• Hi Guest, want to participate in the discussions, keep track of read/unread posts and more? Create your free account and increase the benefits of your eGriz.com experience today!

Weekly Position Discussion: Week 2, Safeties

BWahlberg

Well-known member
DONOR
Going to hop back and forth from offense to defense. So for this week we'll focus on the defensive secondary. I was going to do all DBs but I'll break apart corners and safeties for the sake on a post that isn't a mile long.

The DBs we have on the roster, some show safety some show corner. I think a few were moved or at least tried out other positions in spring camp so there's a bit of guesswork here.

S: Matt Hermanson, Bo Tully, Steven Rominger, Kendrick Van Ackeren, Herbert Gamboa, Justin Whitted, Jake Dellaserra

Projected Depth
Starters: Hermanson (Junior), Tully (Senior)
Backup: Rominger (Senior) OR Whitted (Sophomore), Gamboa (Sophomore)
Depth: Van Ackeren (Sophomore), Dellaserra (Sophomore), DeBruyker (Sophomore)
Redshirt: new DB recruits (Parker, McKinley, Strahm)

Strengths/Weaknesses

Matt Hermanson - Hermey has a great 2nd half of 2011 which had a lot of Griz nation expecting even more in 2012. However that just never happened. With the sudden pressure of losing Tru/Roots/Lisowski to help in coverage Hermey struggled. Add in injuries that he played through (a broken bone in his foot plus a rumored onoging hip issue) and it just didn't turn out to be a year of improvement. He's worked his way back this spring to better health. If we get the 2011 Hermey that showed great ability to make plays in zone coverage we'll be ok here. If we see more of 2012 Hermey he'll lose his spot as a starter soon. Tackling is ok but not great. Matt

Bo Tully - The egriz whipping boy, Bo was the one guy offenses could successfully pick on in 2011 and then again in 2012 he didn't show good improvement. He's shown play-making abilities with some nice interceptions but far too often in the past he looked lost on the field. He had issues deciding to chase scrambling QBs or drop into coverage, he had taken bad angles on tackles, he attempted way too many arm tackles, and many times he'd dive head-first at a ball carriers feet thus taking his eyes off the player. So with such a scathing review of the last 2 years, why on earth do I project him the starter? For now Bo brings experience and speed plus he's the largest of our safeties. He had a quiet spring in the scrimmages with not as many noticeable errors. I'm hoping the mix of a new position coach, his senior year, and going up against JJ in practice will help him improve. Compared to Hermey he's on even more thin ice to lose his job, Whitted and Gamboa could challenge him.

Steven Rominger - The guy that's been on the team the longest, one of the few remaining Hauck recruits from the 2009 class. Steven is a guy that works hard in practice, plays hard on special teams, and is sound in coverage on defense. He's not flashy and doesn't make as many plays on the ball or force as many turnovers. Unfortunately for him he's been lost in the shuffle of team politics which wedges him between other upper-classmen, prior Pflu recruits, and incoming Delaney kids. Steven played well in backup time and I expect they'll give him the same role again this year. ST is where he'll probably make the best mark. He might be the hardest hitter of all the safeties.

Herbert Gamboa - Forced into playing in 2012 Gamboa didn't make a big splash but got some good time. In the spring scrimmages he had a few interceptions that I saw and you can see his speed on display as he's very quick to turn and make plays on passes. He's still rough around the edges, gets caught on his heels a bit too much and gets pushed around in run-support. I consider 2013 his ramp-up year into a chance to start in 2014.

Justin Whitted - Returned to the team after taking 2012 off Whitted make a quick impression on me as he made a few picks (one on JJ) in the scrimmages. He was hitting hard and playing well. However I believe an injury sidelined him in the last 1/3 of spring ball... I don't recall him playing in the last scrimmage. Whitted strikes me as more of Mike McCord/Colt Anderson guy that would rather be hitting and knocking guys around than playing the pass to try for an interception. GoGriz.com lists him as a corner but I'm pretty sure he played safety the whole time he was out there in the spring.

