The Beavers have released their depth chart, and there are a few surprises on there. Let’s take a quick look.
There are no surprises at Quarterback and Running Back, with Jake Luton and Jermar Jefferson starting. At Wide Receiver; Isaiah Hodgins, Champ Flemings and Nebraska transfer Tyjon Lindsey are the starters. It’s a little surprising that Jesiah Irish didn’t grab a starting spot, but with his speed the team will surely find a way to work him into their gameplan. Trevon Bradford is also not listed on the depth chart as he’s been ruled out for Friday’s game against Oklahoma State. He’s not quite back on the field following his foot surgery in April.
On the Offensive Line, Blake Brandel continues to be the team’s starting left tackle, with Gus Lavaka right next to him at left guard. On the right side, Brandon Kipper is the starter at tackle, and Clay Cordasco gets the start at guard. The only question is the center position, which is listed as Nathan Eldridge or Nous Keobounnam. Eldridge, a transfer from Arizona, only just started getting reps with the first team after being out all of 2018 with an ACL injury. The fact that Keobounnam isn’t listed as an option at right guard, where’s he also has experience, implies that the team expects him to see action at Center.
At Tight End we also have a question mark, with the position listed as Noah Togiai or Teagan Quitoriano. Neither is likely to be a true starting TE, and both will have a lot of playing time. Togiai has struggled to stay healthy, but appears to be ready to go for 2019. Quiotriano will likely get the call on rushing downs, as he looked great as a run blocker last season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the D-Line has Elu Aydon getting the start at tackle, and Lamone Williams grabbing on the starting end positions. For the final spot, we’ve got Isaac Hodgins or Jordan Whittley. This may suggest that the team doesn’t view Hodgins/Whittley as every down lineman, as they’ve had conditioning problems in the past (along with Aydon).
The Linebackers continue to look like the strongest unit on the Defense; despite Andrzej Hughes-Murray recently suffering a potentially season-ending foot injury. Shermar Smith and Avery Roberts get the start at ILB, and former QB Jack Colletto has made his way into the 2 deep at his new position. There are some surprises at OLB, with Addison Gumbs and Matthew Tago getting the starting jobs. Hamilcar Rashed Jr. is listed as Gumbs backup, and Andrzej Hughes-Murray of course is not on the depth chart.
In the secondary, Jalen Moore and Shawn Wilson are set as the team’s starting safeties. Moore has been dealing with a hamstring injury, but the team appears to be confident he can make the start Friday. Wilson grabbed the other starting safety job, ahead of David Morris who has struggled with injuries. If Moore is unable to play Friday, Omar Hicks-Onu will get the start, and Hicks-Onu has shown he can be a playmaker even without a starting job.
At cornerback, Isaiah Dunn secured one of the starting positions. Surprisingly, Kaleb Hayes is nowhere to be seen on the two deep. The other corner position will be split between Nahshon Wright and Jojo Forrest.
On special teams, Jordan Choukhair is back as the team’s starting place kicker. There was some competition for the job during camp, especially after Choukhair’s struggles in 2018, but the team seems to feel he’s still the best option going forward. Daniel Rodriguez is back as the punter, and kick returns will be split between Champ Flemings and Artavis Pierce, while Tyjon Lindsey and Jesiah Irish will handle punts.
There’s still time for some shakeups before the Beavers take on Oklahoma State on Friday, especially with some positions muddled by injury. If any other news breaks, we’ll let you know, but Beaver football is just days away. Get excited.