We will be at the spring game today bringing you live updates via twitter of what is happening during the scrum. So if you're out of town or not going and want some live feedback, we have you covered. Also, the game will be streamed live on cubuffs.com.
Today's spring scrimmage will be in a different format than prior year's with the coaches naming four team captains for the Black team and Gold team. Each team then drafted players (Here is a roster for today). The idea was to simulate a real game as much as possible compared to the situational drills and shuffling of squads we have seen in prior years.
The Black team, who will be coached by offensive line coach Denver Johnson, is captained by QB Cody Hawkins, LB Michael Sipili, C Mike Iltis and CB Jimmy Smith. The Gold team, who will be coached by running back's coach Denver Johnson, is captained by QB Tyler Hansen, C Keenan Stevens, CB Jalil Brown and LB B.J. Beatty.
QB - Cody Hawkins, Seth Lobato
RB - Quentin Hildreth
WR - Kyle Cefalo, Will Jefferson, Dustin Ebner, Cameron Ham, Mario Conte
TE - Ryan Deehan, Clark Evans
OL - Nate Solder, Jack Harris, Mike Iltis, Ethan Adkins, Shawn Daniels, Scott Fernandez
DL - Conrad Obi, Forrest West, Will Pericak, Josh Hartigan, Guido Murnig
LB - Michael Sipili, Patrick Mahnke (also listed at S), Liloa Nobriga, Derrick Webb, Guy Sergent, Brandon Gouin, David Goldberg, Michael O'Connor
DB - Deji Olatoye, Arthur Jaffee, Jimmy Smith, Travis Sandersfield, Anthony Perkins, Alan Downing, Jonathan Hawkins
K/P - Zach Grossnickle (will punt for both teams), Gabe Romano
Long Snapper - Joe Silipo
QB - Tyler Hansen, Nick Hirschman, Matt Johnson
RB - Brian Lockridge, Corey Nabors
WR - Andre Simmons, Markques Simas, Toney Clemons, Kendrick Celestine, Jarrod Darden Jason Espinoza, Alex Turbow
TE - DaVaughn Thornton, Luke Walters, Alex Wood, Matt Allen, Joe Fleming
OL - Blake Behrens, Eric Richter, Gus Handler, Sione Tau, Ryan Dannewitz, Keenan Stevens, David Bakhtiari
DL - Nick Kasa, Curtis Cunningham, Marquez Herrod, Tony Poremba, Eugene Goree, Sean Gomerdiner
LB - Jon Major, Doug Rippy, Tyler Ahles, B.J. Beatty, Geoff Sissom
DB - Jalil Brown, Ray Polk, Vince Ewing, Parker Orms, Paul Vigo, Devon Martin, Cody McAninch, Josh Moten
K/P - Marcus Kirkwood, Sean Minett
Does this sort of format suggest that the Buffs are now getting enough depth to field two competitive teams? Or will today's contest be disappointing since the first team offense will not be lining up against the entire first team defense at any time?
It will be interesting considering many top players are sitting out today: WR Scotty McKnight, OL Matt Bahr, DL Nate Bonsu, OT Ryan Miller, RB Rodney Stewart, OG Max Tuioti-Mariner and OL Bryce Givens. Yes, that is five starters and a two top reserves. This could be a rough spring scrimmage. Without four offensive linemen (two starters), a top receiver and the top running back on the team, the offense could struggle today.
A few players I will be keeping my eye:
TE's DaVaughn Thornton and Clark Evans could turn the tight end position into a factor this season. I want to see how they block in a simulated game like situation and if they are a part of the scheme today.
DE's Forrest West and Nick Kasa are the key to the defense this year. Colorado needs a pass rush, they need playmakers on the front four and these are the two guys who need to emerge. Both have a year of college under their belt now and we should start to see big things.
S Parker Orms has been the talk of camp so far with his playmaking ability. Look for Orms to start on the Gold team defense along side S Ray Polk. He is No. 30 and it won't take you long to figure out he is a player.
The trio of LB's Jon Major, B.J. Beatty and Doug Rippy on the field together for the Gold team. If Major and Rippy step up this season, it could be a very solid defense.
With the offensive line thin, does a player like OT Jack Harris emerge to be a contender for a starting spot? One thing is for sure, both team's offensive line will get a lot of work with five players out today.
As for who has the better team on paper? I am going with the Gold squad. I would love to see the draft pick order but the Gold squad has more playmakers in my opinion.