Hooray, a depth chart! Let's dig in right away.
-- I went back to the first depth chart of last year to try and set expectations on how much this year's chart may change between now and South Bend. And actually, it wasn't as much as I was expecting. Obviously A.J. Love and Sterling Griffin got hurt, so the receivers changed. And there were a couple of position changes (Mistral Raymond moving to cornerback, Jon LeJiste becoming a free safety, etc.) that led to some other changes. But the great majority of players who were first string last March were first string last September.
-- Anyone who didn't participate in last Saturday's scrimmage was ineligible to be placed on the chart. So no A.J. Love (who would certainly make the two-deep if he was healthy), no Lindsey Lamar (same), and no Ricardo Dixon (same).
-- I see a few people are already falling into the "Darrell Scott is a five-star running back, he's going to start real soon!" trap, also known as the Mike Ford Fallacy. Then when Scott doesn't run for 1500 yards, it will be blamed entirely on Skip Holtz and Todd Fitch. People expect Murray to be wiped off the depth chart entirely, but I don't see that happening. There was nothing wrong with the way Murray played last year -- he always ran hard, he knew where he was going, and he could catch passes downfield. And of course, he has experience in the unglamorous parts of being a running back: selling play-action and picking up blitzes. Scott and Aycock haven't played in two years, and they didn't play that much when they were at Colorado and Auburn. It may happen later, but if they want the starting job, they have to earn it just like Mike Ford never quite did.
-- This is the dawning of the Age of Quinterrius. (Gary was right, that's a lot better than the Quinterrius Period.) Eatmon is the first-string right tackle, moving ahead of Damien Edwards. I'm impressed with how often the coaches have singled out Eatmon for praise without even being asked, and it happened again yesterday when Holtz mentioned him. Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch chimed in as well during his post-practice interview.
-- How about Armando Sanchez making his case for being USF's Swiss army knife? Last year he played backup linebacker and was a special-teams ace. Now he's listed as the starting fullback.
-- I got burned pretty badly last year guessing which incoming freshmen would get playing time in 2010. That won't stop me from doing it again, although I don't think my list will be quite so long. We've already heard rumblings that WR Andre Davis will be on the field as a freshman, but Ken threw out DB Kenneth Durden when we were talking back and forth yesterday, and we both added DT Elkino Watson to our lists. But like Bobby Eveld last year, there's going to be a surprise or two.
-- Ken and I also had the same thought about Spencer Boyd not showing up on the two-deep at cornerback, maybe the thinnest position on the team. Message, sent?
-- Of course there aren't going to be any new names on a spring depth chart (with the exception of Ernie Tabuteau), but does this one feel more experienced than you expected? Probably 90% of the people on the two-deep have had some playing time, whether they started last year, or they came on the field in rotations or certain packages. Of course, we all felt pretty good last year and then about 100 receivers got hurt. I'll be quiet.