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South Carolina State Depth Chart Reaction
Tuesday is when Charlotte Football and Biff Poggi handle their weekly press responsibilities, and unfortunately for me the Zoom/remote component to this is no longer available. Good news, the first two-deep (depth chart) for the season was posted to Twitter/X via Cameron Williams from the Charlotte Observer.
This is your annual disclaimer, two-deep’s are not binding documents. Things can change from Tuesday to gameday, but they are fun for us to talk about!
Jalon Jones is listed as QB1, which isn’t a surprise. Walk-on Trexler Ivey being listed as QB2 is. I think most expected Micah Bowens (Oklahoma transfer) or Dom Shoffner (Eastern Illinois transfer) to be here. That said, Poggi mentioned a package of plays for Shoffner during his session on Niners Live on Monday evening.
Shad Byrd as RB1 and Joachim Bangda as RB2 are a surprise, or should I say, no Durell Robinson is the real surprise here. Fully expect to see a lot of guys get touches from this room.
Jaden Bradley (Pittsburgh transfer), Jack Hestera (Colorado transfer) and Duane Thomas Jr. round out the starting WR’s. Duane Thomas is the only true freshman on either offense or defense listed as a starter.
Jake Clemons is listed as the starter, backed up by Colin Weber. Charlotte faithful are going to see quite a few big/heavy formations with multiple tight ends, as well as a fullback at times.
Before getting into specifics, the OL positions are not listed correctly, so flip Guards and Tackles.
Left tackle: Lucas Gramlick (UCLA transfer) and former rugby player gets nod. He’s backed up by a former Rocky River standout, Kendall Stanley.
Left guard: Kevin Williams (Nebraska transfer), who was the #1 pick taken in the Spring Game draft. Would love to see him stay healthy, that’s been an issue for him dating back to his time at University of Northern Colorado. Williams is backed up by Panda Askew, who has plenty of experience for the Niners in his first 2 seasons.
Center: Jonny King is the point man here, a pivotal spot for Charlotte’s offense. He’s backed up by Andrew Adair, a Liberty transfer. Tyler Thomas (Grambling State) was denied a waiver and will not be eligible this season.
Right Guard: Ja’Khi Green (Maryland transfer) is the starter, and has had command of this spot for a while. He’s backed up by Akron transfer and former North Meck standout Jordan Daniels.
Right Tackle: Jasper Parks (Sioux Falls) has won this battle, and is backed up by Georgia State transfer Jonathan Bass.
8 out of 11 starters are new to Charlotte via the transfer portal or a HS signee.
I’ll note here, this defense is going to play with many different formations, and there is a ton of depth in the front 7. We’ll see a lot of guys take snaps.
Defensive Ends: Jalar Holley and Julius Welschof (Michigan transfer) are listed as starters, backed up by Eyabi Okie-Anoma (Michigan transfer) OR Mike Kelly, and Emmanuel Balogun (Marshall transfer).
Defensive Tackles: Incumbents Dez Morgan and Migo Jackson get the starting nod, backed up by JUCO transfer Jonathan “Big Wall” Wallace and Austin Fontaine (Maryland transfer).
Prince Bemah, Reid Williford and Demetrius Knight (Georgia Tech transfer) all are listed as starters, being backed up by Osita Ekwonu (Notre Dame), Derek Boykins and Nikhai Hill-Green (Michigan transfer). Nikhai was on last night’s Niners Live, and I expect to see him on the field often.
This is the area on defense I have the most concern about, though the front seven getting a consistent rush will help elevate the backend, and Charlotte is certainly bullish on their front seven.
Starting corners are Dontae Balfour (UNC-Chapel Hill transfer) and Dontez Fagan, backed up by CJ Burton (Boston College transfer) and Deandre Hollins (UNC-Chapel Hill transfer). Wayne Jones and Isaiah Hazel (Maryland transfer) are listed as starting safeties, backed up by true freshman Kameron Howard and Maguire Neal.
Surprisingly, only 5 out of 11 on this side are new to CLT.
Biff announced this last night, true freshman Kyle Cunanan will be the starter. Jake Larson, a transfer from Richmond and former Saint Frances Academy kicker was brought in and seemed the likely winner of this competition heading into camp.
Grant Gonya is the guy here, as expected.
Big shoes to fill here with Cam Lyons exhausting his eligibility. Adam Booker OR Nico Crawford here.
All-in-all, this just reiterates what we’ve seen unfold all offseason. The roster composition is not comparable to last year’s team at all. If things go as expected on Saturday vs. South Carolina State, expect to see Charlotte go deep into the roster.