10 Biggest Depth Chart Snubs in College Football
With the college football season less than a week away, depth chart galore has taken place recently. The same coaches who were keeping position battles a secret over the last several months have finally cracked and revealed who won those grueling competitions.
But with talent and an abundance of players means there are sure to be snubs along the way. A player who is more experienced or has more upside is left riding the bench. Although these guys will still have a chance to play this season, they should have a little more respect on the depth chart.
A Big 12 quarterback, Florida State defensive lineman and Big Ten running back are just some of the players who rightfully have a bone to pick with their coaching staff.
Bruce Ellington, WR, Jr., South Carolina
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South Carolina needs playmakers to step up in order for the offense to match its defense.
The most consistent player last season was wide receiver Bruce Ellington. He led the team with 600 receiving yards and hauled in 40 passes for seven touchdowns. He also ran the ball five times for 28 yards.
Ellington is a versatile player with great speed and home-run ability. He doesn't have great size at 5'9", but he can contribute in a variety of ways, and he provides quarterback Connor Shaw with a reliable option.
He will do a nice job of replacing Ace Sanders' production, but instead, Damiere Byrd was picked ahead of Ellington on the depth chart.
Tommy Schutt, DL, Soph., Ohio State
Ohio State has overwhelming depth on the defensive line, so somebody was sure to get snubbed for a starting job. The starting defensive ends are Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence, with Joel Hale and Michael Bennett starting inside.
The snub is Tommy Schutt.
Schutt isn't a flashy player at 6'3", 300-plus pounds, but he carries his weight well and is a terrific run defender. Stopping the run was Ohio State's bread and butter last season, as the defense ranked second in the Big Ten. However, the entire defensive line was replaced during the offseason.
Schutt will prove to be variable regardless of when he enters the game.
Derrick Green, RB, Frosh, Michigan
Where's Derrick Green?
The Michigan depth chart lists Fitzgerald Toussaint and Drake Johnson as the starting running backs. Toussaint as the starter is understandable considering he has the most experience and rushed for 1,041 yards in 2011. But Johnson?
Green is one of the top running backs of the 2013 class and could have earned the starting role if Toussaint wasn't fully recovered from last season's injury. He has a great combination of power and speed and runs with terrific balance.
The true freshman will contribute this season, but it appears his debut may not come as quickly as most once thought.
Penn State QBs
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There is nothing more frustrating than players competing for weeks and the coach announcing a draw at the end of camp.
Seriously, coach. Who's the starting quarterback?
Penn State's Bill O'Brien hasn't named a starter between freshman Christian Hackenberg and junior Tyler Ferguson. Neither quarterback has any experience for Penn State, but Ferguson was a successful JUCO quarterback. Hackenberg is a true freshman who is widely considered the future of the program.
Going into the season opener with two starting quarterbacks is hogwash. Give one of these guys the keys to the offense and let him lead the team.
Darius Hillary, CB, Soph., Wisconsin
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Darius Hillary was on the right track to becoming a solid defender for Wisconsin. He redshirted his freshman year and then picked up experience last season. He finished last year with 23 tackles and two broken up passes.
But even with Hillary's aggressiveness and versatility, he was moved to nickelback, while freshman Sojourn Shelton is a starting cornerback. Hillary spent most of camp as a starter and has proven to have a skill set that would be valuable to the Badgers defense.
Wisconsin could use improvement in pass defense, as 193 yards allowed ranked fifth in the Big Ten. Hopefully Hillary sees the field more than the nickel package allows.
Eddie Goldman, DT, Soph., Florida State
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Florida State has a young and explosive defense that will feature a ton of underclassmen. One promising player who will come off the bench is defensive tackle Eddie Goldman. Senior Demonte McAllister earned the starting job.
Goldman has a much bigger upside. He has a massive frame at 6'4", 300-plus pounds and can clog up running lanes like nobody's business. While his size and strength are elite, he also carries his weight well and can be an effective pass-rusher.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Goldman earn a starting role later in the season, as he is sure to turn heads at Florida State.
Zach Kline, QB, Frosh, Cal
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Cal fans thought they were getting a top-tier quarterback when Zach Kline signed with the program in 2012. He redshirted last season and was expected to become the starter this season. However, head coach Sonny Dykes picked freshman Jared Goff to lead the team.
While both quarterbacks are talented and have a ton of upside, Kline already has a year under his belt. He was also pegged as the future of the team and considered the next great Pac-12 quarterback who could set college football on fire.
Arguing Dyke's decision is difficult with him being a terrific coach and great offensively, but seeing Kline on the sidelines for another season is disappointing.
Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Jr., Florida
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It doesn't take long to spot the error on Florida's depth chart.
Why does Loucheiz Purifoy have an "OR" next to his name?
Some would make an argument that Purifoy isn't a full-time defender, as the coaching staff plans to use him as a wide receiver this season. If that's the case, why isn't he listed as a wide receiver on the depth chart?
Purifoy has the potential to be a shutdown cornerback and is easily one of the best defenders in the SEC. There shouldn't be a hint that Jaylen Watkins is going to start over him. Regardless of where he lines up, Purifoy is a starter each and every week.
Dion Bailey, S, Jr., USC
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Another defender who shouldn't have an "OR" next to his name is free safety Dion Bailey. But head coach Lane Kiffin didn't get the memo, as Bailey appears to be sharing playing time with Josh Shaw and Demetrius Wright.
Bailey is one of the premier playmakers on the USC defense. An outside linebacker the last two seasons, he's finished each year with at least 80 tackles and has intercepted six passes in his career. His knack for the big play would translate well at safety and help mask some of the Trojans' struggles defensively.
Hip injury or not, Bailey deserves to be a starter.
Blake Bell, QB, Jr., Oklahoma
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If anybody was nearly guaranteed a starting role this season, it was Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell. He was the backup the last two seasons, but he has an intriguing skill set at 6'6", 252 pounds. That's why it was shocking when head coach Bob Stoops picked redshirt freshman Trevor Knight over the junior.
Bell has been a solid contributor as a backup, as he's often brought in to help move the chains with his athleticism and overwhelming size. He has 24 rushing touchdowns in his career on only 104 carries.
It's clear Bell will remain a key piece in Oklahoma's offense, but nobody expected it to be as a backup.