Kendrick Van Ackeren - Once hailed as the hope for the secondary I listed him as depth support only. Why would I do that? Because I believe Kendrick may move to be 2nd string OLB this fall camp. Van Ackeren was pretty quiet in the first two scrimmages as a safety. He was stuck in the 2s/3s and wasn't challenging to get looks with the 1s. Then linebacker depth issues came up and he moved to backup as an outside linebacker. In the 3rd scrimmage with a few 'backers out and resting Van Ackeren was inserted all over an an LB and made a ton of plays, if I recall he had double-digit tackles. I think he'll be kept as a reserve safety but nothing more - LB will be his focus.

Jake Dellaserra - Moved to safety last year. Jake will probably get some shots for ST this year but I don't see much more. The safey position is top-heavy with upperclassmen right now, come 2014/15 lets see if Jake can break through.

Adam DeBruyker - Another guy kind of waiting for a chance. ST options, probably not much more this year. Wasn't he out all of last year with an injury? I don't recall much from him.

Zach Gratton - I didn't list on the depth b/c he was playing mostly corner this spring and I'll bet he stays there
 
BWahlberg said:
Going to hop back and forth from offense to defense. So for this week we'll focus on the defensive secondary. I was going to do all DBs but I'll break apart corners and safeties for the sake on a post that isn't a mile long.

The DBs we have on the roster, some show safety some show corner. I think a few were moved or at least tried out other positions in spring camp so there's a bit of guesswork here.

S: Matt Hermanson, Bo Tully, Steven Rominger, Kendrick Van Ackeren, Herbert Gamboa, Justin Whitted, Jake Dellaserra

Projected Depth
Starters: Hermanson (Junior), Tully (Senior)
Backup: Rominger OR Whitted (Senior), Gamboa (Sophomore)
Depth: Van Ackeren (Sophomore), Dellaserra (Sophomore), DeBruyker (Sophomore)
Redshirt: new DB recruits (Parker, McKinley, Strahm)

Strengths/Weaknesses

Matt Hermanson - Hermey has a great 2nd half of 2011 which had a lot of Griz nation expecting even more in 2012. However that just never happened. With the sudden pressure of losing Tru/Roots/Lisowski to help in coverage Hermey struggled. Add in injuries that he played through (a broken bone in his foot plus a rumored onoging hip issue) and it just didn't turn out to be a year of improvement. He's worked his way back this spring to better health. If we get the 2011 Hermey that showed great ability to make plays in zone coverage we'll be ok here. If we see more of 2012 Hermey he'll lose his spot as a starter soon. Tackling is ok but not great. Matt

Bo Tully - The egriz whipping boy, Bo was the one guy offenses could successfully pick on in 2011 and then again in 2012 he didn't show good improvement. He's shown play-making abilities with some nice interceptions but far too often in the past he looked lost on the field. He had issues deciding to chase scrambling QBs or drop into coverage, he had taken bad angles on tackles, he attempted way too many arm tackles, and many times he'd dive head-first at a ball carriers feet thus taking his eyes off the player. So with such a scathing review of the last 2 years, why on earth do I project him the starter? For now Bo brings experience and speed plus he's the largest of our safeties. He had a quiet spring in the scrimmages with not as many noticeable errors. I'm hoping the mix of a new position coach, his senior year, and going up against JJ in practice will help him improve. Compared to Hermey he's on even more thin ice to lose his job, Whitted and Gamboa could challenge him.

Steven Rominger - The guy that's been on the team the longest, one of the few remaining Hauck recruits from the 2009 class. Steven is a guy that works hard in practice, plays hard on special teams, and is sound in coverage on defense. He's not flashy and doesn't make as many plays on the ball or force as many turnovers. Unfortunately for him he's been lost in the shuffle of team politics which wedges him between other upper-classmen, prior Pflu recruits, and incoming Delaney kids. Steven played well in backup time and I expect they'll give him the same role again this year. ST is where he'll probably make the best mark. He might be the hardest hitter of all the safeties.

