The post includes some really thoughtful reader comments like this one...
I kind of think this needs to be the year we go to Pasadena
Looking around the conference, Hoke’s uber-recruits are still too young to dominate, Urbz has to replace his entire defensive line (and HIS excellent recruits aren’t fully up to speed either), Wisconsin has a new coaching staff and loses Ball and Taylor, Penn State’s still in a black hole, Nebraska loses 7 or 8 starters off an already-bad defense…Northwestern is the only team that returns as much as we do, and watching that game last season, we honestly should have creamed them.
We, meanwhile, have a large and talented group of seniors. If we can’t get it done in 2013, we’ll be looking at Michigan and OSU’s excellent coaching staffs fielding rosters full of ace recruits, and we’ll be doing it without:
MLB Max Bullough (3-year starter)
OLB Denicos Allen (3-year starter)
SS Isaiah Lewis (3-year starter)
CB Darqueze Dennard (3 1/2 year starter)
OT Fou Fonoti (2-ish year starter)
OT Dan France (3-year starter)
OG Blake Treadwell (2-ish year starter)
QB Andrew Maxwell (who I assume, for better or worse, returns as a 2-year starter)
DT Micajah Reynolds
DT Tyler Hoover
OLB Kyler Elsworth
WR Bennie Fowler
That…is a lot of impact players and experienced contributors. I also assume no juniors opt to leave early for the draft, because right now I think Taiwan Jones is the only underclassman likely to have a big enough season and the physical tools to consider going, and with only one year as a starter it seems like a long shot. Maybe, MAYBE Drummond could go, but safety is not a highly valued position in the NFL.
I know plenty of us will be happy to see some of these guys go, but if last season taught us anything, it should be the high value of on-field experience. That’s an awful lot of vacated spots on the field. We have enough talent, especially in the defensive back seven, that I think we can find capable replacements. But I also think we were truly fortunate to get the immediate production we did out of Bullough, Allen, Lewis and Dennard, and we shouldn’t count on the next group of guys being as ready- especially if Narduzzi finally gets the head coaching shot he deserves.
In sum: We have a large and talented senior class, and the two name brand programs in the conference are probably going to get much, much better in the next couple years. This is our last best chance to bite roses for the near future. We really, really need to take it.
Proud custodians of the Old Brass Spittoon. Sit tight Paul, we'll rescue you.
by Green Akers on Jan 25, 2013 8:53 AM CST
...As well as some good video:
And great Darqueze Dennard Highlights:
Farewell to Conrad:
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