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How Far Away Is The Roster?


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The focus has been on Littrell and the coaching staff (rightfully so) but I’m curious what the thoughts are on the roster. I think overall you have to ding Littrell for not having the roster where it needs to be for AAC competition, but I also don’t think it’s in a bad spot for whoever inherits it to take it to that level.

I think the biggest areas of deficiency are QB, LB, and DB. Beyond that, I think most of the other position groups are at least close to AAC ready.

At RB I think Adaway and Adeyi are both at that level, and both are sophomores, plus some solid depth behind them. At WR, Burns, Shorter, Maclin, and even Ward seem to be good enough. Could probably use more speed there but no huge overhaul needed. At tight end it looks like Gumms is starting to take a step forward and become a stud, and Roberts isn’t as explosive but I think he is AAC quality. And on the O-Line, you only have one senior in Mose and the group is pretty decent. Really have excelled in pass blocking, even with the two tackles being more interior guys naturally. Hoping true freshman Howard Sampson at 6’7” can be a guy who takes over at a tackle spot eventually.

Defensively the line doesn’t look great but only Mazin Richards is a junior and the rest of the rotation guys are underclassmen. Trieb has been disappointing but he still has 2 years of eligibility left and True Freshman Cam Robertson has already earned a spot and looked promising. DTs have struggled a little being undersized but Rod Brown has also shown the ability to make plays and Enoch Jackson has shown something too, just has been injured this year.

That leaves QB, LB, and DB as positions that just do not appear to have the guys we need currently on the roster. I’m not out on Gunnell, and I think he at least gives us a baseline as a guy who has been starter caliber at the PAC 12 level, but he hasn’t had an impressive start here. As for LB and DB, there’s just not much there and KD Davis is out of eligibility after the season. Our safeties don’t look FBS caliber at all and Gaddie, who is the one DB who has shown ability this year, hasn’t really looked good since the UTEP game.

Curious what everyone’s thoughts are. 

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5 minutes ago, Pellom said:

DL is not good enough at all. The LBers are weak besides KD. I like our corners, but safety is mediocre. 
 

WRs, RBs and OL all seem to be AAC quality. QB isn’t. 

He didn’t have a good game but Larry Nixon is a guy I have a lot of faith in.  

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In a week we will have our answer since we are going up against an AAC team in Memphis. SMU already showed us a intro to what the AAC will be like, now it's Memphis' turn. If we lose again by blow it it will show that we are far behind being ready for the AAC. 

A guy that can recruit the portal will be essential for future success, and that's not unique to us or the situation we are in. The transfer portal will be a huge part of programs going forward, we just have to accept it and be ready to take advantage. 

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Everything behind the DL needs to be completely torn down and started from scratch. DL needs depth but otherwise has some playmakers. I can't remember who it was yesterday but I caught one of our guys completely dominating their assignment. It was either the right guard or center but they drove them back repeatedly early in the game. Our offense just needs to give them some breaks.

That said, our offense is really solid from a jimmys and joes standpoint. Tons of talent, just missing a QB who can take command and make defenses pay for either showing their hand before the snap or for missing assignments once the ball is snapped. I'm not out on any of our QBs with a better coaching staff and play calling. We've got too much talent on offense to have a season high of 31. I think with the proper offensive minded head coach (Mike Yurcich, Neal Brown, or Jeff Lebby maybe?) or an experienced guy like Gary P who knows how to put together a coaching staff, I think we can turn this around quickly.

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2 hours ago, NorthTexasWeLove said:

You're pretty accurate, imo. I would personally add DL to your list. But secondary and LB is definitely not up to par...at all. Obviously QB is a concern. But, like you, I think Gunnel needs to a fair shake. But that doesn't mean the new guy can't afford to go get a guy. 

2 hours ago, Pellom said:

DL is not good enough at all. The LBers are weak besides KD. I like our corners, but safety is mediocre. 
 

WRs, RBs and OL all seem to be AAC quality. QB isn’t. 

Yeah I’m not fully sold on DL either but I think we have some guys who could make up a competent D-Line with the right coaching. Let’s not forget they aren’t exactly being coached by someone who has ever developed D-Linemen, and has never even held a defensive coaching position in college before this stint.  Last year we had two 3-year starters at D-Tackle and the Murphy twins at end. Wasn’t like he had much developing to do with that group.

Rod Brown and Enoch Jackson both can be effective defensive tackles IMO. I think the biggest issue with them is that they’re both disruptor/penetrator types, not gap eaters. Ideally you want one of each playing next to each other. And at d-end, I think Trieb has the ability but it almost always takes JUCOs most of a full season before they really start playing like effective FBS players. And Cam Robertson was a big-time recruit with a lengthy P5 offer list and has immediately earned a spot in the rotation as a true freshman, which is very tough as a d-lineman. Plus Mazin Richards has shown a pretty impressive ability to get by tackles.

