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College Football's Deepest Depth Charts at Every Position Heading into Spring

Ian BergCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2013

College Football's Deepest Depth Charts at Every Position Heading into Spring

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    Spring football is just around the corner and coaches are beginning to prepare their rosters for the 2013 season. Spring helps separate the men from the boys, and gives coaches an idea of what they have on the depth chart.

    This is a look at the teams that have the most talent to spare at each position heading into spring. The problem for these teams won’t be finding playmakers, it will be finding playing time.

    There are always surprises that pop up during spring practice, but this talent isn’t going anywhere. Watching these teams find ways to utilize this talent will be a treat heading into the fall. Here is a look at the top position groups heading into spring practice. 

Quarterback: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Looking across the country, there are a number of rosters that have a handful of talented signal-callers walking around campus. Heading into spring, the Fighting Irish are in a better position than any other team in the country at quarterback.

    Everett Golson pushed the Irish into a national title run, Tommy Rees has starting experience and Andrew Hendrix has experience. Notre Dame also has Gunner Kiel on roster, and early enrollee Malik Zaire headed to South Bend this spring.

    From top to bottom, the Irish have at least three starters that are listed on the depth chart. Malik Zaire will become one in the future, and Tommy Rees is a serviceable body at the position. This is a crowded lineup that may see a transfer or two after spring.

    Runner Up: USC Trojans

Running Back: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    The Alabama Crimson Tide head into the new year with a stacked backfield.

    The loss of leading rusher Eddie Lacy looked to be a big blow when he announced for the NFL draft, but instead the Tide signed four top backs in the 2013 class to join the five others already on roster.

    Alabama has T.J. Yeldon leading them into spring with Kenyan Drake and Dee Hart pushing for playing time. Early enrollee Derrick Henry will also be a factor this spring.

    The Crimson Tide will welcome in Altee Tenpenny, Alvin Kamara and Tyren Jones to Tuscaloosa this summer. All are highly regarded backs that will bring specific skills to the table for the Tide.

    This is a young group, but it is the deepest unit in the country.

    Runner Up: Michigan Wolverines

Receiver: Texas A&M Aggies

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    Texas A&M heads into the new year with the best quarterback in the country guiding the offense. Johnny Manziel didn’t win the Heisman alone last year as his team fielded a very talented receiver corps.

    This year it will be even better than it was in 2012.

    Leading receiver Mike Evans returns to the fold as does Malcome Kennedy. Incoming early enrollee JaQuay Williams will be a factor this season, as will stud signee Ricky Seals-Jones.

    The Aggies group is as talented as they come in the country. In 2013 they will help Manziel fight for a second Heisman Trophy.

    Runner Up: USC Trojans

Tight End: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Notre Dame lost one of the premier tight end talents in the country when Tyler Eifert departed the program, but Troy Niklas and Ben Koyack are more than ready to step in.

    Niklas has already made plays in his short career for Notre Dame and is the shoe-in for the starting tight end spot in the offense heading into spring. Koyack will be a solid backup that will add stats throughout the year.

    The Irish really reloaded on the recruiting trail signing two top tight ends, one of which was an early enrollee.

    The tight end is a huge asset to this offense and will continue to be a leading position for the Notre Dame attack.

    Runner Up: Alabama Crimson Tide

Offensive Line: LSU Tigers

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    LSU faced a lot of injury issues along the offensive front last year, but what that did was provide a ton of experience upfront for the Tigers.

    Guys like Vadal Alexander and La’el Collins received a lot of early snaps preparing them for the coming year. Chris Faulk will return from injury, and Trai Turner returns as a starter.

    Incoming freshman Ethan Pocic may get a shot at some playing time early, but this lineup is set in stone without injuries hitting this spring.

    This is a very talented group that will lay out the competition, and help the Tigers dominate on the ground again this year.

    Runner Up: Ohio State Buckeyes

Defensive Line: South Carolina Gamecocks

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    South Carolina heads into 2013 with the best defensive lineman in the country lining up for at defensive end. Jadeveon Clowney is the most athletic end the country has witnessed in a long time. He will dominate this fall.

    The Gamecocks also return Chaz Sutton at defensive end and Kelcy Quarles on the interior. Gerald Dixon Jr. is taking over at the other inside position, but he is a very talented replacement with an unbelievable motor.

    Phillip Dukes and J.T. Surratt also bring experience to the field, as does Clowney’s backup, Deon Green.

    Look for the Gamecocks to improve on their No. 17 run defense this season and dominate the SEC upfront with this line.

    Runner Up: Stanford Cardinal 

Linebacker: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Alabama heads into the new year with the deepest roster in the country. The Tide have put together four consecutive consensus No. 1 recruiting classes, and linebacker has been a major focus.

    This year the Tide returns All-American C.J. Moseley, Adrian Hubbard, Xzavier Dickson and Trey DePriest. All were starters from a year ago.

    Tana Patrick, Tyler Hayes and Reggie Ragland also return with experience this fall. The Tide finished 2013 with a huge recruiting haul bringing in linebackers Reuben Foster and Jonathan Allen.

    This group is stacked and will be the best the country has to offer this season at linebacker.

    Runner Up: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Cornerback: Florida State Seminoles

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    The Florida State secondary is loaded with talent at corner. The Seminoles lost Greg Reid last year and didn’t miss a beat, finishing with the No. 1 pass defense in the country in 2012, only allowing 161.9 passing yards per game.

    Nick Waisome was a big part of that success, and guys like Keelin Smith, Ronald Darby and Tyler Hunter are ready to continue the trend heading into the spring.

    The Seminoles will be among the best in the ACC again this season, thanks to the depth that is loaded at the cornerback position.

    Runner Up: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Safety: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    The Crimson Tide are loaded with talent in the secondary, and heading into the new year they have the strongest safety lineup in the country.

    Alabama returns two experienced safeties in Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix and Vinnie Sunseri, and has talented players Nick Perry and Landon Collins waiting in the wings.

    This February the Tide also signed Anthony Averett to join the fold at safety this summer.

    This is a talented group that has helped the Tide win two straight national titles. It is safe to say that the deep ball will not be very successful this year against the Crimson Tide defense.

    Runner Up: Ohio State Buckeyes

Returners: Kansas State Wildcats

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    The Kansas State Wildcats were the most dangerous return unit in the country last fall, averaging 28.61 yards per kickoff return. They also finished the country as the No. 3 punt return unit, averaging 18.95 yards per return.

    Both returners—Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson—will be back in 2013, and will be a big part of the yardage production that the Wildcats will rely on to help jump-start the offense.

    There are a ton of burners that are talented returners, but no other group brings the explosive dynamic to the field that the Kansas State tandem does heading into 2013.

    Runner Up: Boise State Broncos

Specialists: Duke Blue Devils

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    The Duke Blue Devils return with the best tandem of specialists in the country, heading into the spring with kicker Ross Martin and punter Will Monday prepping for their sophomore seasons.

    Both players showed a lot of promise in 2012, with Monday averaging 44.64 yards per punt, and Martin hitting 20-of-23 field goals and 46-of-47 extra points.

    These players are young, but they made major strides last season. Heading into spring they will be expected to help Duke return to the postseason in 2013.

    Runner Up: Auburn Tigers

     

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