USC released an early depth chart this afternoon, and there are some interesting things to note about it. The following are some of my thoughts on it:
- Weslye Saunders is not listed on the depth chart. I'm not sure whether that's because he's currently suspended or because the coaches know something we don't about how this NCAA investigation is going to turn out. If it's the latter, then I find that very interesting. All the other players at the center of the investigation are listed on the depth chart, and if the coaches would take Saunders off because of the investigation, why wouldn't they do so for the others, as well? I take this to mean that the coaches believe the other guys will all be eligible to play.
- Patrick DiMarco is listed as both the first-team TE and FB, with Justice Cunningham as the second-team TE. This likely means that DiMarco will line up as the fullback in two-back sets (we're supposedly going to run a fair bit of I this year) and as TE in single-back sets. I have no qualms about having DiMarco at TE. His blocking abilities, while not quite on the level of the great FBs, are equal to Saunders's, and the guy can make a tough catch over the middle. I've never thought that we've done enough to get him the ball. I actually wouldn't be opposed to using DiMarco at TE in two-back sets, as well. I liked that idea about using Brian Maddox at FB, but that seems to have gone away.
- The chart doesn't specify whether Stephen Garcia or Connor Shaw will start. No surprises there, I guess.
- It also doesn't specify whether Kenny Miles or Marcus Lattimore will start. First of all, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see both get plenty of carries, with Maddox and Jarvis Giles getting some, as well. But you have to be happy about seeing Lattimore's name there. Lattimore has had a phenomenal camp, and seeing that he might start the first game of his career means that the coaches believe that he's just as good as advertised. This guy is going to be a star, count on it. I can't wait to hear "That's another Carolina first down, Marcus Lattimore on the carry" and "TD Marcus Lattimore."
- Shaq Wilson isn't listed, which means that the coaches think his injury may hold him out. I'm fine with that; I want him to be ready for UGA, and if that means he needs to sit during the first game, so be it. Also, word is that Tony Straughter has really come along during camp, so he should be a capable replacement for Wilson.
- Jimmy Legree is listed as a second-string cornerback behind Stephon Gilmore. I've heard some really positive things about Legree's play during camp. If any of our defensive backs do miss time because of the the Whitney situation, it's good to hear that we have a capable player reader to step in.