What do the hogs look like?
I’ll always be a lineman at heart, so I’m always interested in what the point of attack looks like. Missouri, as I have discussed previously should have an advantage on their offensive line. I’m very interested in seeing how Hyrin White looks, and if he’s getting first team reps. I’m interested in seeing if Xavier Delgado can retain his spot, or if a newcomer like Bobby Lawrence can make a play to usurp him. Oh, and don’t forget about the Oklahoma transfer EJ Ndoma-Ogar. I would imagine he would factor into the mix.
On the defensive side, how are the young guys coming along? Have any of them benefitted from getting on to campus early? What’s the edge spot, opposite Trajan Jeffcoat, look like? There’s a lot of hope at this position for the future, and any chance of getting on the field as a younger guy, especially with the depth at this position group, would probably start with a really good spring practice.
This is one of the youngest position groups of the entire team, but also has some of the most natural talent. This will be Bazelak’s third season on campus which is good considering he has the eligibility of a redshirt freshman. He figures to be the starter this season barring injury, and I want to see him take the reigns a little bit more as he gets even more familiar with the Drinkwitz offense. Last season he was a bit of a game manager at times, but I think his ability coupled with more experience in this system could help Bazelak go to the next level.
Aside from Bazelak, I’m looking forward to seeing the position battle between Brady Cook, and Tyler Macon. Brady Cook looked the part in his garbage time against Vanderbilt this season, and with a full offseason, maybe he also takes a leap. Macon though, is highly touted for a reason. He took full advantage of missing his senior season at East St. Louis, and enrolled early to get a fast start. Those two should be competing for the backup job through the fall, but one would think that Cook has the leg up, for now.
Where are the Touchdown makers?
The wide receiver room was one of the most glaring issues that needed to be addressed by Drinkwitz and company, and they sure did deliver. He recruited Keke Chism to return for one last hurrah, and managed to add some dynamic receivers in Dominic Lovett and Mookie Cooper. It’ll be interesting to see who distinguishes themselves between Lovett and Cooper, as they’re not just competing with each other for playing time. Jalen Knox, and Barrett Bannister are still alive, well, and are good players at that.
That being said, I’m not expecting either guy to run away from the competition. I just want to see a flash or two, that’s all. That would at least give me a little bit of optimism ahead of fall camp, because as it stands, there’s no one in this group who we can count on to scare opposing defenses.
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