Managed to watch the spring presser yesterday. Here's the recap with a handful of thoughts.
- Coach Schiano started off by noting the roster's staggering youth. 62 of the 85 players on scholarship have three or four years of eligibility remaining.
- There's been some more movement on the staff. RB coach/GA Randy Trivers is leaving to go back to coaching high school. Trivers spent nearly a decade at Northwest HS in Germantown, MD. As a GA, he really wasn't free to try to leverage some of his connections to that region. CB coach Chris Hewitt is shifting responsibilities to RBs. S/T coach Robb Smith drops OLBs for CBs, and the new GA is a former player development assistant Tem Lukabu.
- Tem is a local, and the older brother of the former Scarlet Knight Piana. He followed Coach Rizzi to URI, and played under Bob Fraser at Colgate. URI's website has an informative interview with Lukabu.
- Schiano then recapped the injury situation. Kordell Young (knee) -Des Wynn (shoulder) De'Antwan Williams, (knee), Fabian Ruiz (achilles) Betim Bujari (non football), Jamal Merrell (knee), and Marvin Booker (knee) will all sit out until the summer. Colin McEvoy (shoulder) and Mason Robinson (knee) will be able to do more, but are still limited during the spring.
- Schiano wasn't sure of the OL makeup without Wynn. Art Forst is likely to play guard or right tackle. Howard Barbieri moved to center right after the bowl, and has strong leadership qualities. The players to look out for are Des Stapleton, Caleb Ruch, and Devon Watkis. Coach knows Lowery can play on defense. Antwan will have a learning curve this spring, but could be a natural and compete for playing time.
- With a thin depth chart at RB for the spring, it's important to not overwork Joe Martinek. Ty Putman will see touches coming back from injury, as will Nick DePaola. Robert Joseph will primarily play fullback but is in the mix too.
- Steve Shimko is the clear #2 quarterback, and the only other traditional QB on the roster. Coach hinted that an incoming freshman (Deering?) will see time in the Wildcat package next fall.
- There are a lot of bodies at receiver, but no one's stood out up to this point. Julian Hayes is really the only one with a lot of experience, and he's been putting in time with Coach Fleck. At TE, the freshmen like Carrezola will get a look along with Jefferson.
- When talk turned to the linebackers, Schiano said there's no set depth chart... then proceeded to name Lowery, Beauharnais, Glaud, and Dumont in order. And then, in what I thought was the most telling item in the entire press confernece, Coach seemed to put Manny Abreu directly on the spot. That could really be an ongoing storyline for the rest of spring. Abreu just has so much untapped potential, and if he could start to scratch the surface, he has a chance to be a difference maker on defense going forward. If one player can break out over the next month, it really needs to be Abreu. Anyway, Schiano isn't exactly sure yet on where all of them will line up.
- He was excited about seeing the redshirt freshmen at CB and DL.
- Kyle Sullivan will have a good competition with San San Te at placekicker. They still need to find a snapper.
That's about it. First practice is Tuesday.