After a week of two-a-days and Saturday's first fall scrimmage, the Warhawks released their first depth chart of the season on Sunday. It is not explicitly indicated when or if a final one will be released prior to the opener against Wake Forest on the 28th, but I would have to imagine this isn't the final product.
Let's start with the offense:
Probably the biggest news is that, as I predicted a few days ago, Pete Thomas is the listed starter at QB, ahead of Brayle Brown and RS junior Earnest Carrington (a guy I didn't even mention in that link). I wouldn't read to much into Carrington being over the likes of Anthony Monken or even RS freshman Brian Williams. This early in fall camp, head coach Todd Berry is going to value experience over raw talent at QB.
At running back, Centarius Donald is the clear starter but RS junior Tyler Cain, who redshirted last season, is the second stringer. Cain has mostly played special teams in his first two years on the field. Kaylon Watson is listed as the third stringer, one of the lower-rated recruits of the latest Warhawks class. I found it surprising that DeVontae McNeal isn't even listed, a guy who averaged 7.1 yards/carry last year in a limited role. Watson and Cain must have really impressed Berry and the rest of the coaching staff to jump ahead of some of the guys at the position that actually got carries last year.
Nothing too surprising at the WR nor TE positions. A lot of experience returns from last year at receiver behind the clear top three guys in RS junior Rashon Caesar, RS senior Kenzee Jackson, and sophomore Ajalen Holley (who beats out Tony Cook for the last starting WR spot).
The one glaring takeaway from the offensive line is at right tackle, where RS freshman Chase Regian is the listed starter over senior Jeremy Burton. Burton has 0 career starts, but has been a key backup and got significant playing time over the last two seasons. Regian has gained at least 15 pounds since the time he came in as a freshman last year. If that is good weight he's putting on, it could definitely be the kind of commitment the coaching staff wants to see and they are rewarding him for it.
On to the defense:
Not too much surprise along a pretty deep defensive line. A lot of guys with significant experience behind Gerrand Johnson, Lorenzo Jackson, and Joey Gautney.
RS junior Cody Robinson steps in full-time alongside junior Hunter Kissinger and senior Ray Stovall at linebacker. Robinson started three games last year but was mainly the fourth linebacker. He will presumably be asked to fill Cameron Blake's role in defensive coordinator Troy Reffett's 3-3-5 scheme.
Lenzy Pipkins, a redshirt sophomore, moves from safety to corner, while Justin Backus does the opposite. Another pretty deep level of the defense with a bunch of experienced backups. I would imagine some of those corner and safety positions are not locked in quite yet.
Finally, special teams:
Senior Justin Manton continues to take up both the kicking and punting jobs. To highlight what kind of depth the Warhawks have here: Caleb Gammel, a backup junior WR, is the second-team punter and a walk-on freshman is the second kicker.
As probably the most explosive playmaker on the team, it's no surprise junior WR Rashon Caesar will be returning punts. Cain is currently beating out JuCo transfer WR Kenzee Jackson for the kick return duties.
Anything stick out to you? What's the most surprising listing? And which first-team spots are yet to be decided?