published Sunday, August 26th, 2012

2012 Mocs in depth

UTC quarterback Terrell Robinson during practice at Scrappy Moore Field.
UTC quarterback Terrell Robinson during practice at Scrappy Moore Field.
Photo by Staff File Photo.

ROLL CALL

A look at the Mocs' depth chart

* returning starter (started at least six games in 2011)

Quarterback

Terrell Robinson So., 6-3, 195

Jacob Huesman Fr., 6-1, 210

Tailback

J.J. Jackson Sr., 5-9, 190

Marquis Green So., 5-7, 180

Wide receiver

*Marlon Anthony Jr., 6-5, 220

Tray James Fr., 6-4, 185

Wide receiver

Tommy Hudson So., 5-10, 175

Jarrett Burns Sr., 6-2, 200

Wide receiver

Ron Moore So., 6-0, 165

Bryant Belew So., 6-3, 198

Tight end

*Faysal Shafaat So., 6-5, 240

Jarrod Coleman Fr., 6-4, 240

Left tackle

*Brandon Morgan So., 6-2, 290

Taylor Dodds So., 6-6, 275

Left guard

Synjen Herren Fr., 6-4, 310

Taylor Dodds So., 6-6, 275

Center

*Patrick Sutton So., 6-1, 265

Irvin Hernandez Jr., 5-11, 275

Right guard

*Kevin Revis Jr., 6-2, 275

Dustin Tate Sr., 6-5, 280

Right tackle

*Adam Miller Sr., 6-4, 275

Hunter Dockery Jr., 6-4, 305

Kicker

*Nick Pollard So., 6-0, 180

Henrique Ribeiro Fr., 6-0, 220

Punter

Nick Pollard So., 6-0, 180

Henrique Ribeiro Fr., 6-0, 220

Defensive end

*Davis Tull So., 6-3, 230

Zack Rayl So., 6-3, 230

Defensive tackle

Chris Mayes 6-3, 295

Derrick Lott 6-4, 303

Defensive tackle

Toyvian Brand So., 6-2, 260

Keyon Reed So., 6-1, 260

Defensive end

*Josh Williams Sr., 6-2, 235

Devin Scates So., 6-2, 260

Sam linebacker

Shane Heatherly Sr., 6-4, 240

Muhasibi Wakeel So., 5-11, 220

Mike linebacker

*Wes Dothard Jr., 6-1, 230

A.J. Hampton Fr., 6-1, 240

Will linebacker

*Gunner Miller Jr., 6-1, 225

C.J. Murrell Jr., 6-0, 195

Cornerback

*Kadeem Wise Jr., 5-10, 180

Don Cope Jr., 5-11, 185

Free safety

Sema’je Kendall Fr., 6-0, 175

Zach McCarter So., 6-3, 200

Strong safety

*D.J. Key Jr., 6-0, 195

Keith Mayes So., 5-10, 200

Cornerback

*Chaz Moore Jr., 5-10, 165

Will Johnson Fr., 5-11, 185

Kick returner

*Chaz Moore Jr., 5-10, 165

Marquis Green So., 5-7, 180

Punt returner

Tommy Hudson So., 5-10, 175

Marquis Green So., 5-7, 180

QUARTERBACKS

The Mocs got a preview of this year’s spread-style offense when B.J. Coleman was injured last season. Terrell Robinson came in and gave SoCon defenses fits, both running and throwing. Robinson did enough in a little less than four full games at quarterback to earn a share of the SoCon freshman of the year award.

Robinson has had the spring and summer to get stronger and better learn the offense, which was at times created on the fly last season. He also benefited from having a talented and eager Jacob Huesman pushing him for the starting job. Huesman, like Robinson, is well suited to the spread, and the two worked out together nearly every day during the summer.

UTC plans to use both of them this season, sometimes on the field at the same time. That opens even more options for the offense and gives opposing defenses more to worry about when UTC has the ball.

RUNNING BACKS

For several seasons UTC has had a good group of running backs, but no clear No. 1 at the position. The Mocs will enter 2012 in the same situation, though don’t be surprised if the leading rusher at the end of the season is a quarterback.

Senior J.J. Jackson enter the preseason at the top of the depth chart at running back, with Marquis Green, Keon Williams, Chris Awuah and Kenny Huitt in the mix as well. Green led UTC in rushing last season as a freshman, finishing with 530 yards. He’ll get the ball often again but may line up more in the slot than in the backfield.

Williams, who was suspended in 2011, may be the wild card. He rushed for 500 yards as a freshman in 2010 and reported to 2012 camp in the best shape of his life. He has the potential to emerge as the lead guy but needs to make sure he doesn’t put the ball on the ground, something he did several times in 2010.