Herbert Gamboa - Forced into playing in 2012 Gamboa didn't make a big splash but got some good time. In the spring scrimmages he had a few interceptions that I saw and you can see his speed on display as he's very quick to turn and make plays on passes. He's still rough around the edges, gets caught on his heels a bit too much and gets pushed around in run-support. I consider 2013 his ramp-up year into a chance to start in 2014.

Justin Whitted - Returned to the team after taking 2012 off Whitted make a quick impression on me as he made a few picks (one on JJ) in the scrimmages. He was hitting hard and playing well. However I believe an injury sidelined him in the last 1/3 of spring ball... I don't recall him playing in the last scrimmage. Whitted strikes me as more of Mike McCord/Colt Anderson guy that would rather be hitting and knocking guys around than playing the pass to try for an interception. GoGriz.com lists him as a corner but I'm pretty sure he played safety the whole time he was out there in the spring.

Kendrick Van Ackeren - Once hailed as the hope for the secondary I listed him as depth support only. Why would I do that? Because I believe Kendrick may move to be 2nd string OLB this fall camp. Van Ackeren was pretty quiet in the first two scrimmages as a safety. He was stuck in the 2s/3s and wasn't challenging to get looks with the 1s. Then linebacker depth issues came up and he moved to backup as an outside linebacker. In the 3rd scrimmage with a few 'backers out and resting Van Ackeren was inserted all over an an LB and made a ton of plays, if I recall he had double-digit tackles. I think he'll be kept as a reserve safety but nothing more - LB will be his focus.

Jake Dellaserra - Moved to safety last year. Jake will probably get some shots for ST this year but I don't see much more. The safey position is top-heavy with upperclassmen right now, come 2014/15 lets see if Jake can break through.

Adam DeBruyker - Another guy kind of waiting for a chance. ST options, probably not much more this year. Wasn't he out all of last year with an injury? I don't recall much from him.

Zach Gratton - I didn't list on the depth b/c he was playing mostly corner this spring and I'll bet he stays there

With JJ returning, the safety position is the biggest problem for the 2013 Griz. Will the safeties derail the Griz season?, probably not but it is still a big concern. If it wasn't for season ending injuries to Coogan and Lebsock last year, the two Griz starters would have been "pulled" IMO. Neither Tully or Hermanson make you forget about the great Griz safeties of the
past. We'll see.
 
It is beyond belief that Tully has been able to start at safety for three years for UM, as bad as he has played. He is the weak link of our secondary, and really does nothing well, tackling, poor angles, blown coverages. If one of these other kids is not even as good as Tully we are in serious trouble at this position.
 
First of all Great write-up on this roster spot, Bwahlberg. I think run support and playing deep have been this positions biggest problems "Playing Lost in Space" on the field. To support your 2011 hypothesis, With Trumane and Roots, all they had to do was take away the middle of the field and play with stud backers up front to help out with the run. 2012 came along and the coaching staff wanted, IMHO this position to grow a bit. But after several failed attempts and personnel changes scaled it back for this crew. 2013 a new sceme with the LB's playing deeper and limiting the back end from getting burned up the middle.
 
When did linebacker depth become such an issue that we'd move someone like Van Ackern from a position of OBVIOUS need to one that seems to be fairly robust?
 
AZGrizFan said:
When did linebacker depth become such an issue that we'd move someone like Van Ackern from a position of OBVIOUS need to one that seems to be fairly robust?

Because safety depth is set up top to bottom. LB is top loaded with 3 starting seniors and little to no experience behind them.
 
BWahlberg said:
Projected Depth

Backup: Rominger OR Whitted (Senior), Gamboa (Sophomore)


Justin Whitted - Returned to the team after taking 2012 off Whitted make a quick impression on me as he made a few picks (one on JJ) in the scrimmages. He was hitting hard and playing well. However I believe an injury sidelined him in the last 1/3 of spring ball... I don't recall him playing in the last scrimmage. Whitted strikes me as more of Mike McCord/Colt Anderson guy that would rather be hitting and knocking guys around than playing the pass to try for an interception. GoGriz.com lists him as a corner but I'm pretty sure he played safety the whole time he was out there in the spring.

