poor source to draw many conclusions, here’s what I saw. So many guys held out, at most positions, it’s really mostly a glimpse of young talent and guys battling to break the 2 deep.
I mostly agree with Steggy.
Rose has a pretty good arm & was good in decision making, with one notable exception.
Nate Johnson had a bad decision, as well, but looked pretty good, otherwise. He can distort the defense with his speed, so it will be very interesting to see how fall camp shakes out. Depending on down / distance, routes and coverage, he’ll have LBs and Safeties keeping an eye to bail out of coverage if he takes off. That threat alone should help some of the downfield air game open up. No Safeties in America want to be posterized by a QB who accelerates past them with ease.
Mack Howard looks like a true FR, made a mistake in throwing toward Xfr CB Miles Battle, who does not look 6-4/210, looks more like a very athletic 6-0.
Mikey Matthews got a ton of snaps and generally looked good, especially considering he should be finishing up HS. He’s put together and can (and did) take punishment, looks ready to contribute. (He does remind of Covey, though that’s really an unfair comparison… for anyone.)
R-FR Chris Reed had a nice TD, looks ready to contribute.
Kamana Hanohano had a nice TD as well, the CB went for the pick and missed and it was a footrace to the EZ, and FR Safety Johnathan Hall really closed quickly.
Hall looked really good. We have solid, experienced talent with Bishop, Vaki and Nate Ritchie at Safety, but maybe Hall allows Scalley to move Vaki up to a NB/LB hybrid (let that combination sink in).
Battle looked like a man among boys. CB could be an intriguing competition, with Vaughn and Broughton being the incumbents, but Battle having really impressive raw talent, along with some experience going up against SEC WRs.
Bleu Stewart (6-0 / 200 So S) also looked intriguing.
Justin Medlock had a ton of snaps at LB and looked good. 6-0/220, and cat quick, is put together like Zack Moss. If there are unforeseen issues with Barton & Reid, Medlock looks ready to start, IMO.
Cole Becker’s FG looked like he didn’t get all of it, but he put it through from 46 and had that high % of touchbacks at CU, so… I’m glad Deion turned him off. We can use him.
I agree on Aden - he’s been around the program for a few years, might be a walk-on.
The nature of spring games is many guys don’t play, or don’t play much. Bernard had just a few snaps, JJ got a TD and was out, Glover played a little bit, Curry is on the mend, then it was on to the guys who put in the work but we rarely see.
East HS’s own Charlie Vincent got a LOT of work, his younger clone Daniel Wood likewise. The walkons pay the price during conditioning, in meetings and drills, this was their time to shine… and hopefully a bit more than that.
West High’s Faysal Aden at 5-8/208 is not just a tough guy and strong, but had the ability to accelerate past defenders. Memorable. A younger local kid, Jamarcus Smith #21 SO 6-0/188 had a couple of snaps, but the way the play unfolded it was hard to see the skills he brings.
To paraphrase Majerus, the spring game obscures as much as it reveals, but Aden stood out and may be being ready to get quality snaps in the season, if the situation dictates.
You just never know. Bernard came in with the recruiting class where Jordan Wilmore was the headliner, then Ty Jordan became an obvious talent that resulted in Wilmore & Devin Brumfield transferring… but when the dust settled Bernard was still here, still working hard, and in hindsight, was a lot more suitable for the P5 level than Wilmore.
Not sure where the projected 2 deep for Offense came from, but worthy of some thought:
QB 7 Cam Rising (Sr.) — 8 Brandon Rose (Fr.)
Having seen Barnes & Nate Johnson, I’m comfortable with how Andy manages this. We’ll see Johnson, even if it’s an expanded form of last year’s role. We may see 2 QB sets. Have a 10.3 sprinter in the backfield at QB with a nice arm? Wicked decoy, with wrinkles off that, I’m sure. Possibly much more.
RB 3 Ja’Quinden Jackson (So.) — 2 Micah Bernard (Jr.)
Bernard is the highlight of this signing class, IMO. JJ is the rare 6-3 RB who is still getting better. Curry & Glover would both start a lot of places.
WR 17 Devaughn Vele (Jr.) — 12 Sidney Mbanasor (Fr.)
Watching to see what happens with Mbanasor. He had an impressive circus catch last fall in camp, but then disappeared as many FR do. Couldn’t have a better mentor than Vele.
WR 10 Money Parks (Jr.) — 11 Makai Cope (So.)
Parks is proven, Cope is “right there”, a little bit bigger, not quite the athlete