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Soluna

What are you most excited for concerning your CFBHC team next year?

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Isaiah Best was electric this year, but the Jackrabbits are losing more than him. We're going to have an entirely new offensive identity, even if we stick with the same offense.

 

QB (Best) is gone. Max Montana is the on-roster guy to get the nod for now, but this could easily be another vacancy for a transfer.

RB is an open competition between a (JR) RB in Nick Campbell who was on redshirt last year, and an incoming FR. Amadou Munnerlyn still exists but he lost his job to Liam de la Cruz, and while de la Cruz also remains on the team, I really hope someone else in this stable can beat him out. If Munnerlyn doesn't transfer out, he's probably done playing significant reps.

WR Francesco Cottrell returns after having a big year, but WRs 2-3-4 in Blaine Ogle, Xavier Martinez, and Damian Zeigler are all graduated. (Along with WR5 Daleroy Wesley). So for now its just Cottrell and de la Cruz returning as guys who have played under llamas, and Brendan McDonough was redshirting last year. There's three true freshmen and a hybrid KR who could come in competing for ticks, as well as room for a transfer or two again.

TE Joel Greene returns. Whew.

LT Drew Goodrich returns after earning 2nd-Team FCS honors.

LG Nicolas Gunderson graduated after earning 2nd-Team FCS honors. Incoming freshman Colin Fitch assumes the frontrunner role.

C Jeremy Mann graduated. Incoming freshman Andy Valdivia is the frontrunner, though fellow incoming frosh Maxim Lentz could take the job if Valdivia ends up redshirting. 

RG Phillip Brito returns after earning 2nd-Team FCS honors. He might slide to the left side of the line to give the team a strong side of the line.

RT Lucas Arellano returns. He'll probably start, though incoming freshman Elijah Watson could compete. 

 

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I am excited mostly for the competition in the Big 12. I love how competitive the conference has gotten and it creates a challenge for a team like mine to go and play in the most competitive year in the history of the conference. I am also excited for all the players that will transfer out of TCU due to lack of playing time. 

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Quarterbacks   
QB Messiah Winston 6-4 201 (Sr) Central Catholic (Pittsburgh PA) 4.5 of 4.5 [Scrambling]
QB Joey Wolfe 5-11 229 (Fr) Unionville (Kennett Square PA) 3.5 of 5.0 [Hybrid]

 

PEWPEWPEWPEWPEW QB BATTLE FOR THE AGES WHO WILL WIN FIND OUT NEXT TIME ON IN IT TO PITT IT

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Tbh I’m pretty down on my team for next season. We lost a ton and I don’t see us being much better than a 8ish win team.  That’s part of what made the national title loss so gut wrenching.  But I am excited to see my OL in action. I return 4 starters (3 of which are seniors) along with a new C so my OL is 4.5/4.5, 4/4, 3.5/4.5, 3.5/4, 4/4. 
 

And Nick Brohm is a 5/5 QB now and I’ve never coached a QB above a 4.0 unless you count Rahim but he sucked (don’t tell him I said that, he thinks he is the greatest). 
 

But he has basically no weapons to work with and my defense lost their 2 best players so it is likely to be a rough transition year for us. 

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I have a hybrid quarterback for the first time ever. I have a 5.0 potential runningback for the first time since James Otero*. I get to learn an entirely different offense than I'm used to running, and all four of the defensive stars I played as true freshmen went +1.5 so there's potential on that side of the field as well. After going 2-10, I'm not expecting a lot so any success we have on the field is found money and hopefully the recruiting trail pans out in the meantime.

 

*Paul Gibbs doesn't count

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Freshman year of a QB is over. Year of experimentation in a new scheme is over. 2024-2025 feels like the apex of this defense, so I'm excited to see how that plays out. A lot of (So) and (Jr) could reasonably declare in my eyes, tho, so I feel internal pressure to make 2024 count because fuck if I know what I'll have in 2025.

 

That being said, the thing that excites me the most about next year is Donte Delmas. The twig of an ATH was our best WR last year (803 yards, 8 TDs), but we tried him at 3rd Down RB in the bowl game and he was the player of the game with 8 carries for 45, 1 TD, and 4 catches for 53 yards and a score. He'll see that role full time next year, so I'm very excited to see what he does season-long with a gameplan better tailored to utilize his talents.

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After a dissapointing 2023, it's Cash season in Tuscaloosa. First, on the recruiting trail, bagman made moves to secure DE Dandre Kelly 6-1 252 Jr Copiah-Lincoln CC (Wesson MS) 4.0 of 5.0 [Blitz], who had family ties to Ole Miss and was recruited heavily by Mississippi State as well. He comes next in a long line of JUCO DE talent in my Alabama regime, following the likes of Deontray Graham and Reuben Barry. With Kelly, the D line should be rock solid, returning the other 3 starters.