I thought that Justin Whitted was listed as a Redshirt Sophomore for the upcoming 2013 season.
 
WyomingGrizFan said:
BWahlberg said:
Projected Depth

Backup: Rominger OR Whitted (Senior), Gamboa (Sophomore)


Justin Whitted - Returned to the team after taking 2012 off Whitted make a quick impression on me as he made a few picks (one on JJ) in the scrimmages. He was hitting hard and playing well. However I believe an injury sidelined him in the last 1/3 of spring ball... I don't recall him playing in the last scrimmage. Whitted strikes me as more of Mike McCord/Colt Anderson guy that would rather be hitting and knocking guys around than playing the pass to try for an interception. GoGriz.com lists him as a corner but I'm pretty sure he played safety the whole time he was out there in the spring.

I thought that Justin Whitted was listed as a Redshirt Sophomore for the upcoming 2013 season.

My bad, I'll correct that, Rominger is the senior, Whitted is a Soph
 
For the Griz to be as successful in 2013 as they should be, they need the safety position to step up. Somebody newer to the depth chart has to emerge in Gamboa or Van Ackeren or Whitted to spell one of the starters or Hermanson must return to the great play he showed at the end of 2011. The team can get by with one of their weaker defensive starters playing safety, but not two!!

I realize LB depth took a hit with Maus and Holt quitting the team before spring ball, but I just can't see how Van Ackeren doesn't play safety knowing that's supposedly why he transferred here. I believe we have a much greater need at starting safety than backup outside linebacker. If there is a depth issue at linebacker, then it appears to be in the middle anyway where Kendrick doesn't play.

LB Starters: MLB - Coyle, OLB - Tripp, OLB - K'anngota, Backups: OLB - Lebsock, OLB - Lippert, MLB/OLB - Kose, incoming Schye & I think you're going to see Connor Strahm moved to linebacker when he arrives based on comments from Ty.

Here are some of coach Delaney's comments on Van Ackeren:
"He's a good sized safety who can really run. We haven't had a safety like that physically for awhile. We are really looking forward to the impact that he will make in our secondary."

That sounds like a strong safety if I ever heard one described.
 
go96griz said:
For the Griz to be as successful in 2013 as they should be, they need the safety position to step up. Somebody newer to the depth chart has to emerge in Gamboa or Van Ackeren or Whitted to spell one of the starters or Hermanson must return to the great play he showed at the end of 2011. The team can get by with one of their weaker defensive starters playing safety, but not two!!

I realize LB depth took a hit with Maus and Holt quitting the team before spring ball, but I just can't see how Van Ackeren doesn't play safety knowing that's supposedly why he transferred here. I believe we have a much greater need at starting safety than backup outside linebacker. If there is a depth issue at linebacker, then it appears to be in the middle anyway where Kendrick doesn't play.

LB Starters: MLB - Coyle, OLB - Tripp, OLB - K'anngota, Backups: OLB - Lebsock, OLB - Lippert, MLB/OLB - Kose, incoming Schye & I think you're going to see Connor Strahm moved to linebacker when he arrives based on comments from Ty.

Here are some of coach Delaney's comments on Van Ackeren:
"He's a good sized safety who can really run. We haven't had a safety like that physically for awhile. We are really looking forward to the impact that he will make in our secondary."

That sounds like a strong safety if I ever heard one described.

Knowing nothing about football (that's for you, PR ;) ) I agree 100% with this post. A starting safety is more of a need than a backup linebacker at this point.
 
go96griz said:
For the Griz to be as successful in 2013 as they should be, they need the safety position to step up. Somebody newer to the depth chart has to emerge in Gamboa or Van Ackeren or Whitted to spell one of the starters or Hermanson must return to the great play he showed at the end of 2011. The team can get by with one of their weaker defensive starters playing safety, but not two!!

I realize LB depth took a hit with Maus and Holt quitting the team before spring ball, but I just can't see how Van Ackeren doesn't play safety knowing that's supposedly why he transferred here. I believe we have a much greater need at starting safety than backup outside linebacker. If there is a depth issue at linebacker, then it appears to be in the middle anyway where Kendrick doesn't play.

