There are several mileposts of sorts that count down the journey through the college football offseason, moving toward the opening game - Signing Day, Spring practices, Summer/Fall practices to name some. We reached one of those final posts tonight; Coach Mora has released the depth chart for Saturday's season opener (PDF - p.10). The chart as released tonight by UCLA is posted below, with links to the individual player profiles on the official site:
|X||Devin Lucien - So* OR||Jordan Payton - So||Eldridge Massington - Fr|
|F||Devin Fuller - So||Jalen Ortiz - Fr||Ahmaad Harris - Fr*|
|LT||Simon Goines - So||Conor McDermott - Fr*|
|LG||Xavier Su'a-Filo - Jr||Kenny Lacy - Fr|
|C||Jake Brendel - So*||Carl Hulick - Fr*||Scott Quessenberry - Fr|
|RG||Caleb Benenoch - Fr, OR||Alex Redmond - Fr|
|RT||Torian White - So*||Ben Wysocki - So*|
|Y||Darius Bell - Sr*||Grayson Mazzone - Sr*||Thomas Duarte - Fr|
|bY||Jordan Barrett - Sr*||Tre' Hale - Jr*|
|QB||Brett Hundley - So*||Jerry Neuheisel - Fr*||Mike Fafaul - Fr*|
|FB||Phillip Ruhl - Jr*||Nate Iese - Fr*||Luke Gane - Jr*|
|TB||Jordon James - Jr*||Steven Manfro - So*||Paul Perkins - Fr*|
|Z||Shaquelle Evans - Sr*||Logan Sweet - Fr*||Darren Andrews - Fr|
|LDE||Keenan Graham - Sr*||Brandon Willis - Jr*||Eddie Vanderdoes - Fr|
|NT||Seali'i Epenesa - Sr||Ellis McCarthy - So||Kenny Clark - Fr|
|RDE||Cassius Marsh - Sr||Kylie Fitts - Fr||Eli Ankou - Fr*|
|LOLB||Aaron Wallace - So*||Myles Jack - Fr||Deon Hollins - Fr|
|ILB||Jordan Zumwalt - Sr||Ryan Hofmeister - Jr*||Taylor Lagace - Fr*|
|ILB||Eric Kendricks - Jr*||Isaako Savaiinaea - Fr||Isaiah Bowens - Sr*|
|ROLB||Anthony Barr - Sr||Kenny Orjioke - So||Aramide Olaniyan - Jr*|
|LCB||Fabian Moreau - So||Brandon Sermons - Sr*||Charles Dawson - Fr|
|S||Anthony Jefferson - Jr*||Tahaan Goodman - Fr||Jayon Brown - Fr|
|S||Randall Goforth - So||Stan McKay - Sr*||Tyler Foreman - Fr|
|RCB||Ishmael Adams - So||Priest Willis - Fr||Justin Combs - Fr*|
How our secondary was going to shake out was likely the biggest issue facing the Bruin defense throughout the offseason, and the identity of the guys who we expected to end up atop the depth chart has changed near-weekly. That said, the group of Adams-Moreau-Goforth-Jefferson had become the likely starters by the time the team made it back to Westwood a few days ago. The freshman class is certainly in position to get early playing time and push the current starters for their current spots as we get deeper into the season.
The starters on the front-seven are doing their best to counter the lack of experience in the secondary - five seniors, one redshirt junior and a redshirt sophomore will be starting this weekend. Seeing Eddie Vanderdoes 3rd in line at Defensive End is a bit of a surprise, but may be an effect of his working his way back from the back injury that caused him to miss much of San Berdoo camp.
Overall, there are 11 true freshmen on this week's defensive depth chart, including 1 walk-on: Brown, Clark, Dawson (walk-on), Fitts, Foreman, Goodman, Hollins, Jack, Savaiinaea, Vanderdoes and Willis. None of them are listed among week's starters, but any of them aside from Dawson could be expected to get on the field at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.
These are the guys that will be seeing the field on Saturday Night, as the Bruins open the 2013 season. Nevada's depth chart is available here. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the starters, two-deep and all those freshmen poised for playing time in the comments.