-- A few positions changes that rarely have long-term impact
-- A few backups playing well all Spring, yet come Fall they either get buried on the depth chart or revert back to their old form
-- Very few philosophy or scheme changes
Take a look back at TOB’s springs.
1998. TOB’s first full Spring. Mutryn and Hasselbeck both played well, yet neither was named starter. (Mutryn would win the job in the summer.) Quinton Lee looked good all Spring. His non-football issues would continue to plague him at the Heights. Mike Cloud’s quiet Spring would not indicate the monster season he was about to have.
1999. Pitched as a battle for the starting QB spot, the Spring decided nothing and the most experienced QB was named the starter later in the summer. This Spring did see some major staff changes as Bible and Spaziani assumed their current titles. But little was written or explained about what sort of changes they might make.
2000. A recurring theme debuts here, quarterbacks who will either rarely see the field or switch to another position get a lot of snaps in the Spring and the Spring game. Kevin Kiley could not move up the depth chart with Brian St. Pierre firmly in place. Willie Poole also had a strong Spring, He would eventually be part of a Championship at USC.
2001. Ho-hum is the best way to describe this Spring. The only interesting development was Derrick Knight’s progression. Little was ever expected of him. His strong Spring provided hints that he might be able to carry the load as the feature RB.
2002. Unfulfilled potential is the theme here as Horace Dodd and Quinton Porter capped good practices with strong McGillis games. Brandon Brokaw also had a strong Spring before being dismissed from the school.
2003. Underused, nonfactors and position swithches. Gonzalez and Lilly showed promise. Only one would every see serious playing time. Dodd and Jeff (nka Survival) Ross had good Springs. El Nokali received most of the starters snaps as Porter was injured and Peterson was not on campus yet. Dan Berglund was still trying to make it as a QB.
2004. Another big Spring from Jeff Survival Ross. (He is the king of the Spring game). Porter played the best of the three QBs. (Peterson and Ryan would play well when it counts.) Blackmon had a strong Spring. Many hoped he would be a shutdown corner. 12 months later he would be learning a new position.
2005. Porter’s best Spring Game. Ryan played well too. This was the most active Spring as Blackmon switched to Wide out. But ultimately this Spring showed how little Spring and the Spring game mean as indicators. Raji and Dunbar both had great years, but you never would have known last April.
So the lesson here: don’t pay attention to Spring. TOB rarely does anything drastic, and too often the guys who play best disappear come September. Just enjoy the day and look forward to the games that count.