LB Starters: MLB - Coyle, OLB - Tripp, OLB - K'anngota, Backups: OLB - Lebsock, OLB - Lippert, MLB/OLB - Kose, incoming Schye & I think you're going to see Connor Strahm moved to linebacker when he arrives based on comments from Ty.

Here are some of coach Delaney's comments on Van Ackeren:
"He's a good sized safety who can really run. We haven't had a safety like that physically for awhile. We are really looking forward to the impact that he will make in our secondary."

That sounds like a strong safety if I ever heard one described.

When were Delaney's comments made? Recently or a long time ago?
 
PlayerRep said:
go96griz said:
For the Griz to be as successful in 2013 as they should be, they need the safety position to step up. Somebody newer to the depth chart has to emerge in Gamboa or Van Ackeren or Whitted to spell one of the starters or Hermanson must return to the great play he showed at the end of 2011. The team can get by with one of their weaker defensive starters playing safety, but not two!!

I realize LB depth took a hit with Maus and Holt quitting the team before spring ball, but I just can't see how Van Ackeren doesn't play safety knowing that's supposedly why he transferred here. I believe we have a much greater need at starting safety than backup outside linebacker. If there is a depth issue at linebacker, then it appears to be in the middle anyway where Kendrick doesn't play.

LB Starters: MLB - Coyle, OLB - Tripp, OLB - K'anngota, Backups: OLB - Lebsock, OLB - Lippert, MLB/OLB - Kose, incoming Schye & I think you're going to see Connor Strahm moved to linebacker when he arrives based on comments from Ty.

Here are some of coach Delaney's comments on Van Ackeren:
"He's a good sized safety who can really run. We haven't had a safety like that physically for awhile. We are really looking forward to the impact that he will make in our secondary."

That sounds like a strong safety if I ever heard one described.

When were Delaney's comments made? Recently or a long time ago?

PR - Good point, the comments were made on signing day. Maybe coach's thinking has changed, but I hope not...

http://www.gogriz.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/020613aaz.html
 
I just confirmed Van Ackeren will play linebacker. The following quote can be found on his player bio located on GoGriz.com:

"Kendrick is a talented player who will play linebacker and also on special teams. He was moved from safety to linebacker in the second half of spring drills, and he had a team-high 9 tackles in UM's final scrimmage."

This page also lists his position as linebacker and the official roster now has his position blank where it used to be safety.

http://www.gogriz.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/kendrick_van_ackeren_844762.html

The coaches must feel we have the horses to get the job done at safety to make this move. I hope they step it up this year.
 
go96griz said:
I just confirmed Van Ackeren will play linebacker. The following quote can be found on his player bio located on GoGriz.com:

"Kendrick is a talented player who will play linebacker and also on special teams. He was moved from safety to linebacker in the second half of spring drills, and he had a team-high 9 tackles in UM's final scrimmage."

This page also lists his position as linebacker and the official roster now has his position blank where it used to be safety.

http://www.gogriz.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/kendrick_van_ackeren_844762.html

The coaches must feel we have the horses to get the job done at safety to make this move. I hope they step it up this year.

Sweet Jesus. We're done for. :cool:

The ship be sinkin'!!
 
AZGrizFan said:
go96griz said:
I just confirmed Van Ackeren will play linebacker. The following quote can be found on his player bio located on GoGriz.com:

"Kendrick is a talented player who will play linebacker and also on special teams. He was moved from safety to linebacker in the second half of spring drills, and he had a team-high 9 tackles in UM's final scrimmage."

This page also lists his position as linebacker and the official roster now has his position blank where it used to be safety.

http://www.gogriz.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/kendrick_van_ackeren_844762.html

The coaches must feel we have the horses to get the job done at safety to make this move. I hope they step it up this year.

Sweet Jesus. We're done for. :cool:

The ship be sinkin'!!

NEVER DOUBT MY KNOWLEDGE AGAIN!

