Spring Ball: What to Expect on Offense

QB Tom Brandstater

Fresno State kicks off spring practice today at 3:20 p.m. Fans are anticipating a banner year in 2008, and spring ball gives them their first look at the '08 Bulldogs. However, the team will look like a shade of its former self this spring. Many projected offensive starters will be sitting out spring ball, which will give the team a different look than what many will see in the fall.

Quarterback -- There is no mistake Tom Brandstater is arguably one of the top returning quarterbacks in the nation after passing for over 2,500 yards and 15 touchdowns. Ryan Colburn and Matt Faulkner will see action behind him this spring.

Running Back -- The three headed monster of Lonyae Miller, Ryan Mathews, and Anthony Harding will do its best to make up for the loss of slash back Clifton Smith. Jamal Rashad should be healthy enough to make a splash after missing last season. Kyle Duffy adds depth.

Fullback -- Nate Adams contribution last season cannot be overlooked. Reynard Camp will be the guy when FS uses a true fullback. Considering FS might run base formations for most of spring, Camp should see extensive action. TE/H-backs Isaac Kinter and Vince Pascoe will see some time in different formations, as well receivers and running backs could line up at fullback in certain packages.

Tight Ends -- All-WAC tight end Bear Pascoe returns and his main backup is fellow senior Drew Lubinsky. Redshirt Ryan Skidmore has bulked up to near 250 lbs. He is a natural receiver, but needs spring to improve his blocking. Kinter and V. Pascoe will also share the load.

Wide Receivers -- The deepest unit on offense welcomes back its three top receivers from a year ago, Marlon Moore, Seyi Ajirotutu, and Jason Crawley. 2006's leading receiver Chastin West also returns but is still recovering from a knee injury. Youngsters Jamel Hamler, Devon Wylie, and Darren Newborne add talented depth.

Offensive Line -- This is the area that could effect the entire spring. Starters C Joe Bernardi, RG Adam McDowell, LG Cole Popovich, and LT Bobby Lepori are expected to sit out this spring. RT Kenny Avon and RG Andrew Jackson are the only players participating this spring with starting experience. Moreover, RT Devan Cunningham will likely be worked into the rotation this spring. With so many young players filling in, the first team spring o-line will look like the second string. 2007 third-string center Richard Pacheco will be the starting center this spring and his backup will be walk-on Nick Wright. Without an experienced o-line, the Bulldogs probably will be regulated to running the basics for most of spring practice.

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