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Charlotte 49ers Football: A Much Too Early Look At the 2015 Offensive Depth Chart

Hey, other people are doing it, so why not us?

Wade Bruton

With the Charlotte 49ers preparing for their third season of play (first in Conference USA and FBS), they're really in a little better shape than most programs. Many of their starters from last year return while other positions will benefit from some significant depth. However, the big question is how those players adjust from playing primarily FCS and lower talent to taking on some much more veteran, talented groups.

So, how will the offense look? Let's take a look at last year's depth chart (from the last game of the 2014 season) and make our (very) early projections for 2015 starters.


FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
QB* 8 Matt Johnson (R-So.) 5 Lee McNeill (R-So.)
WR 9 Dmarjai Devine (Sr.) 84 Juwan Foggie (Fr.)
WR 81 Trent Bostick (So.) 89 T.L. Ford (Fr.)
LT 73 Jamal Covington (R-So.) 78 Kyle Hoffman (R-So.)
LG 70 Casey Perry (R-So.) 66 Joe Wolljung (R-So.)
C 74 Thomas LaBianca (R-So.) 50 Jarred Barr (R-So.)
RG 76 Daniel Blitch (R-Sr.) 61 Zach Thomas (R-Jr.)
RT 68 Danny Book (R-Jr.) 55 Mason Sledge (R-So.)
H 15 Justin Bolus (R-So.) 85 Richard Murphy (Jr.)
SR 10 Austin Duke (R-So.) 32 Emmitt Afam (R-Fr.)
RB 3 Kalif Phillips (So.) 11 Damarrell Alexander (R-Jr.)

The Scoop: Since the 49ers have only been playing for two seasons, they won't graduate a ton of starters. Along with that comes the fact that their two best players, Kalif Phillips and Austin Duke, return along with all but one starter on the offensive line (which could face some challenges adjusting to the talent of the defensive fronts they'll be seeing with a schedule of primarily FBS teams). The departure of Devine, who had a good senior season as a starter at wideout, opens the door for a few younger guys to compete for the vacant spot; more on that later. (*--McNeill started several games in place of Johnson, who suffered an injury against James Madison.)

SENIORS GRADUATING: 2 | STARTERS LEAVING: 2


FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
QB 8 Matt Johnson (R-Jr.) 5 Lee McNeill (R-Jr.)
WR 9 Uriah Lemay (R-So.) 84 Workpeh Kofa (R-Fr.)
WR 81 Trent Bostick (Jr.) 89 T.L. Ford (So.)
LT 73 Jamal Covington (R-Jr.) 78 Kyle Hoffman (R-Jr.)
LG 70 Casey Perry (R-Jr.) 66 Joe Wolljung (R-Jr.)
C 74 Thomas LaBianca (R-Jr.) OR 55 Mason Sledge (R-Jr.)

RG 50 Jarred Barr (R-Jr.) 61 Zach Thomas (R-Sr.)
RT 68 Danny Book (R-Sr.) 55 Chris Brown (R-Fr.)
H 15 Justin Bolus (R-Jr.) 85 Richard Murphy (Sr.)
SR 10 Austin Duke (R-Jr.) 4 Corey Nesmith (R-Jr.)
RB 3 Kalif Phillips (Jr.) 23 Maetron Thomas (So.)

The Scoop: As you can see...not much has changed. Only major change: right guard, where Daniel Blitch has been lost to graduation and figures to be replaced by Jarred Barr. I slotted Georgia transfer Uriah Lemay at one WR slot because I'm fairly confident that the staff will find a way to get him a number of series on the field (although he has yet to officially play in a college game, and bearing in mind that his spring performance could lower or raise his stock). I also stuck Workpeh Kofa, a very highly touted local product that was offered by Louisville, on the two-deep as well. That's leaving off redshirt freshman Mark Quattlebaum, not because I doubt he will be a contributor on this team (which he will), but because the wideout position is just so incredibly deep. To me, that's the most significant battle to keep an eye on this spring. I'll unpack it and a few more team-wide position battles to watch in a later article.