The Western Michigan Broncos, coming off an All State Sugar Bowl win, 11-2 overall record, and a top 5 final ranking, most would consider last season a very successful season with the talent that was on the roster. It would be very difficult for the Broncos to come up with a better performance than they did last season. The Broncos two losses were a combined 5 points, so they were just 5 points away from an undefeated season, and what could have been a National Championship birth. The Broncos won't live in the past, and wonder what could of been, instead they will focus on the upcoming season and hope to build off the success they had last year. The Broncos lose a lot at the wide receiver position, graduating their top 3 receivers, and they did not sign a game breaking WR, so it could hurt the team this year. Alex Carder had a record breaking season last year, and was on the border about entering the NFL draft. Ultimately, he decided he still had more to accomplish and came back for his Senior season. QB- Alex Carder- Alex is the most prolific quarterback in schools history after last seasons performance, but he still made too many mistakes. A lot of the knocks on him, and it's possible that's what kept him from entering the draft, was that he made too many bad decisions in games. In both losses, he had early picks that put his team down 14-0 in both games. Granted, he was the reason they came back, but ultimately he still had his team in bad spots. Alex has talent, and a summer working in an offense that was very new to him last season, did nothing but help him. This season, Alex will have to put the team on his back again and do so with less than stellar receivers. It's not going to be easy, but Alex has really improved over the summer and should put up even better numbers than last season. QB- Tyler Vantubbergen- After Alex, the Broncos have 3 redshirt sophomores for QBs which means they'll be set for the next two seasons after Alex graduates. Look for the Broncos to recruit a QB next season and probably pick up a QB at the end of this season, but the QB they pick up this season will be used primarily as a backup. If Alex goes down, Tyler Vantubbergen will be inserted in the lineup instead of last years back up, Mike Perish. Mike played well the few times Alex went down, but Tyler proved to be the better QB over the summer and that's who the coaching staff has put behind Alex. Tyler brings something to the table that Alex doesn't, and that's a much stronger arm, and he's a lot quicker than Alex. The knock on Tyler though is when he does run with the ball, he has to make sure he doesn't get hit because chances are he will fumble. Running the option with Tyler is not something Western Michigan will want to do too often because he is a liability. None the less though, he is a very quality backup for Alex and barring a big signing, or a lot of improvement from Perish, Tyler will be the Broncos starter next season. RB- Tevin Drake- Drake, as a Sophomore last season, played great and did exactly what he was asked to do. He didn't have too many carries, but when he did carry the ball, he secured it properly and gained good yards. Tevin, upset last year when the new offense was introduced, really found a way to still help the Broncos and be productive. The pass happy offense opened up a lot of lanes for Drake, and Drake also helped the Broncos run the clock out in the 4th quarter several times when their opponent needed a stop. Look for Alex to get Drake more involved in the pass game this season and he will be lining up as the 5th receiver in 5 wide sets more often than not. WR- Ansel Ponder- With a weak receiving core, the SR. wideout will be looked upon to make some big plays. He'll have many opportunities with Carder throwing him the ball. He had a good season last year, but the focus wasn't all on him since he was the 4th wide receiver. This season, he's the #1 so the defense he will see will be a lot different than he has seen in previous seasons. Ansel will have to make some big plays this season in order to keep the Broncos passing attack at the high level it was last year. DE- Freddie Bishop- Freddie Bishop had a tremendous season last year, and most were surprised to see him come back for his Sr. year. The Broncos were happy to see him come back but had signed a 3 star DE just incase he decided to skip his Sr. season and head to the draft. Luckily, the Broncos will be able to redshirt the true freshman, and use Freddie. Bishop was a nightmare for QBs last season racking up double digits in sacks on the year. He should have another big year this season, and possibly open up more holes because offenses will more than likely choose to double team him more often than not. CB- Lewis Toler- Lewis is a great cornerback with tremendous speed. Only being a Jr., most are expecting him to have a break out season and end up being a 1st-2nd round draft pick in next years NFL draft. The people on Western Michigan's campus though are hoping for a break out season from him, but are really wanting and needing him to stick around one more season. Lewis was good last year, but has really made a huge jump over the summer in his skills and should be one of the best defensive players in the conference, and possibly the best cornerback in the conference. His great speed gives him the ability to man up anyone in the nation, and he also excels in zone coverage which Western Michigan plays a lot of. The one knock on him is his size, but at 5'10, he can really jump, which helps him against the taller receivers. K- Corey Potts- The True Freshman didn't even have Western Michigan on his mind at the end of the regular season, but the Broncos went on full attack on the Florida native soon as the season was over and ended up signing the 3 star kicker. With both their kicker and punter graduating, signing Corey was huge and a must for the Broncos. Corey doesn't have tremendous power, but has great accuracy. While he won't be attempting in 50 yarders this season, the Broncos are looking at his max to be between 40-45 which is an improvement from last year. Corey will also be the punter this season as well. Overall Outlook- Across the board, Western Michigan isn't as good as they were last season, but they still should be competitive as long as Alex Carder is in charge of the offense. Going to be tough to have a repeat performance from last season, but expect the Broncos to be in the talks when it comes Conference Championship time.