I think you fast forward a year and that group (plus maybe some from the backup group like Vailea, Leota, Rausaw) could easily be productive with decent coaching.

Edited by BillySee58
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On 8/29/2022 at 3:51 PM, MrStrange18 said:

We’re missing a 300lb Dion Novil type Defensive tackle. Our D-Line are talented guys, but as a group they are undersized leaving us vulnerable up the middle. 

10 minutes ago, Dannymacfan said:

Everyone tried to downplay losing the twins and Dion Novil and that turned out to be disastrous.  We have not been recruiting at a high level and everyone knows it

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2 hours ago, BillySee58 said:

The focus has been on Littrell and the coaching staff (rightfully so) but I’m curious what the thoughts are on the roster. I think overall you have to ding Littrell for not having the roster where it needs to be for AAC competition, but I also don’t think it’s in a bad spot for whoever inherits it to take it to that level.

I think the biggest areas of deficiency are QB, LB, and DB. Beyond that, I think most of the other position groups are at least close to AAC ready.

At RB I think Adaway and Adeyi are both at that level, and both are sophomores, plus some solid depth behind them. At WR, Burns, Shorter, Maclin, and even Ward seem to be good enough. Could probably use more speed there but no huge overhaul needed. At tight end it looks like Gumms is starting to take a step forward and become a stud, and Roberts isn’t as explosive but I think he is AAC quality. And on the O-Line, you only have one senior in Mose and the group is pretty decent. Really have excelled in pass blocking, even with the two tackles being more interior guys naturally. Hoping true freshman Howard Sampson at 6’7” can be a guy who takes over at a tackle spot eventually.

Defensively the line doesn’t look great but only Mazin Richards is a junior and the rest of the rotation guys are underclassmen. Trieb has been disappointing but he still has 2 years of eligibility left and True Freshman Cam Robertson has already earned a spot and looked promising. DTs have struggled a little being undersized but Rod Brown has also shown the ability to make plays and Enoch Jackson has shown something too, just has been injured this year.

That leaves QB, LB, and DB as positions that just do not appear to have the guys we need currently on the roster. I’m not out on Gunnell, and I think he at least gives us a baseline as a guy who has been starter caliber at the PAC 12 level, but he hasn’t had an impressive start here. As for LB and DB, there’s just not much there and KD Davis is out of eligibility after the season. Our safeties don’t look FBS caliber at all and Gaddie, who is the one DB who has shown ability this year, hasn’t really looked good since the UTEP game.

Curious what everyone’s thoughts are. 

Good stuff Billy.   I agree.  I think with the graduation of Davis, we’re going to see a significant drop off in LB play in addition to the bad safety play (unless Nakwassah comes in as the real deal).   Anxious to get Davis back, as I think he makes Gaddie better.  
If Brown transfers off the DL, we could be in trouble there as well.

QB, obviously.

I wonder about Tackle play on the OL & who takes Mose’s place.

I think we see the WR talent we currently have look really good after a QB is identified.

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I think we also lose our kicker and punter after this season.   Both are good.  

Quick makeovers can happen.  UNLV only won 2 games last year but had like 25 transfers this off-season.  The home announcers said they look like a whole different team, faster and bigger. 

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5 minutes ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

Good stuff Billy.   I agree.  I think with the graduation of Davis, we’re going to see a significant drop off in LB play in addition to the bad safety play (unless Nakwassah comes in as the real deal).   Anxious to get Davis back, as I think he makes Gaddie better.  
If Brown transfers off the DL, we could be in trouble there as well.

QB, obviously.

I wonder about Tackle play on the OL & who takes Mose’s place.

I think we see the WR talent we currently have look really good after a QB is identified.

Agreed. Regarding the o-line, with Nwaiwu getting starts in Carroll’s absence, they could just plug Carroll in at center (where he has played here a little and played in high school) next year and leave the rest of the line as is. Or they could bump Duncan in at guard where he probably is a more natural fit, if they can get a legit tackle.

They should have options but as long as the next coach can get Blair to stay, I think the next coach will feel okay about the personnel at o-line.

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I think we are very far off, we overrate our offensive line, especially Mose. We don't have a number one wide receiver, we have a couple decent running backs but you can find them a dime a dozen. Tight end is the only position group on offense I feel somewhat okay about. Defensive line starters are poor, which leads me to believe the players behind them are even worse. Linebacker recruiting besides KD Davis may be just as bad as safety recruiting has been overall. We haven't had an FBS caliber player starting at safety since 2017. Gaddie is the only corner who has shown a fair amount of skill at times. Upton Stout was good but he gone...

