Discussion in '4th Horseman' started by Wyrmreaver, Jan 20, 2013.
Lets get 'em up
There is a buzz going around Tempe as ASU comes off of a 9-4 season, a win away from the Pac-12 title game and a bowl victory. Coach Smith has this team steered in the right direction. Arizona State comes into the season with only 5 SRs so some of the young guys will have to step up this season. The Sun Devils landed a top 10 recruiting class and most of those players should see a good amount of time on the field this year.
Offense: Modified Arizona State Returning Starters 6
Defense: 4-3 Returning Starters 4
QB- True FR Dedrick Lee will get the start as Coach Smith has no problem going with a FR at QB as he did at BG. The #3 rated QB in this year's class has good arm strength and accuracy.
HB- Replacing DJ Foster a 1000 yard rusher and TD machine won't be easy but JR Chris Beck will get the start. At 5'11" 225 Beck is a strong runner with deceptive speed.
WR/TE ASU replaces their top 2 WRs one of them was 1000 yard reciever. SR Josiah Blandin will take over along with true FR Bo Wright. Wright is 6'2" 187 with good hands and route running abilities. Playing in the slot is speedster Marcus Williams and 6'4" 230 Eric Glover who is a big reciever. Jordan Ruffin returns at TE
O-Line- ASU O- line is still in tact from last year with a year together this should be a steady group. Also they add a highly recruited G Paul Rankin to throw in the mix
D-Line- this was the most recruited area for the team as it was needed. Landing 3 DEs and 3 DTs this should be a much improved unit. Led by SR Carlos Mendoza who bagged a couple of sacks last year. True FR Andre Gorman will start on the other side with good size and should play in the backfield this season. Also the #4 DE in this year's recruiting class Ashton Smith moved to DT alongside another True FR Jeremy Rodgers.
LBs- The only returning starter for this group is OLB Quentin Parrish. On the other side is True FR Damon Fontenot who was recruited as a DE. In the middle is another True FR Ben Owens who should grow as his career moves on.
Secondary- Starting 2 True FR at corner. On one side will be Tony Porter who has good coverage skills. On the other side is Stewart Rogers who has good speed and ball skills. Rogers will also handle the return duties and might get some time on the offensive side of the ball. At FS is Joe Washington the starting corner from last year should make this secondary better with the switch. At SS is returning starter is Charles Marshall.
This should be a much improved defense from last year as they add more speed and better pass rushing. Experts don't think that this team will match its win total of 9 from last year but they do say that this team could be special in the future and might be ready to compete in 2 years if recruiting keeps up.
Coach Smith at Pac-12 media day " I'm very excited about this team. I feel that we can open our playbook up more as we have some better athletes this year. I'm really excited about Stewart Rogers to see how he plays against this top level competition that we have in the Pac-12. I'm excited about this defense as we should have more sacks and TFL this year. I don't think we're on the level that we need to be at right now but we're gonna work until we reach our goal. We open up against Stanford, then Cal so our 1st 2 games we're gonna see what we are made of and I can't wait."
Army returns a lot of key players from last seasons 11-2 team, particularly on offense. The offense is stacked with talent at the skill positions making them a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches. On defense the team has only 1 returning starter in the front 6 of the 3-3-5, but returns 4 of 5 in the secondary. Expectations for this team are high with a preseason top 10 ranking. This season the Black Knights will employ the 3-3-5 on defense and use a single back scheme on offense.
QB: JR Johnny Patton returns as a third year starter having already set all of the career passing records for Army in just two seasons. Patton has progressed at a frightening rate and combines a good arm with excellent running ability.
HB: RS-SR Hayden Tippett is a big punishing back at 244 pounds. This kid doesnt have the top shelf speed to blow the lid off the defense, but he can get the tough yards and almost always falls forward. After a 600+ yard rushing season last season as the #2 back, look for him to have a big year. Seth Pope is a similar player to Tippett and will serve as the second back in the rotation to keep Tippett fresh. Speed Merchant Ben Jenkins could see the field in a couple of formations as well.
WR: This is a deep unit that will keep opposing coaches up at night with five players rated at 88 OVR or higher. Whats worse is that none are seniors. Anthony Payne is the #1 target. Payne hit the campus as a highly touted five star ATH who was expected to be the QB of the future. With the emergence of Patton at QB, Payne moved outside and didn't disappoint, catching 42 balls for 763 yards and 12 TDs as the #2 WR last season.
TE: JR Mike Mason has been the #1 TE since stepping on campus two years ago and has been a contributor in the passing game with his impressive skills and imposing size. The 6'7" stud could have a breakout year with the new offense placing more emphasis on TEs in a variety of sets.
OL: This could be the achilles heal of this offense. This unit is pedestrian and if they fail to provide lanes for the HBs or time for the QB, all of the talent at the skill positions could be for naught.
DL: What do you do if you graduate all 3 starters up front? If you are Army you go out and recruit some of the top rated players in the country to replace them. Last season this unit was experienced, but lacking in talent. This season they are actually more talented but all 3 starters are just true freshman.
LB: RS-JR Kevin Williams returns in the middle to anchor a unit with new faces on either side of him. Given the success of the LB corps under coach hennessy, dont be surprised if the awards shows are talking about Dennis Martin or Justin Cox by the end of the year.
CB: Sophomores Ryan Smith and Marcus Easley were the #2 and #3 CBs as true freshman last season. These young guys look ready to step up having cut their teeth last year. Offenses who test them one on one could be in trouble, both these guys have the makings of shutdown corners.
S: All three starters return from a unit that looked good last season. Lamont Ray has excellent speed at FS with the requisite tacklint to come up in run support. Senior John Bennett is the teams best defensive player at SS. Bennett is a versatile player who could be in man, zone, run support, or blitzing on any given down.
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