With the second-to-last week of fall camp underway, we've had time to get some sense of what this team's major concerns are heading into the season-opener against ECU. Here are what I believe are the two most significant ones:
Offensive-line depth. We're set with a better-than-average group of starters on the offensive line. Kyle Nunn, Terrence Campbell, A.J. Cann, Rokevious Watkins, and T.J. Johnson are all solid players with better and worse chances to be All-SEC performers. However, we're in trouble if many of these guys get hurt, because we don't have much behind them. Some of the more experienced players like Cody Gibson, Ronald Patrick, and Kaleb Broome have yet to show out. We do have two very promising young players in Brandon Shell and Mike Matulis, but in an ideal world, these two true freshmen would be redshirting. Unfortunately, without better options, they may be a part of our eight-man rotation, and that's a bit of a scary thought. Hopefully, if they do have to play, it won't be until later in the season, when they're hopefully ready to make an impact. The good news is that Shawn Elliott has been sanguine about Shell's progress after recent practices. Whatever the case may be, this is one issue to keep an eye on over the course of the year.
Safety depth. In post-practice interviews, Ellis Johnson continues to harp on how worried his is about Brison Williams's injury having a negative impact on our season. Williams was going to challenge Jimmy Legree for playing time at free safety, and with the two of them on the depth chart, we looked pretty solid at the position. Now, we have to pray that Legree doesn't get hurt, or we could be right back where we started last year. The good news is that Williams's injury isn't as bad as feared. He could be back by mid-season.
Outside of these two issues, I think we're very solid. Coming into the season, we knew we had amazing talent at the offensive skills positions, and we knew we had one of the best defensive lines in the country. If anything, the continued development of Connor Shaw, the emergence of Shon Carson and our young receivers, and the confirmation that Jadeveon Clowney is as good as advertised has only confirmed that we're strong in these areas.