Depth chart updates
Sometime today, EMU quietly updated the official depth chart for tomorrow’s game (here’s the originally announced chart).
- Kinsman Thomas is on the chart…as the #3 Z receiver.
- Korey Neal appears to be recovered from his rumored knee injury, and he’s listed as the starting left tackle, with Scott McLeod, who started the two previous games, relegated to a backup role. Bobby McFadden, formerly McLeod’s backup, is no longer listed as a left tackle, but remains the second-string right tackle.
- Javonti Greene is listed as the starting running back, with Dominique White listed as the backup. White is a junior from Detroit, whose career line consists of one carry against Alabama State for 4 or 5 yards (depending on who you believe) midway through the fourth quarter. Yes, the ball carriers will be Greene and White!
- Corey Welch is listed as the #1 kickoff return man, with Dominique Sherrer listed behind him.
Just for fun, let’s try to decipher these changes. Feel free to play along in the comments!
The offensive line changes are easy to understand. Rumor had it that Neal suffered a high ankle sprain before the start of the season, and but for that he probably would have been a starter from Day One. His experience has been more on the right side of the line, but as well all know thanks to Sandra Bullock (OK, give some credit to the author, Michael Lewis), left tackle is a critical position in modern football. In shoring up the left side, we may start to see an improvement in the heretofore atrocious pass protection, plus the o-line is now that much deeper. As an aside looking forward to next year, of 8 offensive line players on the two-deep, only right guard Bridger Buche will be gone after this year.
We expected Kinsman Thomas’s return to the field this week, but as a starter, not a third-stringer. Remember (as if I haven’t pointed it out enough) that he was EMU’s #1 receiver last year. Maybe whatever led to his suspension also impaired his playing ability. Maybe Ron English decided the two-game suspension wasn’t enough and wanted to drive home a point to Thomas. Maybe English really thinks he’s the fifth-best wide receiver on the team (unlikely).
The third change, or rather pair of changes, have to do with Dominique Sherrer, and the obvious guess here is that this relates to the unknown knee injury he suffered late in the Alabama State game. Greene and Sherrer are very similar ball carriers, so the primary question at running back is how many carries can Greene take against the Wolverines, and to the extent that White carries, how much of a drop-off will there be. Corey Welch is an entirely capable kickoff returner also. The only item here that’s somewhat puzzling is that Sherrer is still listed here. The first guess that comes to mind is that Sherrer is really able to play a little, but the coaches want him to rest, and that beyond Welch and Sherrer, there’s not another trusted kickoff returner.