 

DE Maxwell Griffiths 6-6 242 (Jr) Jemison (Jemison AL) 4.0 of 4.0 [Contain]
DT Brandon Milligan 6-6 318 (Jr) Chipley (Chipley FL) 5.0 of 5.0 [1-Gap]
DT Kyle Pope 6-6 272 (Jr) Fairfield (Fairfield AL) 4.0 of 4.5 [1-Gap]

DE Dandre Kelly 6-1 252 Jr Copiah-Lincoln CC (Wesson MS) 4.0 of 5.0 [Blitz]

 

But D Line isn't always sexy. Which turns us to the offensive side of the ball. QB Greg Carnes was less than stellar last season, and rumors in Tuscaloosa are that he's already lost the starting job. QB Connor Cash 5-11 218 (Jr) Wallace State Community College (Hanceville AL) 4.5 of 5.0 [Pocket] is ready to take the reins of the Alabama offense, flanked by hopefully much improved Collin Stone after a 1.5 progression. He also has an absolute weapon at his disposal on the outside, WR Lukas Shapiro 5-10 189 (Jr) Prattville (Prattville AL) 5.0 of 5.0 [Speed]. Shapiro was asked to move spots midway through the season last year, but expects to be the consistent #1 option this year. From the recruiting trail, the Tide also hauled in the #2 ranked WR talent in the country, WR Lorenzo Harris 6-3 194 Fr IMG Academy (Bradenton FL) 1.5 of 5.0 [Target]. Harris is expected to start right away for the Tide, and he has impressed mightily in practice with his size and physicality for a freshman. 

 



 

 

 

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I'm really excited to see WR Antonio Brown 5-10 172 (Fr) Glen Mills (Concordville PA) 2.5 of 4.0 [Speed] with a progression getting even more targets. Also excited to see if

ILB Eddie Mills Jr. 6-2 225 (Jr) Mt. St. Joseph Academy (Rutland VT) 3.5 of 3.5 [Will] will be able to get back to his sophomore season form. And of course more cootin'!

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Another year of growth for our defense.  The four true freshman who played all did well and should be better with a year of experience.  Especially looking forward to seeing if DE Cassius Garner 6-3 247 So Tekoa-Oakesdale (Oakesdale WA) 2.5 of 5.0 [Blitz] can repeat or improve on his 13.5 sacks, and OLB Solomon Wheatley 5-11 229 So McKinley Tech (Boston MA) 4.0 of 4.0 [Blitz] can continue his all-around game (tied for second in the conference with 55 tackles and threw in 4.0 sacks and 2 INTs). 

 

D.D. Dyson, Jeremy Thompson, and Charles Kemp are probably the best all-around group of pass-catchers Washington's ever had.  If they get the ball, they can do some things.

 

That brings me to the nervous part.  Can they GET the ball?  At QB, I have to choose between a 1/5 true freshman and a 3/3.5 sophomore who only went +0.5 last year.  It's worrying enough that I don't expect to contend for the conference next year.

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The Lombardi era is officially over, and I have no clue what to expect. I will be starting:

 

QB Robert McCoy 6-1 205 Fr St. Frances Academy (Baltimore MD) 1.5 of 5.0 [Scrambling]

and

RB Deon Bowman 5-10 200 (Fr) St. Vincent Pallotti (Laurel MD) 2.0 of 5.0 [Speed]

 

So, it will be a really interesting year to say the least. There will learning curves for sure, but they both have an amazing surrounding cast. My O-Line averages out to a 4/4.5 across all starters. My wide receivers average about 4/4.25, including the trio that put up over 4,000 receiving yards in 2023. And then there is my 5/5 blocking TE. I'm most excited to get back to running spread option, the system I know and love best. I'm hoping a run-first spread-option will take a little bit of pressure off McCoy, but I know learning that won't be easy either for him. He actually has the same height and weight as Braxton Miller, so I'm hoping he can come in and have a similar freshman season. Ideally he'd have another year to develop, but this is where we are at. I actually like having expectations being low for this year so I can't be too dissapointed lol. I hope the offense learns and grows a lot to set up a stellar 2025/26. 

 

Defensively, I'm excited to get back to running 4-3. It's something that I've found I seem to coach a little better for whatever reason. My personnel don't exactly suit it, but I have so many good DTs that I need to get them on the field. I have:

 

DT Charone Barfield 6-6 317 So St. Frances Academy (Baltimore MD) 3.5 of 4.5 [2-Gap]

and

DT Kembrell Hall 6-7 321 (Fr) St. John's (Washington DC) 3.0 of 4.5 [2-Gap]

 

Barfield was a monster starting as a true freshman NT in the 3-4 last year. I hope they can both make the transition to 4-3, and I'm still debating starting one as a NT in it. I also finally have a pair of 4* corners starting for the first time even and a pretty good safety tandem. It will be without a doubt my best defense I've ever had. Little bit worried about starting a 4.5 will LB at the 4-3 mike, but this base defense allows me to get the most talent out on the field which is what I aim to do in college. 

 

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