Coach James Franklin spoke with the media after practice on Tuesday but there was little revealed in terms of players winning starting positions. After being asked about the starting quarterback, Franklin said that the coaches have not had the discussion yet on the depth chart or concerning player rotations.
“To be honest with you it’s not like we have a date marked on the calendar. We got a lot of things that we discuss that we got to get covered. Really it’s not like this is any different than years past.”
By this time next week the depth chart will likely be released and there shouldn’t be too many surprises. Other than quarterback, any position that has a tight race for the starting spot should see multiple players getting playing time.
Franklin was asked about freshman quarterbacks Ta’Quan Roberson and Michael Johnson Jr., and how he plans to handle their redshirt status. He said that while he will name a third quarterback, it would be best if both quarterbacks could sit out this year.
When asked about when the team would begin to prepare for Idaho, coach said that later this week they will start working on game-specific material. Technically it’s game week for the players and coaches, so fans should step it up and get all of the kinks worked out. Tailgating preparations need to be checked and then double-checked.
Jahan Dotson got high praise from Franklin. “He is so confident, so smooth. He’s got unbelievable natural ball skills. Obviously he could still use time in the weight room to get more explosive and to get bigger. But now I think he’s strong enough and explosive enough to be an every down Big Ten receiver. The exciting thing for him is I think there is a lot more in the tank from a development standpoint with him.”
Dotson played well late last season and it sounds like he continued to make progress in the offseason. Franklin mentioned that there are many players, such as Dotson and Micah Parsons, that played last year, but are coming in this year so much more experienced and ready to play.
Here is the entire interview with coach Franklin.
Jahan Dotson spoke with the media as well following practice. He looks a lot more relaxed and mature compared to last year at this time. “It feels like things are coming at me at a slower pace. I can see defenders coming at me and make moves off of them.”
Dotson was able to learn the offense last season as a true freshman. As coach Franklin mentioned, he wasn’t just memorizing the routes for one position, but he was able to understand all three positions and how they work together, the entire scheme. That should help when he is out there with KJ Hamler and spacing and timing is important to keep throwing lanes clear. It will also help the quarterback, as we saw many times last season the receivers were late on their routes or ran themselves out of a play.
Dotson was asked about new receivers coach Gerard Parker. “He’s very cool. Laid back. We don’t really go full speed on every rep to save our legs. He relates to us very well.”
Here is the interview with Dotson.
PJ Mustipher spoke with the media as well. The sophomore defensive tackle will play a large role in the middle of Brent Pry’s defense. He looks like another player that we saw last year as a true freshman, that looks much more mature than a second-year player.
“The game slowed down for me a lot compared to last year. Last year I was just running wild. Coming out of high school you don’t have very much technique. You really don’t know the playbook as well as you should. I’m faster. I’ve had an extra year in the weight room. I’m ready to take off.”
Here is the interview.
Safeties coach Tim Banks spoke with the media also. He had a lot of praise for Garrett Taylor. “It’s huge. He’s a guy that’s really earned it in terms of getting what you deserve. He embodies everything that we talk about. It’s not just lip service, he’s earned it.”
“There’s always position battles. I know it doesn’t seem like that to the media sometimes. Those guys know. Day in day out, as much as I love Garrett Taylor, Sutherland’s having a great camp. Which makes GT work even harder. And those guys all know. We came into camp last year at this time Garrett was playing the field and Nick Scott was playing the boundary. So we’re not opposed to flipping guys, we’re going to find out who our best guys are in get them into position. The competition is fierce. If I’m being honest, I feel like we have even more depth this year.”
When asked if Banks could see a scenario where Sutherland and Taylor played together he said he could. He also said that Jaquan Brisker could play with Taylor. Throw in Lamont Wade and it sounds like there really are four players that are capable of earning a starting position. We should see all four a lot regardless to who is on the field for the first play of the game.
Here is the interview with Banks.