End Of Camp Depth Chart - 2022

Aug 19, 2022

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This is your reminder that I've split my depth chart posts into two. Sometimes I do a three-deep, and sometimes I do a depth chart. A three-deep lists three different names at each position. A depth chart lists the two-deep and will often have the same player as the backup at several spots. If there's one offensive tackle who is the backup at both right tackle and left tackle, his name will be on the depth chart twice (while on a three-deep he'd only be on there once).

Clear as mud? Clear as mud.

Training camp technically ended today because tomorrow starts preparations for Wyoming. Monday will be a typical game week Monday and then... we're off. So with camp coming to a close, I figure it's time to give you the depth chart I expect to see next Saturday (next Saturday!).

12 spots on offense (listing two tight ends and three receivers to cover all different looks) and 12 spots on defense (five guys along the line, two linebackers, five guys in the secondary to cover all of the different defensive looks):

QB | Sitkowski (JR) | DeVito (SR)
RB | C. Brown (JR) | McCray (SO)
TE1 | Reiman (SO) | Marchese (SR)
TE2 | Ford (SR) | Moore (rs-SO)
LT | Pearl (JR) | Adams (JR)
LG | Adams (JR) | Slaughter (JR)
C | Pihlstrom (SR) | Slaughter (JR)
RG | Crisler (SO) | Slaughter (JR)
RT | Palczewski (SR) | Adams (JR)
WR | Williams (rs-SO) | M. Scott (rs-FR walkon)
WR | C. Washington (JR) | Morris (SR)
WR | P. Bryant (SO) | Hightower (SR)

ROLB | Coleman (rs-SO) | Badie (FR)
RDL | Newton (SO) | B. Barnes (JR)
NT | Avery (SR) | T. Edwards (rs-FR)
LDL | Randolph (rs-SO) | Wilkins (JR)
LOLB | Holmes (JR) | A. Bryant (rs-FR)
ILB1 | T. Barnes (JR) | Darkangelo (SR)
ILB2 | Hart (JR) | Rosiek (rs-FR)
CB | Witherspoon (JR) | Strain (rs-FR)
CB | Nicholson (SO) | Jennings (SR)
STAR | Martin (SR) | Leitzsey (SR)
SS | S. Brown (SR) | Bailey (FR)
FS | K. Smith (SR) | Curry (rs-FR)

Kicker | C. Griffin (JR)
Punter | Robertson (rs-FR)
Longsnapper | Hall (rs-SO)
Punt Return | Case (SR)
KO Return | Nicholson (SO)

Made you look.

Fine, I'll talk about it. I'm putting Art Sitkowski as the starting QB here because I get blowback when I suggest that this is an open QB competition. I don't know why it makes people upset, but it does. I think it's been 60% DeVito, 40% Sitkowski all along, and if betting on the 40% guy makes people mad, that makes me want to lean into it.

Yes, I understand the tea leaves here:

  • DeVito has one year of eligibility and you don't bring in a QB with one year of eligibility if you don't expect to play him.
  • DeVito was 16-20 for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns in the spring game (Sitkowski was injured and didn't play).
  • DeVito was the first string QB at the practice we were allowed to see on August 6th.

I understand why everyone thinks it's DeVito. I just don't understand why everyone thinks it's a slam dunk. You're basically listening to the head coach say that both quarterbacks look good at practice and this is a tough decision and then going "Oh, I hear you, coach. ~wink~ "


Bret Bielema has even called Sitkowski his "returning starter" (Art was the starter when he broke his wrist at Penn State so Brandon Peters finished out the season). That tells me two things. One, there's a chance that the "returning starter" keeps his job. And two, if the coaches took the bye week in October last year and told Brandon Peters they were going with Art Sitkowski for the rest of the season, who's to say they won't do that again this season?

So yeah, I did it for shock value, but also, I really do think it's a competition that will push well into the season. Maybe even with Sitkowski starting the first game.

More notes:

+ The other "made you look" on my depth chart is putting Taz Nicholson as the kickoff returner. The coaches have mentioned him there, and he was there at some of the special teams practices I saw. That might just be "it's camp - let's see how he looks there", but I think it's possibly more than just a camp look.

The staff might want to get the ball into Isaiah Williams' hands as much as possible this season, so he might return punts and kickoffs. But I feel like Kody Case was added as a transfer to return punts (just my theory - I don't have any inside information about it), and I feel like Taz Nicholson might get a long look as the kickoff returner.

+ I'm going with six offensive linemen here. They might stretch to seven like last year, but I'm sticking with six for now.

Which means that if one of the tackles is replaced, Isaiah Adams moves to tackle and Jordyn Slaughter takes his spot on the offensive line. And if one of the guards goes down (or Pihlstrom at center), Slaughter takes over there, too. I think I'd have Zach Barlev 7th, so if we see the Barge Package again this year, it's those six plus Barlev. But for this depth chart, I have six names filling the ten spots on the offensive line.

+ Players I really wanted to get on here but couldn't because I went with two names at each position:

  • Jamal Woods. Honestly, I replaced him with Raashaan Wilkins just because I wanted to get Wilkins on there. But I think at those two spots we'll see five guys - Randolph, Newton, B. Barnes, Wilkins, and Woods.
  • Freshman Gabe Jacas at OLB. I really should go with a three-deep for both those spots. Coleman, Badie, and Shammond Cooper on one side. Holmes, Bryant, and Jacas on the other side.
  • Verdis Brown at nose tackle.
  • Freshman tight end Henry Boyer.
  • The aforementioned Zach Barlev.

I think that's it. The season is almost here, and that's my best guess at the depth chart.

And yes, if my longshot hits and Sitkowski is named the starter, drinks on me after the Wyoming game.


22 on August 19, 2022 @ 07:29 PM

I don't think you're gonna have much a bar bill!

Duce20 on August 20, 2022 @ 02:05 PM

I certainly hope not!

Eagle on August 19, 2022 @ 09:20 PM

Robert, which positions do you think we'll see the deepest rotation due to depth, and the shallowest due to lack of depth? I'll wager RB and DB.

bkenny on August 20, 2022 @ 05:28 AM

Please don’t use Williams as a returner. Inviting your most dynamic/most irreplaceable skill position player to run into oncoming traffic multiple times per game is bad process. The risk outweighs the reward. Someone that is sure handed and has some speed is good enough.

Duce20 on August 20, 2022 @ 02:06 PM

I’d like to see Beatty back there.

ILLhaveaBrewski on August 23, 2022 @ 11:52 AM

Did Kreutz just miss the 2 deep with Slaughter being the back up guard and center?

ILLhaveaBrewski on August 23, 2022 @ 11:59 AM

Which true freshmen do you think have the best chance to play vs Wyoming? With only 4 games available to potential redshirts, in a blowout could Bielema save some games for the guys just outside of the rotation and actually play the guys with little chance to contribute this year?

Efremwinters84 on August 23, 2022 @ 07:04 PM

Observation: It seems to me that we potentially have a ton of returning talent in both 2023 and 2024. If we can hover at 6 wins this season (or better), that could be a promising sign of things to come in the very near future......particularly if/when combined with a couple of strong recruiting classes and strategic use of the portal. I also like the notion of "shocking the football world" this year. Let's get two more major upsets (how about Iowa and Michigan State at home?).

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