Storment fills a big hole, but other guys are going to have to step up, too.
“We just need to keep growing up to be honest with you,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to find a way to get eight [O-linemen for the season]. We have two or three right now that can play at a high level. That’s it.”
Patterson singled out senior Austin Myers as a player who has stepped up at tackle, and sophomore Esteban Avila at center. Patterson confirmed that Avila has replaced Coy McMillon as the first-team center in camp. Avila is also getting reps at tackle.
McMillon started every game at center last season. But, if he’s replaced, that would mean every position along the O-line is being filled by a new face compared with last season.
McKinney started 11 of 12 games at left tackle, while Bolisomi and Niang both started six games at right tackle. Iwuagwu started every game at left guard. At right guard, Bolisomi started six games with Myers starting four and Quazzel White starting two. White started once at left tackle, too, in place of McKinney.
Now do it for Marcel.
TCU remains optimistic that LSU transfer Marcel Brooks will obtain a waiver as well. That decision is expected soon, possibly at some point next week. Coach Gary Patterson raved about Brooks’ versatility as a defender last week, saying the former five-star prospect can play pass rusher, linebacker and even safety.
Spielman, meanwhile, brings a veteran presence to the wide receiver corps and is also an option to return punts. Spielman has earned preseason recognition, including being named to the Senior Bowl’s Top 250.
Patterson said Spielman had been “in and out” of practice in recent weeks, but “when he’s out there, he’s starting to learn. We just need him to get more reps.”
Dude is projected to go in the first round... so...
He is a poor tackler. Too often he takes incredibly acute angles in pursuit, whether it be moving to the edges or on the interior. When he squares up to a ball carrier he’s not overwhelmed by their presence, but he struggles to get to that place. His finishing rate is bad because of those poor angles. The above rep isn’t the worst of his catalog of misses but it does show where he struggles.
Although the poor angles and tackling technique is a bit of a concern, they are easily fixable through the ingestion of coaching and practice. What will be more difficult is transforming his body enough to be able to bring the necessary amount of boom to make a difference as a run defender.