So UCLA released its "tentative" depth chart for Kansas State game (PDF) earlier today. Let's dive right into them because there are number of interesting developments after more than two weeks of an eventful preseason camp:
- Let's start right at QB. As of right now first string is either Kevin Prince or Richard Brehaut. From the reports today it looks Kevin Prince is heading towards the right direction:
* Kevin Prince looked good in his most action since Day 2 of fall camp, displaying a nice zip - at times too much zip - on his passes. Prince and Brehaut rotated with the first unit, with Brehaut sometimes with the twos, and Darius Bell leading the second- and third-units.That is good news but we will have to see how he feels tomorrow. I am guessing we are not going to have any definitive answer at least till the end of the day tomorrow.
* In drills against the scout team defense, Prince threw several passes, including some medium-to-deep routes. Moved around a lot and looks fine on that front, and at this point, I'd have to assume he'll be ready for Kansas State.
- From QB moving on to OL, looking at the chart our "depth" issues stand out right away. We have two true freshman - Chris Ward (6-4, 318, Fr.) and Wade Yandall (6-4, 329, Fr.) - prominently featuring in the 2 deep. Chris Ward is listed behind Darius Savage at LG and also behind Sean Sheller at LT. So, guess it's suffice to say that he is likely in Bob Palcic's 8 men rotation. Wade Yandall is a little ahead of Ward in terms of Spaulding "experience" (as he checked in during spring) but still a first year player. He is listed behind Eddie Williams. Crossing my fingers that we don't have to rely on those guys.
- The starting OL averages around 317bs. As noted previously they are all seniors who have been around for a while (with two JC starters in Ryan Taylor and Eddie Williams). While we are weary of absence of Kai Maiava and Jeff Baca, we will at least have some size.
Lot more after the jump.
- Morrell Presley (6-4, 222, So.) and Anthony Barr (6-5, 228, Fr.) tops the FBack position with Christian Ramirez behind. This is not a surprise after what we have heard in recent weeks.
- At the tailback spot both Derrick Coleman (6-0, 231, Jr.) and Johnathan Franklin (5-10, 198, So.**) are listed as starters with Malcolm Jones (6-0, 223, Fr.) right behind them. It will be interesting to see how JetSki performs this game coming in healthy.
- Interestingly Ricky Marvray is listed above Josh Smith at the flanker position. I am guessing this is a combination of Marvray's camp success and Smith's injury. Regardless, I am guessing Smith will get his chances plus he is listed as one of the two key returners along with Taylor Embree (Randall Carroll and Damien Thigpen didn't make that list).
- Over at defense, looks like Dietrich Riley went past Stan McKay for the number 2 spot at FS. However, Tony Dye held him off as Dye himself finished strong during pre-season camp.
- It still looks like a dead heat between Steve Sloan and Patrick Larimore for the Mike LB position. As for Will, Sean Westgate is still ahead as Glenn love missed few days from injury.
- Really interesting to see Jordan Zumwalt listed at the second strng spot at Sam right behind Akeem Ayers. I thought for sure Zumwalt was headed towards a RS season. We will have to keep a close eye on that. Also, speaking of LBS, sounds like Todd Golper is out for few weeks after getting "a second epidural for back pain." Good luck to the young man. Hope he hangs in there. He is certainly a loyal Bruin and he will get his day in the sun sooner or later.
- Elsewhere, Nate Chandler is now listed as a starting LE ahead of Iuta Tepa and Reginald Stokes. It will be interesting to see what kind of pressure Chandler can generate on the opposing QBs. He will have to step up in Datone Jones' absence who was expected to complement Akeem in our defensive front-7.
- Not surprisingly Cassius Marsh (6-4, 285, Fr.), Owamagbe Odighizuwa (6-4, 240, Fr.), and Seali'i Epenesa (6-2, 320, Fr.) are listed in the depth chart. I am betting on Marsh and and Owa getting action right from our first weekend.
- The defensive front-4 averages around 287.5. Not sure when was the last time we had this kind of size in our defensive frontline. It was just yesterday when we had one of the Moline brothers getting an emergency start as DT at UCLA weighing around 240lbs. Yikes. Those were not fun days. Of course just because we have size doesn't mean everything is going to be all right. Remains to be seen the kind of technique and fundamentals we see from lot of our new guys. I am sure Todd Howard is going to have his hands full heading into our first game.
Those are my quick observations from looking at today's depth chart. Looks like captainqtp already posted his 2 cents in the fanshots. If there are other notes we should take into account please chime in the comment thread.