After the conclusion of the Wyoming spring football season the staff released an updated depth chart to show where everyone sits afterwards. There were plenty of fine performances on both sides of the ball and those efforts are reflected in the chart. It appears that the coaching staff has been watching a lot of children's programming on TV lately. I think Barney the dinosaur had a spot on the decision making here.
"You're a Starter, You're a Starter and You Two Share that Spot. Group Hug"
At two spots the team named players "co-starters" so they are equal in every way. The positions are at QB where Emory Miller and Brett Smith are now both listed at the #1 spot. Miller started off as #1 but Smith outplayed him in every scrimmage to force the tie. So now we had a dead heat in the QB battle and now it will become a three battle in August when Adam Pittser joins the ranks. Coach Christensen says he doesn't expect to name a starter until a week before the season opener against Weber State.
The second case of co-starters is at outside linebacker where newcomers Mark Nzeocha and Korey Jones both claimed the top spot. Nzeocha started off as the #3 safety and then moved to linebacker based on his size and athleticism. Jones was suspended for the spring game due to a violation of team rules but it didn't affect his ability to climb the depth chart.
At the running back spot things look very interesting with Brandon Miller at the top spot. Miller was the only RB to make it through all the practices and scrimmages and appears to have been rewarded for that. Alvester Alexander and Ghaali Muhaamad follow. Both athletes were out due to injuries this spring but should make impacts in the Fall. Alexander was in a similar spot last year but still ended up being #1. The biggest shocker is that Nehemie Kankalongo still sits at the #5 spot despite a strong spring. He missed the spring game to a suspension just like Korey Jones but still sits in the doghouse of Coach Christensen. Kody Sutton who isn't even on campus yet takes the fourth spot ahead of Kankalongo.
There should be plenty of depth and the running back spot in 2011 and it will be interesting to see if everyone plays. A redshirt of Sutton or Kankalongo may be done to keep the reps equal and not waste a year of eligibility.
Robert Herron struggled last year with drops and fumbles but he has turned a leaf and was way more confident this spring. That effort vaulted him to a starting WR spot alongside Chris McNeill and Mazi Ogbonna. Sam Stratton went from back QB to the #2 WR behind Herron in a few short weeks.
Tyler Strong was moved from DT to the offensive line and is now the starter at left guard. He beat out a number of veterans to earn the spot. Strong hadn't played offensive line since 7th grade but he showed that he is willing to do what it takes to get on the field.
On the defensive side Brian Hendricks was moved from MLB to OLB to let Oliver Schober get the starting spot. Todd Knight had a great spring and is listed behind Hendricks at WILL. The secondary and defensive line remain the same as we found them.
To view the full depth chart click here.
The biggest thing I've noticed is that this year the depth chart actually provide one important factor: DEPTH! Last year the offensive line and defensive line barely had any subs due to lack of skilled players on the bench. That will not be the case in 2011 as there are capable players at every position. The defense carries way more depth then the offense and should be greatly improved.