RECEIVERS

Marlon Anthony, a junior, is the only real veteran in the group with 44 career receptions, including 27 in 2011 as the No. 2 option. The No. 1 receiver is gone, and the Mocs will need the 6-foot-5 Anthony to play like the big receiver he is, especially in the red zone.

UTC’s other big target is tight end Faysal Shafaat, a preseason second-team All-SoCon pick after catching 19 passes as a redshirt freshman in 2011. Shafaat has shown good ball skills, the speed to get open 20 yards downfield and improvement as a blocker.

The rest of the receiving corps is mostly unproven. Ron Moore caught three passes as a freshman in 2011, each going for 35 yards or more. Tommy Hudson caught five passes. No other receiver on the roster has a career reception. A player to watch is 6-4 freshman Tray James, who is athletic and could be a red-zone threat like Anthony.

OFFENSIVE LINE

This group went through its share of struggles last season, in part because for many of them it was their first playing college football. Patrick Sutton, Brandon Morgan and Taylor Dodds were freshmen in 2011, and Kevin Revis was a sophomore who barely had played at Tennessee before transferring.

The line is anchored by senior right tackle Adam Miller, a preseason second-team All-SoCon pick. Miller has started 29 games in his career and with Revis forms a solid right side. Sutton, a former walk-on, was a surprise starter at center and should be much improved.

The left side of the line could see some fluctuation this season. Morgan started the final eight 2011 games at left tackle, replacing Dodds, who later suffered a torn ACL that has required multiple surgeries. Dodds missed part of camp while recovering, and freshman Synjen Herren may battle him for the left guard spot.

DEFENSIVE LINE

This unit has the potential to be the Mocs’ strongest. The line has two of the best ends in the SoCon in senior Josh Williams, UTC’s all-time sack leader, and sophomore Davis Tull, who had five sacks as a freshman. Williams has made several preseason All-America teams, along with first-team All-SoCon, while Tull was a second-team All-SoCon pick.

Depth inside has been an issue for the Mocs the past few seasons but shouldn’t now. Four freshmen played most of the snaps at defensive tackle last season — Josh Freeman and Keyon Reed made the SoCon All-Freshman team last season, along with Tull — and all four should be even better as sophomores. Toyvian Brand may be the most improved and also could play some at defensive end.

The Mocs have added two big bodies inside: Navy transfer Chris Mayes (6-3, 295), who sat out last season, and Georgia transfer Derrick Lott (6-4, 303). If the inside guys play well, that will open things up even more for the ends.

LINEBACKERS

Wes Dothard was a Sports Network first-team All-American as a sophomore last season after making 98 stops, including 15.5 for loss. He and Ryan Consiglio seemed to be in on every tackle and made for a formidable duo with a combined 218 tackles.

Consiglio has graduated and senior Shane Heatherly will take his place at the Sam position. Heatherly was a starter in 2010 who injured an ankle in the 2011 preseason and was replaced at the Mike spot by Dothard, who didn’t give it back.

Gunner Miller enters his third season as a starter at the Will spot. His role has changed as UTC has played more and more nickel defense, meaning he’s on the field less, but he consistently makes an impact when he’s there.

SECONDARY

The Mocs return three of four starters in the secondary, led by junior safety D.J. Key and junior cornerback Kadeem Wise. Key was a preseason first-team All-SoCon pick and Wise made the second team. They were both second-team All-SoCon last season.

An aggressive, intuitive player, Key often has been called by the coaches the best player on the team. Wise was the SoCon freshman of the year in 2010 and has continued to be one of the league’s top corners. On the other side is junior Chaz Moore, who made two interceptions last season.

The free safety spot could come down to Sema’je Kendall, Zach McCarter or North Carolina State transfer Dean Haynes. The most experienced of the three, Haynes suffered a foot injury early in camp and could miss the start of the season.

SPECIALISTS

Nick Pollard likely will be doing double duty this season as the Mocs’ kicker and punter. He only place-kicked as a freshman in 2011, making 10 of 14 field-goal attempts, including his final eight.

Joel Bradford took over midseason as the Mocs’ punter when UTC made the switch to the rugby style, and Pollard has inherited the role. Bradford was an experienced ball carrier and effectively executed several fakes, something that might not come as natural to Pollard.

UTC also signed former Baylor School kicker Henrique Ribeiro, giving the Mocs some depth at two key positions. Chaz Moore again will return kickoffs, and Tommy Hudson could be the choice to replace Bradford as the sure-handed punt returner.

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