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Tennessee-Southern Miss danger and go zones : argh!!!

There be gremlins in the system. I was about three-quarters of the way done with the offensive danger and go zone thing for the Southern Miss game when I lost everything due to a Flash crash. So it ain't happening this week, folks.

Apologies to SMQ, who, in addition to being the Phil Steele of the blogosphere (the man knows everything about everybody!), happens to be a Southern Miss fan. We tried twice this week to get SMQ on a podcast, but we just couldn't get our schedules to jive. We were able, though, to talk a bit by email, and when we asked him to rank the Golden Eagles' starters for us, here's what he came up with:


1. RB Damion Fletcher (Soph.)
2. TE Shawn Nelson (Jr. - Will split wide occasionally; best athlete by far)
3. LT Chris Clark (Sr.)
4. QB Jeremy Young (Sr. - Would be much, much lower based on his passing. Wouldn't be in the lineup, actually)
5. WR Chris Johnson (Sr.)
6. RT Ryan McKee (Jr.)
7. WR Ed Morgan (Jr.)
8. LG Wesley Housley (Jr.)
9. WR Torris McGee (RS Fr.) / FB Marcus Raines ( Sr. - Touted LB recruit out of JUCO; originally signed w/ K-State; once convicted of manslaughter as a minor)
10. RG Nick Dean (Sr.)
11. C Rick Thompson (Jr.)

The first six are returning starters, but only Fletcher and Nelson are worrisome from your end, and it's a struggle to get the ball to Nelson. I know nothing about guys 7-11 as players, really, except that none of the linemen are over 290(!) and the center is only 270. I had hoped he had filled out since he was a freshman, when his mug shot made him look he was in junior high, but that's still pretty undersized. Interior line is obviously a problem - two four-year starters graduated at the guard spots, and the departing center was a two-year starter.


1. DT Martavius Prince (Sr.)
2. DB Brandon Sumrall (Sr. - Is listed now as a CB, but has played the last two years at SS and was still projected there. CB is very, very young, though, so he's apparently moved; covered slot guys in spread sets last year and might move all over the place)
3. MLB Gerald McRath (Jr.)
4. DE Robert Henderson (Sr.)
5. FS/ROV LeVance Richmond (Sr.)
6. DT Sean Merrill (Sr. - Originally a top 100 recruit w/ LSU)
7. OLB James Denley (Sr.)
8. DE Matt Chatelain (Sr. - 6th year)
9. OLB Tokumba Abanikanda (Jr.)
10. FS Eddie Hicks (So.)
11. CB C.J. Bailey (RS Fr.)

I'm much more confident about the D. No stars, but the first nine are returning starters and Hicks ran a crucial INT for a touchdown against East Carolina last year. Chatelain is a one-time walk-on with no talent but has started since he was a redshirt freshman for motor, technique, etc. (missed last year w/ an injury). He's probably better than I give him credit for. Bailey is the big question mark, and he's an athlete, so we'll see. There's nobody I totally love, but nobody that immediately stands out as a weak link.

SMQ, thanks for the insight.

Tennessee fans, I was going to rank our players like this:


1. QB 10 Erik Ainge (Sr., 6-6, 220)
2. TB 27 Arian Foster (Jr., 6-1, 225)
3. LT 54 Eric Young (Sr., 6-4, 305)
4. TE 28 Chris Brown (Sr., 6-3, 250)
5. WR 12 Lucas Taylor (Jr., 6-0, 185)
6. LG 75 Anthony Parker (Jr., 6-3, 305)
7. C 50 Josh McNeil (So., 6-4, 280)
8. RG 79 Chris Scott (So., 6-5, 305)
9. WR 21 Austin Rogers (So., 6-2, 185)
10. RT 78 Ramon Foster (Jr., 6-6, 325)
11. WR 81 Josh Briscoe (Jr., 6-3, 183)


1. LT 98 Demonté Bolden (Jr., 6-6, 290)
2. FS 33 Jonathan Hefney (Sr., 5-9, 185)
3. WLB 5 Rico McCoy (So., 6-1, 215)
4. MLB 7 Jerod Mayo (Jr., 6-2, 230)
5. SLB 39 Ryan Karl (Sr., 6-0, 218)
6. SS 14 Eric Berry (Fr., 5-11, 195)
7. RE 89 Antonio Reynolds (Sr., 6-3, 270)
8. LE 93 Xavier Mitchell (Sr., 6-2, 255)
9. LCB 37 Antonio Gaines (Sr., 5-9, 180)
10. RCB 31 Marsalous Johnson (So., 5-9, 180)
11. RT 55 Dan Williams (So., 6-3, 310)

Wow. Not feeling good about the defense. What do you think? How would you rank our players after the Cal loss?