Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos broke down his roster position by position during the annual CMU Media Day.
"We've had ten practices and one scrimmage that went over a lot of situations. We've been through all the situations you can have in a football game, basically at least once. We have a lot of completion going on in places and a lot of depth, probably more depth than any time since I've been here. We brought in a freshman class that I feel is an outstanding class, here after ten practices you can see there are going to be some very good players."
"Everybody probably wants to know about the quarterback position, we're still in a battle there but it's been very good. I think all three guys have benefited from the competition and all three have raised their level from the spring. You can they all prepared very well, you see things you told them to work on between now and then, and they have made improvements in those areas. They have all had good days and a couple of down days, but at that position you are going to have those types of situations. All three have continued to do well, all have been getting repetitions with the one's and two's. Darrien Boone our true freshman who was completely lost in the spring has looked very good and I think he has a bright future. Five years to play four. Very athletic, throwing the ball with much more confidence and we are very excited about him.
Zurlon Tipton is having a very good camp, I haven't seen him run with this good of vision since I've been here, even last camp we had to ask ourselves 'What is that guy looking at?'. I forget sometimes that he played running back as a senior in high school but got hurt as a freshman and sophomore year he didn't play. Then his third year he got hurt and basically missed the whole season. So last year was really the first year he played running back since his senior year in high school, and now you can see the development and how much he has improved. Saylor Lavallii has been very good, Martez Walker has been very good and so has Anthony Garland. And then we moved Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore back to running back and he has been very good. And then we have Gary Jones who is big at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds who we think has a bright future.
Jake Olson hasn't missed a beat, hasn't missed a practice or a rep and he's 307 pounds, bench pressed 455 pounds and vertical jumped 31.5 inches. He's 6-foot-8 and will be a very good player for us. At left guard, Andy Phillips continues to improve, and I think both of those guys can be two of the best offensive lineman in this league. Then you throw in Nick Beamish who started 13 games at center as a freshman. Our right tackle Kevin Henry has been a very solid fourth-year junior who started five games in his career. And then right now Cody Pettit is my right guard. He's a senior, hasn't played much and was a defensive lineman when I got here, we moved him I think two springs ago to offensive line where he struggled with the transition. He was on the scout team last year as a fourth-year guy, great team guy and a tremendous worker and finally had a very good spring. He has been very solid in camp and right now he is our starting right guard. He's got himself to 300 pounds and he has done a tremendous job. We have been very happy, that has kind of been the surprise of camp in how well he is playing. Some other guys making noise in there, Ramadan Ahmeti has been playing right and left tackle. 6-foot-6 and 300-pound guy who we think can be a very good player in this league. Kenny Rogers is back from injury and another 6-foot-6 and 300-pound guy who has been playing a lot of different spots. Connor Collins has been playing left guard and he has himself in the mix to be in the top eight. Kevin D'Arcy has done a very good job playing tackle and guard. Those nine guys are really in the rotation. And then we have our young guys, we have six freshman in camp, and we like all six of them.
When I got here there was one, I think there is eight or nine now I can't even keep track of them now as Coach (Butch) Berry keeps stealing them from other positions. Mike Kinville, Ben McCord, Connor Odykirk, A.J. Westendorp, and then Adam Fenton is playing dual tight end and fullback. We have a freshman Zach Crouch. Overall a big group, and very athletic group.
I think we have the best crew in the league. We have one of the best ones in the country in Titus Davis, he's had a very solid camp and has been very focused. He looks very determined to have a great year. Jerry Harris we brought back for his sixth year, he has great speed and has been having a very good camp. Been catching the ball well and really provides us a lot of leadership, he's been here awhile and knows what he is doing. Andrew Flory has been very good, Courtney Williams is back to himself and had his best camp since he's been here, as is Jesse Kroll. DeFarrell Davis, we signed him out of JUCO last year and he has his best camp yet, his first year he was kind of feeling his way around, and now he's comfortable. Jerry, Titus and DeFarrell I think would be three of the fastest in this league. And Anthony Rice is a guy we redshirted last year who has been having a good camp. The three freshman that we have in Mark Chapman, Corey Willis and Eric Cooper will be very good players.
On the Defense
Been very happy with them, they won our jersey scrimmage that we had on Sunday, which I think that is the first time the defense has won the scrimmage since I've been here. That was a real positive, it's been a back and forth between the offense and defense, but the defense has dominated at times. In particular, our defensive line has been very active.
The addition of Jeremy Gainer I think is going to be a real positive for us, he's been very good in camp, in particular the past three days as he gets more comfortable with the scheme and the terminology. Kenneth McClendon has been very solid in camp, Blake Serpa continues to play well, and then Louis Palmer, who we moved to defensive end has got himself down to 265 and has looked very quick and explosive. Alex Smith who we were able to bring back for a fifth year has also looked explosive, and every day he's out there he looks more comfortable coming off that injury.
Inside Leterrius Walton, Matt Losiniecki, Kelby Latta and Shafer Johnson have all been very good in there. Shafer Johnson looks the best that he ever has, he looks very quick. LT has been very quick and athletic in there as well. Jabari Dean has been limited on what he can do due to a hip injury, but we expect him to be available for us when we play Michigan. And then Ben Randle who is coming off a back injury has been practicing and been very good in there as well. We are much bigger though, have some guys over 300 pounds and some right at it, we feel like we are very big and strong in there.
Justin Cherocci and Shamari Benton have been very good. We have Cody Lopez, Tim Hamilton and Nathan Ricketts in there behind them, and they have all been very good as well. Joe Bacci hurt his shoulder on the third day and hasn't been able to practice since then, so we're hoping we can get him back in the next couple of weeks. Joe Ostman is a young player as a freshman who's going to redshirt, but we think he can be very good.
Kavon Frazier has had an excellent mini-camp at safety, he has the potential to be a difference maker in this league. Avery Cunningham has been very solid and so has Jarret Chapman. Those have been our three starting safeties all camp and all three have done well. At corner, we have Jason Wilson at one corner and the other spot is up for grabs, but we have a great competition going. Dennis Nalor, Brandon Greer, Stefon Armstead and Jordan Fields are all competing for that job. Stefon Armstead in particular has been a guy who didn't play much last year, but put together a solid spring and a pretty good early camp, I think he has five interceptions so far. We have a young corner, Josh Cox who has been very good as a freshman. The other safeties Tyree Waller and Jeff Perry, I was very happy with those guys."
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