I'm not thinking ahead to 2009 all that much at this point, but here are a couple of thoughts to consider when there's not much to talk about.
- QB Dom Natale seems to have firmly established his role as backup quarterback ahead of Chris Paul-Etienne. Jabu Lovelace was so ineffective at quarterback that, if he's able to successfully rehab and returns for his fifth year, he should strongly consider switching to safety. A lot of fans want to immediately anoint Tom Savage or D.C. Jefferson, but I think they're both raw enough that the odds are overwhelmingly against them (and Steve Shimko) from seeing the field before 2010.
- Jourdan Brooks is ahead of Mason Robinson right now. I just wish that both would see more consistent work so the coaching staff has a good opportunity to see what they can do in game action. Eric LeGrand has been getting work at FB, and that might continue until Andres Morales finds his way out of the doghouse.
- Before his recent leg injury, former walk-on QB Andrew DePaola had seemingly passed Julian Hayes on the depth chart, as well as Marcus Cooper. If Britt leaves for the NFL draft, Timmy Brown is likely to be counted on as RU's big play receiver (Campbell in the slot?), but I'm not sure who will be the next possession receiver if not Hayes or DePaola. Cooper has a similar body type to Underwood, while it remains to be seen whether Keith Stroud or Tim Wright have a little Britt in them. The underclassmen look talented, but it's hard for them to get much experience when RU's depth chart is very crowded at the position this year.
- Giving Graves the starting TE job over Brock was a good decision. They're similar players, but Graves has another two years to improve. I'd imagine that McGovern won't petition for a sixth year if he can't see the field as it is. Ruiz is bigger than Graves, but he's still not the mauling, Sam Johnson-type blocker that you'd want behind Graves at this point. Maybe with another offseason working with Jay Butler.
- Art Forst could be on the Anthony Davis path, only with his eventual destination at right tackle (pure speculation on my part). A couple of the beatwriters did mention that Lange and Hardison switched uniforms for the Pitt game, but Hardison is still at the depth chart at center. Besides, at 280 lbs, can anyone see him playing defensive tackle for a Greg Schiano team? It'll be interesting to see whether the staff brings in any junior college help this year. The trio of Stapleton, Muldrow, and Newell were three of my favorite recruits in their class. The fact that we've heard nothing about Muldrow or Newell lately has been a little disturbing, but they might just be late bloomers.