the daily: double-dipping and the depth chart

Thursday is a rare double-dip: we’ll get to talk to Doug Belk (associate head coach and defensive coordinator) and David Rowe (secondary coach) and select players at lunch and then Kelvin Sampson and players at drive-time.

August 3, 2023 | the daily #3

Brave New World. It is conceivable that only three players that signed with UH out of high school will start on offense in the UTSA game (Golden, Patrick Paul, Jack Freeman). As recently as 2020, that number was nine. The transfer portal has turned high school recruiting and development into a secondary issue.

Fall Camp. This is the most unwieldy preseason camp that UH has had in years. Eleven of the 16 guys that took 550+ snaps last year are gone.

I think untangling this team’s depth chart will be the most interesting component of the preseason. Dana and his staff will discover more about the 42 new players, figure out how to piece them together, and solve riddles at every position on the field. It’s like an escape room come to life.

Only the punter, senior Aussie Laine Wilkins, and his upside-down friend, long snapper Gavin Gately, will definitely be unchanged from last year. The starting QB, WRs, OL, TE, DL, LBs, and DBs will all have changes.

Obviously, you don’t know what you have at QB. With Alton McCaskill gone, three running backs will split first-team reps until a hierarchy emerges. And despite Dana’s assertion that “we’ve fixed our o-line problems,” there are some unknowns at left guard and right tackle. Cam’Ron Johnson and Lance Robinson, who both transferred after OL coach Brandon Jones was fired, combined for 87% of snaps at those two positions and 24/26 starts. LG should be a battle of Tank Jenkins and ULM transfer Peyton Dunn while right tackle is wide-open with UT transfer Jaylen Garth, FIU transfer Shamar Hobdy-Lee, and returner Reuben Unije fighting it out.

Injuries. In June, a tipster messaged me that Kordel Jefferson is “getting surgery on both wrists, not just the one. He will redshirt this year.” I could not find anyone to confirm that publicly so I held off on writing about it. But Kordel was wearing a wrist brace on his left arm Tuesday night.

Kelvin Sampson shared the news that confirmed all of what the tipster said:

Sampson said later that he will “probably” redshirt Jefferson. Kordel is one of the happiest guys on the team and was still enjoying himself well after the scrimmage.

Kordel Jefferson after the scrimmage

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