What We’ve Learned One Week into Spring Football

What do we know after one week?

The team was able to practice for one week before taking a break for spring break. Let’s recap and discuss what we know after that one week.

  • We haven’t yet learned all that much about the quarterback battle between Jett Duffey and McLane Carter. I think it will be down to these two by the end of the spring and there may not be an answer at the end of the spring. Don Williams came out with an article today where Kingsbury discussed the two of them, that Duffey lacks repetitions and Carter has a turnover problem. These are all known problems and problems that really have to be sorted out over the course of the spring. I’d expect the quarterback competition to last through the summer and through preseason practice.
  • It seems very likely that Zach Austin gets an extra year of eligibility and I wonder if that will be beneficial considering I thought that Austin played the H position, which is pretty stacked at this point (Bowman, Robinson and Martin) while the Y receiver is just Wesley and Galban. I think Austin is a good player, but I don’t know if he’s better than Bowman, Robinson and Martin. He’s more experienced, for sure, but I’m not sure that he’s better.
  • One of the best things to come out of camp is that two of the Skyline players from the 2016 class are back and on the field, running back Da’Leon Ward and defensive tackle Joe Wallace. I’d like to know if Ward bulked up during his redshirt year because if he didn’t, he should be stronger. Of course, this also presumes that while Ward was out, he was permitted to workout, but I don’t know that. Ward is still listed at 5’11 and 180, which is the same size as a freshman. With Wallace, I think David Gibbs said that from a pure athletic standpoint, Wallace is as athletic as they come, he just doesn’t look like it. We’ve seen glimpses of Wallace play and now both he and Ward need to make sure they stay on the field.
  • In the “story that was written about the least this spring”, starting center Paul Stawarz suspended for the first 4 workouts. I have no idea as to why and I won’t speculate, but you’d expect that your senior offensive center, maybe the captain of the group, needs to make sure that he’s keeping his head right with football.
  • We know that one defensive tackle spot is going to be pretty good with Broderick Washington returning, but the returning tackles and nose guards should be a group that has a ton of potential and maybe the best group that we’ve seen roll through Lubbock in quite some time. Add in Wallace, Nick McCann, Nelson Mbanasor, and Houston Miller as well as Rice graduate transfer Preston Gordon and it’s a really deep group.
  • In an odd twist, Brandt Schilling (X receiver) and Dalton Rigton (Z receiver) are your back-up wide receivers. Just to catch everyone up, Rigdon is a sophomore (I think he played last year) from Perryton and was said to be a really terrific athlete, particularly track and field, and walked on the football program and maybe even the track program this year. Rigdon claimed the long jump title as a senior and finished 5th in state in the 200 meter dash. At 5’11” and 170, you can somewhat get the outside receiver spot with Rigdon, but Schilling is sorta a different player. Schilling is a 5’9″ and 175 receiver from Idalou, a walk-on transfer from Angelo State where he sat out the 2016 season as his transfer year. Obviously, Schilling is not your typical size for a wide receiver and in high school, Schilling was a running back, running for 3,186 yards and over 30 touchdowns for a receiver. The odd thing is the height for me, and yes, I really do think that once some of the other freshmen receivers show up, Schilling may not be second in line, but for now he is. Myller Royals and Galban are obviously here and on campus, but Erik Ezukanma, Kesean Carter and Corey Fulcher will arrive in the summer.
  • I briefly mentioned this above, but I really do wonder why there’s a lot of talent (at least on paper) at the H receiver spot with De’Quan Bowman, Jojo Robinson and Xavier Martin, while the Y receiver position has Antoine Wesley and Sterling Galban. That in itself is a strange combination for me. I think maybe the strange part is Wesley getting the starting nod, and maybe it’s because he’s such a match-up nightmare for opponents at 6-5/185. I’m going to be highly interested to see how this shakes out in the end. This is the senior years for Bowman and Robinson, are both or just one of them going to get on the field?
  • Three freshmen DB’s John Adams, Quincy Addison and Adrian Frey all redshirted as well as sophomore Thomas Leggett. If you wanted to know why David Gibbs wasn’t all that stressed about the situation, that was it, that he’s probably got four guys that are ready to push and they’re all young. That’s not really a great excuse for me, but I get where he’s coming from. The best part about this group is that Kingsbury said that they all do things the right way and they’re a group for sure. We’ll see how much they can actually push some of the starters, but it will be a fun group of players to watch to see if they can play this spring.

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