EWU football position-by-position breakdown
Here’s a position-by-position look at the Eagles following spring camp:
Quarterback: Anthony Vitto and Vernon Adams got “more reps than any two quarterbacks have ever gotten in a spring,” said Baldwin, but played to a statistical draw in four scrimmages. Three days before the spring game, big-armed Southern Methodist transfer Kyle Padron won his medical hardship case, and will be a big presence in fall camp.
Running back: Quincy Forte was the primary back, partly because Jordan Talley and Mario Brown were gone for much of April with concussions. But all three saw significant practice time, and all played in the spring game, with no one standing out. Third-down back Demetrius Bronson was sidelined the entire spring, but will be back in the fall.
Receivers: An embarrassment of top-level talent gave the coaches a chance to look at different lineups and also try some new faces on kickoff and punt returns. The starting group of Nicholas Edwards, Greg Herd and Brandon Kaufman is as good as any in the country, but the depth is enviable with Ashton Clark, Cory Mitchell, Tyler Hart and Daniel Johnson.
Offensive line: After last year’s injuries, the Eagles when keen to identify who can manage each position. “Chemistry, that’s for August,” says offensive line coach Aaron Best. For most of spring the first unit included left tackles Caleb Worthington or Cassidy Curtis, left guard Derek Weston, center Drew Reynolds, right guard Brandon Murphy and right tackle Will Post. Also in the mix at various positions are Steven Forgette (injured last year), Ashton Miller and Jase Butorac.
Defensive line: Nose tackle Evan Cook and defensive tackle Andru Pulu are the new starters inside, joining ends Anthony Larry and Paul Ena, and figure to be a strength. Backups at end include Evan Day and Jerry Ceja at end and Dylan Zylstra, Will Katoa, Zach Chapman and David Delgado inside.
Linebackers: Zach Johnson, injured last year, is expected to return at weak outside ’backer, with Tyler Washburn in the middle and Ronnie Hamlin at the strong inside spot. Top reserves include Grant Williams, Cody McCarthy, J.C. Agen, Rusty Haehl and John Goldwire.
Defensive backs: Jeff Minnerly and Allen Brown will start at safety, while All-Big Sky first-teamer T.J Lee III mans one corner. The other is up for grabs and will be one of the biggest questions for fall camp.
Special teams: Four kickers will compete in the fall. Jake Miller is back at punter and Jake Potter returns at long snapper.