Ha, I had heard some chatter this was going to happen. And honestly if you look at safety vs linebacker where are you more comfortable with long-term depth or immediate need in case of ineffectiveness or injury? Whitted and Gamboa are coming along well, Rominger is a solid rotation guy, and they're really hoping Hermey can bounce back. That leaves Tully as having to hopefully step up and improve or lose his job to one of three that could grab it. Meanwhile at linebacker we know Coyle, Tripp, & JP are locks, but behind them you've got only Addison Owen in terms of experience. Lippert and Kose have no reps at linebacker. Plugging Van Ackeren in there will not only help this year as he'll be able to come in an play for Tripp or JP but also will be a front-runner to lock down a starting spot next year. Meanwhile the safety position loses Rominger and Tully to graduation, so you'd have Whitted and Gamboa battling to start opposite of Hermey.

I just see better opportunities and better contribution for Van Ackeren at OLB - he looked much better in that last scrimmage.

And yes, this post is FULL of speculation on players abilities and hopefully rebounding from last year.
 
BWahlberg said:
NEVER DOUBT MY KNOWLEDGE AGAIN!

And yes, this post is FULL of speculation on players abilities and hopefully rebounding from last year.

Fine, but PLEASE tell me he doesn't weigh 195 like his GoGriz bio says... :? :?
 
AZGrizFan said:
BWahlberg said:
NEVER DOUBT MY KNOWLEDGE AGAIN!

And yes, this post is FULL of speculation on players abilities and hopefully rebounding from last year.

Fine, but PLEASE tell me he doesn't weigh 195 like his GoGriz bio says... :? :?

I agree with azgrizfan on this,,,sure quickness will help in some situations, but linebackers have to take on fullbacks and pulling guards and tackles most of the time....there is a reason why most linebackers are in that 230 pound range....
 
BWahlberg said:
AZGrizFan said:
go96griz said:
I just confirmed Van Ackeren will play linebacker. The following quote can be found on his player bio located on GoGriz.com:

"Kendrick is a talented player who will play linebacker and also on special teams. He was moved from safety to linebacker in the second half of spring drills, and he had a team-high 9 tackles in UM's final scrimmage."

This page also lists his position as linebacker and the official roster now has his position blank where it used to be safety.

http://www.gogriz.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/kendrick_van_ackeren_844762.html

The coaches must feel we have the horses to get the job done at safety to make this move. I hope they step it up this year.

Sweet Jesus. We're done for. :cool:

The ship be sinkin'!!

NEVER DOUBT MY KNOWLEDGE AGAIN!

Ha, I had heard some chatter this was going to happen. And honestly if you look at safety vs linebacker where are you more comfortable with long-term depth or immediate need in case of ineffectiveness or injury? Whitted and Gamboa are coming along well, Rominger is a solid rotation guy, and they're really hoping Hermey can bounce back. That leaves Tully as having to hopefully step up and improve or lose his job to one of three that could grab it. Meanwhile at linebacker we know Coyle, Tripp, & JP are locks, but behind them you've got only Addison Owen in terms of experience. Lippert and Kose have no reps at linebacker. Plugging Van Ackeren in there will not only help this year as he'll be able to come in an play for Tripp or JP but also will be a front-runner to lock down a starting spot next year. Meanwhile the safety position loses Rominger and Tully to graduation, so you'd have Whitted and Gamboa battling to start opposite of Hermey.

I just see better opportunities and better contribution for Van Ackeren at OLB - he looked much better in that last scrimmage.

And yes, this post is FULL of speculation on players abilities and hopefully rebounding from last year.

Brint:

It is still gamble moving the kid to outside LB IMO, at least for this season. Delaney stated before the recruiting season that one of the Griz biggest needs was a JC/ Drop Down saftey. Now the guy he recruited for that perceived need is moving to LB. With the erratic play of the starting safeties last year, this move could put a lot of pressure on Gamboa/ Whitted to "step up" if needed. They are young. If Tully and Hermey flame out again, the Griz could be vulnerable. I see Van Eckeren being a good LB eventually but he would definately help at safety now.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top