Photo credit: American Athletic Conference Twitter
Might as well go all in on it
With Charlotte Football starting Fall Camp next week on Friday, August 4th, it’s time to start getting more into the roster and personnel, and lingering questions about the status of the team. But before we dive all the way into it, check out the interview from today with Biff Poggi on WFZN’s Wes and Walker Show, where Charlotte alum Walker Mehl asks more than three questions to the head football coach.
First off, it’s great to have an alum doing good things on the local radio scene. Be sure to drop in and listen to the Wes & Walker show on WFNZ (92.7 FM) weekdays from 12-3pm. In the linked interview, Walker Mehl touched on some good things; position battles, ice cream and NIL. Now time to jump into my questions.
Position battles, that’s where my mind goes when it is camp season. The problem is, when you have over 50 new guys, and all new staff with new schemes, it’s almost impossible to gauge what these battles look like heading into camp. Walker asked, but Biff didn’t really get into specific position battles. He did mention having 10 offensive lineman they feel good about, and 3 capable quarterbacks. As it relates to QB’s, Walker mentioned Jalon Jones as seemingly the #1 option, and Poggi mentioned Micah Bowens as another option, as well as Dom Shoffner. He also talks about how those guys bring different things to the table. I think with Jones and Shoffner, you see more physically gifted athletes that provide Charlotte with more opportunities to run the ball. Bowens, while smaller in stature, is more of a pure passing type of QB. Biff talks playing multiple QB’s, and honestly, I can see that happening more in Game 1 vs SC State, than we do in game 2 and beyond.
Out of the 10 offensive linemen they feel good about, odds are returnees Jonny King and Panda Askew are included, the rest will likely be net-new faces. Keep an eye on Jasper Parks, D2 transfer, who Poggi and Kyle DeVan (associate head coach) selected to go down to media days and represent CLT. It’s also worth noting that Nebraska transfer Kevin Williams Jr. was the first selection in the Spring Game draft.
What will the defense look like? Will it be a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme? Defensive Coordinator Ryan Osborn has experience at Michigan, and spent last year with the Baltimore Ravens. Biff stated it’s a “pro scheme” and that its “time tested” on the aforementioned interview, and this article from Michigan’s Rivals affiliate (link) really shows how flexible defense’s are, and have to be, especially with the adoption of spread offenses. I expect the front seven to be deep and athletic. We’ve had some NFL level guys up front, but this roster shapes up to be the most talented we’ve ever fielded on this side of the ball.
Who else gets added to the roster? There have been rumors about Quavaris Crouch joining, but last I hear there was still work that needed to be done for him to be able to enroll. Crouch was not on any roster last season after he transferred out of Michigan State in April 2022 (he was also previously at Tennessee). As of now Crouch is not enrolled at Charlotte, though his Instagram lists “Running Back Charlotte” (and has for some time). Another potential running back that could be added is Joachim Bangda from Towson, who started out at Kent State, and attended St. Frances in high school. College Football writer Phill Steele mentioned Bangda a while back on an interview when talking about Charlotte. He’s a physical running back, and is listed on Towson’s roster at 5’10 230. Bangda was a 3-star in 2019 class and had an extremely high-level recruitment before landing with Golden Flashes. He held offers from: Alabama, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin. Both Crouch and Bangda would bring size and athleticism to the RB room, it’ll be interesting to see if either ultimately land on the roster.