Prior to the second open practice of training camp kicking off this afternoon at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, the main player competition that had everyone’s attention heading into camp, the quarterback spot, was settled. Head Coach Randy Edsall was direct in naming junior college transfer David Pindell his starting quarterback for the season opener on August 31st, a decision that was told to the entire team. While that will get the most publicity, there are a number of other two-deep spots that appeared to be up for grabs after the first open session of camp on Monday. Things have now seemed to settle down and Edsall clearly has a handle on what he’s thinking for Holy Cross.
“We’ve had a chance as a coaching staff to sit down,” Edsall said. “We had a really big scrimmage on Thursday, about one hundred and sixty plays and we were able to find out a lot. We really have pretty much in mind our two-deep as we head into the first game because this week we will continue to practice, but now we’ll start to put in some things that prepare us for other schemes that we will see during the year.”
That’s when Edsall dropped the nugget on Pindell, but he also revealed a move on the offensive line.
“David Pindell is going to be our quarterback, he’s the starter,” Edsall said. “Cam DeGeorge is going to be starting at right guard, so pretty much those might be the two things that you see on offense that you didn’t expect. Defensively there’s not a whole lot different there than what anyone would expect right now. We’ll come out later with a depth chart, but I would say those are two of the more significant things that are there.”
DeGeorge is a redshirt freshman who has turned heads since arriving on campus. Following the graduation of Richard Levy and Andreas Knappe, it was expected he would at least compete for a starting role this season. That is exactly what has played out. While Edsall named just two specific winners of competitions, the depth chart is becoming clearer as the season opener creeps closer.
On Monday, Edsall seemed to send a message to the upperclassmen as he placed a number of redshirt and true freshmen with the first team defense, specifically at linebacker and the three safety spots. As practice kicked off today, it was clear once 11-on-11 work began, that the message had been received and things had been corrected. Cam Stapleton had rejoined Junior Joseph and Chris Britton at linebacker. At safety, Brice McAllister and Anthony Watkins joined Tyler Coyle on the back-end of the defense.
However, that’s where things were still a little less clear today. For the majority of practice, while McAllister, Watkins and Coyle started each working period of practice with the 1’s, in 11-on-11 action, they rotated at times on a play-by-play basis with Marshe’ Terry, Brayden Brown, Omar Fortt and even Eddie Hahn found himself in on a play-or-two with the first team. The constant shuffle did create some confusion in tracking who was where for how long, but if there’s an area where decisions still need to be made, it’s clear it’s at the back-end of the Huskies defense.
On the offensive line, things were much more consistent throughout the day as DeGeorge joined Matt Peart, Trey Rutherford, Ryan Crozier and Tommy Hopkins on the top line. True freshman Ryan Van Demark protected the backside of Bryant Shirreffs all afternoon and he had redshirt freshman Nino Leone flanked to his right at left guard.
If there was one surprising move at receiver, it’s that Aaron McLean saw all of his action on the outside opposite Hergy Mayala with the Huskies first string offense, making a number of plays in the process. Tyraiq Beals continued to impress, making play after play both in short-to-medium, as well as deep routes.
Based on what was seen at practice today, albeit just the second time seeing camp, here’s an early projection of the depth chart, minus special teams, come August 31st:
David Pindell (1); Bryant Shirreffs (2)
Arkeel Newsome (1); Nate Hopkins (2)
Hergy Mayala (1), Tyraiq Beals (1), Aaron McLean (1)
Quayvon Skanes (2), Keyion Dixon (2), Tyler Davis (2)
Tommy Myers (1), Alec Bloom (2)
LT Matt Peart (1), LG Trey Rutherford (1), C Ryan Crozier (1), RG Cam DeGeorge (1), RT Tommy Hopkins (1)
LT Ryan Van Demark (2), LG Nino Leone (2), C Dan Oak (2), RG Brandon Vechery (2), RT Steve Hashemi (2)
Luke Carrezola (1), Foley Fatukasi (1), Cole Ormsby (1)
James Atkins (2) OR Connor Freeborn (2), Kevin Murphy (2), Sheridan Lawley (2)
Cam Stapleton (1), Junior Joseph (1), Chris Britton (1)
Santana Sterling (2), Ryan Gilmartin (2), Ian Swenson (2)
Injured – E.J. Levenberry (ACL) & Vontae Diggs (MCL)
Jamar Summers (1), Tre’ Bell (1)
Tahj Herring-Wilson (2), John Robinson IV (2)
Brice McAllister (1), Anthony Watkins (1), Tyler Coyle (1)
Omar Fortt (2), Marshe’ Terry (2), Eddie Hahn (2) OR Brayden Brown (2)
MATT SCHONVISKY / SITE CREATOR