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April 20, 2006While some positions developed well, others remained questions as spring football came to the close. Here's the issues of concern for the offense with Auburn on the horizon :
Placekicker: Loren Langley came into spring struggling and goes out the same way. Langley still has plenty of leg - and being a good kicker is a little like being a good golfer with a lot of the game being mental. The Cougars wanted to see Langley get it all dialed in during spring, but now must hope summer and August are productive. The Cougs need him to get settled. The coaches clearly need him to be The Guy and there are no real contenders behind him on the roster.
Receiver: Receiver was a mixed bag for spring for the Cougs. Jason Hill was the obvious standout as expected, Brandon Gibson continued to develop, and the Cougars developed some schemes to take advantage of all the team height. Injuries took a toll. Finas Rabb is expected to contribute sooner than later, but spent all of spring out of action due to a groin injury. Injury prevented Michael Bumpus from doing more, and Chris Jordan remains a question as to whether he'll return to his peak play.
Offensive Tackle: The Cougars are talented in the starting two but depth is a worry. Colin Donovan was again bit by the injury bug and has yet to complete a spring practice healthy. Last year JC transfer and redshirt sophomore Derek Hunter moved out to tackle to provide a backup while the only other contender for playing time ended up being 2005 invited walk-on Scott Friberg. Friberg as a redshirt freshman was listed as the backup at the crucial left tackle position both coming into and going out of spring - which means there's either no depth on the roster or Friberg has a lot of talent and was somehow missed in the scholarship numbers game.
Running Back: Promising sophomore DeMaundray Woolridge both went into and came out of spring listed the starter, but running yards were hard to come by in the Cougar spring scrimmages. Woolridge had flashes and looks good receiving out of the backfield, but neither Woolridge nor anybody else looked like a player ready to shoulder the load in a game. The coaches conceded a potential running back by committee approach with Dwight Tardy edging Kevin McCall for number two man on that committee. Instead of Woolridge taking a stranglehold on the position, a lot of hopes and expectations remain pinned on the players the Cougars have arriving in August.