Monday, June 27, 2011

Scouting the 2011 opponents: BYU

When BYU decided that it was going to take their ball and go home to play alone just because they were butt-hurt that Utah got invited to the Pac 10 instead of them, we all figured that the 2010 match up between the Frogs and Cougars would be the last- especially since GP essentially said so in a press conference.

But then Texas Tech backed out on their game with the Frogs and Boise State got their game in Fort Worth moved to the blue turf and all of a sudden, TCU was as in need of a non-conference game as now-independent BYU. So now the Cougars have one more "last shot at revenge" against TCU at Cowboys Stadium on October 28th to try to save face from the combined 101-17 shellacking they've taken from GP the past three seasons.

The Cougars are playing a mostly WAC schedule this year, with 5 of their 12 games against teams from that conference- along with Idaho State...who is somehow not good enough for the WAC...who just invited a team (UTSA) that has yet to play a single down of football. I'm not sure going undefeated against that schedule gets you into the BCS- increased access to which BYU stated as a reason for striking out on their own. Anyway, they've gone the route of Army and Navy by inking bowl agreements before the season so if they win six games in 2011 they win a trip to play in the...Armed Forces Bowl, at SMU again this year while construction continues on Amon Carter Stadium. That's probably a major selling point to recruits.

Here is what collegefootballnews.com has to say about the 2011 Cougars, along with something from ESPN's Outside the Lines that should further help sell the collegiate experience in Provo to top-tier athletes:

-CFN 2011 BYU preview

-CFN 2011 BYU offensive breakdown

-CFN 2011 BYU defensive breakdown

-CFN 2011 BYU depth chart

-ESPN's look at the inconsistent enforcement of BYU's Honor Code

2011 roster full of shared jersey #'s

With almost all of the incoming freshman and JUCO transfers now residing on campus and working out with the team, gofrogs.com has posted at least a rough draft of the 2011 football roster, which for some reason has always been a highlight of summer for me. I guess it's because the newest Horned Frogs are assinged jersey numbers for the first time, and you can start to visualize some of them blossoming into stars over the next 4-5 years.

The roster for this fall, however, exposes one of my football pet peeves: the shared jersey number. Obviously, with over 100 members of the team, you're going to have to have some guys doubling up. But I always figure you're going to have two walk-ons that have no chance of sniffing the field sharing some random, undesired number in the 30s or 40s...although at TCU, those are usually the numbers of all-conference linebackers. A quick look at the numbers of the incoming players, though, shows that it might not just be the no-name backups playing the sharing game in the next few seasons:

2-Jason Verrett AND Trevone Boykin. Verret is a JUCO transfer corner who is supposed to contribute right away and Boykin is a quarterback that will likely redshirt, so the window for them to be stars at the same time is fairly small.

3-Chris Hackett AND Brandon Carter. These two are at least on opposite sides of the ball, but both have been speculated to be candidates to play as true freshmen. I guess you have to hope they don't serve on special teams together...

12-Chazten Gonzales AND Kolby Griffin. Griffin, a corner, keeps his high school number from St. Pius X in Houston, while Gonzales adds a 2 to the 1 he wore as a QB in Oklahoma.

17-David Porter. The receiver from DeSoto will share a number with redshirt freshman safety Sam Carter, who is expected to compete for a starting job this fall.

24-Quincy Aldridge. He'll actually be sharing a number with TWO players, as Dwight "The Myth" Smith and fellow safety Danny Heiss (a walk-on, but one that is expected to push for playing time) already sport 24.

Among the numbers assigned to the other incoming players:

9-Jamie Byrd. The hard-hitting safety from Florida was the only newbie to get a single-digit number all to himself. Was that just luck, or do the coaches see something special in him?

15- David Bush. The speedy receiver from Tyler will share #15 with Rick Settle, a walk-on quarterback-turned-safety.

27- Travoskey Garrett. Garrett is a tall corner from East Texas, and takes over #27 from Jason Teague...a tall corner from East Texas.

28-James Bailey. The safety from Everman, listed as "J.D. Bailey", takes over #28 from Colin Jones.

36-Deryck Gildon. He's already been on campus for an entire semester, and performed well enough in spring drills (those of you at the spring game will remember his pick-six) that Dave Campbell's Texas Football named him this team's breakout player for the fall.

39-Laderice Sanders. Hopefully he'll remind us a lot of the last hard-hitting Frog LB to wear #39...

42-Austin Terry. #42 might not be the most ideal number for a linebacker, but just look what Tank did for #43, Hawthorne did for #46, Washington did for #41. I'd say this is a perfect fit.

57-Davion Pierson. This is another player taking over the jersey number of a departed successful senior at the same position. Where would last year's team been without Cory Grant holding things down at DT?

59- Carter Wall. I'm usually not a fan of offensive linemen wearing numbers in the 50s, but after seeing what Kyle Dooley did after switching to #55 last year, I'm cool with it if they can block!

61-Jon Lewis. Hopefully this becomes a number we get used to hearing after short gains or losses from opposing tailbacks.

65-Brady Foltz. Big bro Blaize wears #66, so if they've got a younger brother then I bet GP will reserve #64 for him.

72-Bobby Thompson. He's already 6-6, 290lbs. Look for #72 to be protecting someone's blind side in the coming years.

76-Jamelle Naff. Another big incoming OL (he already weighs 311 lbs), Naff's #76 is sure to be seen on the interior of the line in the next few seasons.

84-Dominic Merka. If you were still thinking this high school QB might play the same position at TCU, forget it- the coaches gave him Evan Frosch's number and he's a tight end all the way.

85-LaDarius Brown. The last player to wear #85 came to TCU as a highly-regarded recruit (as does Brown), and then became one of the most integral and versatile players on the best team in school history. No pressure or anything...

88-Cam White. Maybe this is just a coincidence, but if the coaches think there's even a chance for Brown & White to be Kerley & Young Part II, then I'm excited for the future of this program.

96-Chuck Hunter. Yet another example of an incoming Frog taking over the jersey number of an outgoing all-conference player, although #96 will move inside to tackle from end, where friend of Spit Blood Wayne Daniels wore it last year.

I've made this post the last few summers, and each time it seems like there is still plenty of change afterward- so perhaps this whole thing will be obsolete when the season kicks off 67 days from now.

Morning Dump

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