We just lost by 30 to UNLV. We are no where near talented enough for the AAC. 

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3 hours ago, untjim1995 said:

Doesn’t really matter. The portal will be so full after this fall, we will have to rebuild the entire roster with a new coaching staff.

Agreed. This is all moot. Once Littrell is fired, there will be a mass exodus of current players to the portal and the new coach will hunt the portal to completely rebuild this roster. Welcome to College Football in 2022

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1 hour ago, NT80 said:

I think we also lose our kicker and punter after this season.   Both are good.  

Quick makeovers can happen.  UNLV only won 2 games last year but had like 25 transfers this off-season.  The home announcers said they look like a whole different team, faster and bigger. 

I’d imagine that Vegas and NIL opportunities has helped them a lot in their rebuild. I know that will be tougher here for sure.

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47 minutes ago, UNT Texas Hooligan said:

Agreed. This is all moot. Once Littrell is fired, there will be a mass exodus of current players to the portal and the new coach will hunt the portal to completely rebuild this roster. Welcome to College Football in 2022

I think people are going to be surprised at how many starters stay. The ability to transfer without sitting out a season started after the 2020 season. The guys who are still here have had that opportunity and chose to stay. Probably pretty safe to say they like it here in Denton. Even through a coaching change, when presented with the option of getting to stay here and continue being starters, or start over somewhere else, I think more will stay than leave.

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1 hour ago, ntmeangreen11 said:

I think we are very far off, we overrate our offensive line, especially Mose. We don't have a number one wide receiver, we have a couple decent running backs but you can find them a dime a dozen. Tight end is the only position group on offense I feel somewhat okay about. Defensive line starters are poor, which leads me to believe the players behind them are even worse. Linebacker recruiting besides KD Davis may be just as bad as safety recruiting has been overall. We haven't had an FBS caliber player starting at safety since 2017. Gaddie is the only corner who has shown a fair amount of skill at times. Upton Stout was good but he gone...

We just lost by 30 to UNLV. We are no where near talented enough for the AAC. 

Watch the film. O-line had a solid day. They knew what was coming on 4th and 1 (along with everyone watching) but they played well overall. 

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4 hours ago, untjim1995 said:

Doesn’t really matter. The portal will be so full after this fall, we will have to rebuild the entire roster with a new coaching staff.

I see where you’re coming from, but I have a different perspective.  If SL has lost the team (or maybe even if he hasn’t), if we hire the right guy, players could be excited for a fresh start.  
 

A new coach might also want his own guys and encourage some portal entries, so there’s that as well.

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Just now, NT93 said:

I see where you’re coming from, but I have a different perspective.  If SL has lost the team (or maybe even if he hasn’t), if we hire the right guy, players could be excited for a fresh start.  
 

A new coach might also want his own guys and encourage some portal entries, so there’s that as well.

Certainly possible…

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9 hours ago, ntmeangreen11 said:

I think we are very far off, we overrate our offensive line, especially Mose. We don't have a number one wide receiver, we have a couple decent running backs but you can find them a dime a dozen. Tight end is the only position group on offense I feel somewhat okay about. Defensive line starters are poor, which leads me to believe the players behind them are even worse. Linebacker recruiting besides KD Davis may be just as bad as safety recruiting has been overall. We haven't had an FBS caliber player starting at safety since 2017. Gaddie is the only corner who has shown a fair amount of skill at times. Upton Stout was good but he gone...

We just lost by 30 to UNLV. We are no where near talented enough for the AAC. 

I think you're allowing the stains from an overall stagnant offense to corrupt your view of the OL.   Some of those guys (including Mose) are very good players.
We were all saying the same things about McCarney's players when he was canned, and Littrell was able to get a lot out of those guys early on.  Watch what happens when new life is breathed into the offense.

 

 

8 hours ago, BillySee58 said:

I think people are going to be surprised at how many starters stay. The ability to transfer without sitting out a season started after the 2020 season. The guys who are still here have had that opportunity and chose to stay. Probably pretty safe to say they like it here in Denton. Even through a coaching change, when presented with the option of getting to stay here and continue being starters, or start over somewhere else, I think more will stay than leave.

I agree with this as well... depending on who is brought in.   And I think I trust Baker to bring in someone who will bring renewed excitement for both players and fans.   There aren't many guys that I would be concerned about losing (you hit one earlier in this thread, and I hit one in my first post).

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