Post-spring depth chart: offense

Just was going to post my take when I received Army’s official post-spring depth chart.

Left tackle, right guard and both running back positions went three deep. I’ll provide some additional notes at each position.

Key: * – finished 2011 season as starter; # -started at some point in 2011

Quarterback: *-Trent Steelman, Sr., #Angel Santiago, Fr.
Noteable: Steelman was shut down in the final week of the spring due to an injury. Santiago received plenty of reps in the spring. Coach Rich Ellerson thinks Santiago is still a little uncomfortable pitching the ball and throwing passes in a crowd. But the coaching staff loves Santiago quick feet. DeBartolo is developing into a steady No. 3 guy. Incoming freshman A.J. Schurr, Army Prep’s starting quarterback, could be in the mix this fall. Sophomore Parker Hite finished spring at the No. 4 QB.

Fullback: *Larry Dixon, Fr., Hayden Tippett, Soph.
Noteable: Ellerson loves his top two fullbacks. Dixon rushed for 542 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman. This spring, Tippett, who had 11 carries last season, earned the right for more touches in 2012 and can provide some physical, tough running up the middle.  Junior Jared Hassin, who started the first seven games of 2011 at fullback and rushed for 1,000 yards in 2010, can also provide depth. Junior Dan McGue and sophomore Jay Tully round out depth chart.

A-Back: *Malcolm Brown, Jr.; #Trenton Turrentine, Fr. or #Terry Baggett, Fr.
Noteable: Either of the three players above could start depending on the formation Army runs on any given play. All three were banged up this spring. Ellerson and staff have discussed moving Brown, who has 1,038 career rushing yards, to wide receiver.  Brown has caught 13 passes for 276 in three seasons. Slotbacks Brian Austin (junior) and Scott Williams (sophomore) back up Brown in slotback looks. Sophomore Julian Crockett’s quickness could help.

C-Back: *Raymond Maples, Soph., #Jared Hassin, Jr. or #Stephen Fraser, Fr.
Noteable: Maples took the most reps in spring. Hassin and Fraser were banged up. Hassin’s move from fullback could give Maples a breather here and there. Maples led Army with 146 carries last season. Junior Kelechi Odocha was one of the few healthy running backs this spring and benefited from the increased work. Freshman Brady Earnhardt combines speed with power.

WR: Patrick Laird, Soph., E.J. Tucker, Fr.
Noteable: Laird and Tucker were running with the first team most of the spring. Sophomore Robert Wright would probably be next on the depth chart. Sophomore Jon Crucitti, a running back for his first two seasons, may also figure here. Crucitti missed spring with a shoulder injury.

WR: Chevaughn Lawrence, Fr., Anthony Stephens, Soph.
Noteable: Lawrence closed the spring strong and stood out in the Black & Gold game. If Lawrence’s blocking keeps improving, he has the athletic ability to be a big-play receiver. Stephens was banged up most of the spring. Freshman Michael Hudson took advantage of increased spring reps and is another solid athlete.

LT: Ben Jebb, Jr.; Nick Bennett, Fr. or Dan Whitaker, Soph.
Noteable: Jebb practiced with the first team most of spring. Whitaker saw some action early in 2011. Sophomore Shelby Jackson, who was banged up most of the spring, and junior Tom Houser round out the depth chart.

LG: *Frank Allen, Jr.; Andrew Szott, Soph.
Noteable: Allen, a two-year starter, is entrenched here. Szott has good size (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) and speed.

C: *Ryan Powis, Fr.; Todd McDonald, Fr.
Noteable: Powis started the last eight games of 2011. Coaches love Powis’ poise and toughness. Army feels confidence in Powis and the depth at center to move Will Wilson and Momo Kime to tackle permanently. Freshman Ryan Gibeley and Will O’Keefe are third and fourth string.

RG: *Matt Villanti, Jr., Steve Shumaker, Fr. or Zach Reichert, Soph.
Noteable: Villanti missed all of spring with a knee injury. Shumaker ran with the first team. Freshman David Evans also saw time here in the spring.

RT: #Will Wilson, Jr., #Momo Kime, Soph.
Noteable: Wilson, who started three games at center and was moved to guard last season, may have found a home at right tackle. “We owe it to Will to let him settle in there and let him be the guy at tackle unless someone can chase him out of there,” Ellerson said. “He’s one of those guys that knows exactly what’s expected of him. He has a tremendous football IQ and can manage space.” Kime, who started two games (one at center and the other at left tackle) didn’t participate in spring practice due to injury.  Junior Derek Bisgard, a projected starter in 2011, has battled a knee injury and it is unclear what his role will be in 2012. If healthy, Bisgard jumps into the mix and competes for starting spot. Freshman Rob Bickel was also banged near the end of spring.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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