Depth Chart Released August 27, 2012
My new diet: skip lunch at work and blog instead because THERE IS SO MUCH ILLINI FOOTBALL TO TALK ABOUT.
The Depth Chart has been released. And THERE IS SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT. Go look it over and then come back for some thoughts. I’ll wait.
+ Supo Sanni not listed. STEVEHULL not listed. So if our two starting safeties are injured and out this week, hello 450 passing yards from Alex Carder. Come on, rain.
+ Jonathan Brown is listed as the weakside linebacker and Houston Bates is listed as the middle linebacker. An eye-opening revelation, if it’s not a misprint. Not a big deal – as we’ve discussed here before, we basically have a weakside middle linebacker and a strongside middle linebacker in this defense. But still very surprising to me that Bates is the Mike.
+ Starting O-line of Thornton-Hill-Pocic-Karras-Heitz. Well, I had that one completely wrong. Pocic back to center to make room for both Karras and Hill at guard. Love that, as I’m a huge fan of both (although a bigger Hill fan). Also, no Simon Cvijanovic on the depth chart? Is he injured? Scott McDowell isn’t listed either – is he injured too?
+ Hey look! There’s my boy Peter Bonahoom as the second string H receiver. Walk on, walkon.
+ Raise your hand if you guessed our backup linebackers behind Bates and Brown would be true freshmen Mike Svetina and Mason Monheim. No one? Didn’t think so. Monheim over Neal (and Grimes) is somewhat surprising. Svetina over Cooper is stunning. Although, given that Ron Zook barely moved his depth chart ever, there’s a chance I’m overreacting and many of these “listed third string” moves are simply motivational in nature.
+ Immekus is the placekicker, Zalewski handles kickoffs, DuVernois is the punter. Makes sense. I’d assume a redshirt is coming for Ryan Frain given this information. Also of note – looks like the battle for long-snapper next year (between Zach Hirth and Mike Martin) is currently being won by Hirth.
+ No Justin Staples mentioned, which means he’s serving a suspension for his DUI last winter. How long that suspension will be, who knows. I’d guess two games.
+ Miles Osei is the holder AND the backup punt returner. AWESOME. He’ll probably be the first Illini to complete a pass, catch a pass, take a handoff, return a punt, return a kickoff, and hold a placekick in a season. And he might knock that out in the first game.
+ Interesting to see Robbie Bain listed as the second string left guard. Maybe no redshirt for Bain?
+ Eddie Viliunas listed as the -OR- starter with Jon Davis at tight end. I thought that would be Evan Wilson. We’re probably underestimating Viliunas’ impact on this team. He might be that “who’s #83?” guy after the first few games.
+ Tommy Davis returning punts, with Osei as his backup and no mention of Hawthorne. My read on that: after Hawthorne’s tweaked ankle in camp, they said “enough with the offense and special teams ideas – let’s keep him healthy for corner”.
+ Defensive tackle was as predictable as any depth chart positioning in history. Spence backed up by Howe, Foster backed up by Teitsma. Lock of all locks.
+ I think it’s safe to say that if a true freshman appears on this depth chart, they intend to play them (and not redshirt). So that would mean Robbie Bain, Justin Hardee, Dami Ayoola, Mason Monheim, Mike Svetina, TaJarvis Fuller, and V’Angelo Bentley will not redshirt. Maybe TJ Neal, too, but Neal is listed as a third stringer, so maybe he doesn’t play.
+ One more note: from the pronunciation guide, it’s DAY-mi, not DAH-mi. Dami Ayoola = DAY-mi uh-YOU-la. Get used to that name.