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Central Michigan Preview 2006 - Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 7, 2006


Central Michigan Chippewas Preview 2006 - CMU Offense

What you need to know ... The offense became balanced and consistent last year thanks to no injuries on the line, the emergence of RB Ontario Sneed, and the play of QB Kent Smith. The line returns four starters, and Sneed should be an All-MAC candidate, but replacing Smith is going to be tough. Five players are in the mix for the starting quarterback job with big Brian Brunner the front-runner. The winner gets a talented and experienced receiving corps to work with.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Brian Brunner
3-3, 21 yds
Rushing: Ontario Sneed
220 carries, 1,060 yds, 8 TD
Receiving: Damien Linson
56 catches, 832 yds, 4 TD

Star of the offense: Sophomore RB Ontario Sneed
Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore QB Brian Brunner
Unsung star on the rise: Junior WR Obed Cetoute
Best pro prospect: Senior OT Joe Staley
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Sneed, 2) Staley, 3) WR Damien Linson
Strength of the offense: Offensive line, receiver
Weakness of the offense:
Quarterback experience

Quarterbacks
How can CMU quickly replace Kent Smith who was, arguably, the MAC's best offensive player last year? Brian Brunner is a huge first option with a little bit of experience, but it's a wide-open race for the job with three redshirt freshmen all getting a shot. Duane Brooks is a runner who has to get academically eligible, Sean Price is a passer, and Dan LeFevour can do a little bit of everything.
The key to the unit: Find a starter the team can work around and stick with him.
Quarterback Rating: 5

Projected Starter
- Brian Brunner, Soph. - 3-3, 21 yds, 1 carry, 5 yards
Brunner is a strong, mobile 236 pounds with a good arm and a solid command of the offense. Even though he was the number two man last year, he's hardly a lock for the starting job needing to keep proving himself with each practice. With his time in the system, and the physical tools to run the attack almost like Kent Smith was able to last year, he'll be the man to beat after looking great in spring ball.

Top Backups
- Duane Brooks, RFr.
Brooks isn't nearly as big as Brian Brunner, but he's much faster and is a smart, accurate passer. At only 5-10 and 174 pounds he needs to show how explosive he can be running the ball to be in the race for the starting job. Most importantly, he has to prove he can get his grades together as he might not be eligible this fall.

- Dan LeFevour, RFr.
While not a shifty runner, the 6-3 LeFevour is mobile with decent all-around skills. He doesn't have a huge arm, so he'll have to prove he can keep the offense moving and has to be consistently accurate. He's still learning after playing quarterback just one year in high school, but he appears to be the number two man in the mix.

- Sean Price, RFr.
A record-setting high school passer, Price threw for 8,267 yards with 93 touchdowns and 17 interceptions at Maine South high school in suburban Chicago. He's not tall and doesn't have a huge arm, but he's fast, strong, and accurate.

Running Backs
It would be nice to have a thumper in the mix to provide a different option, but that's not CMU's offense. Ontario Sneed is one of the MAC's best all-around backs and should be the focal point of the offense until a quarterback is settled on. Anthony Boykins cranks up the speed factor several notches. Now he needs to be used to hit a few home runs and give Sneed about 7-to-10 plays a game off.
The key to the unit: Develop more running backs to be eased into the mix and find a true, short yardage back.
Running Back Rating: 7

Projected Starters
- Ontario Sneed, Soph. - 220 carries, 1,065 yds, 4.8 ypc, 8 TD, 51 catches, 433 yds, 3 TD
Sneed turned out to be a lifesaver for the offense after all the off-the-field drama with Jerry Seymour and the rest of the running game. He showed up from game one ripping off 148 yards and a touchdown against Indiana and finishing up with four 100-yard games highlighted by a 183-yard effort in the win over Akron. He's a quick runner with good enough breakaway speed to crank out big plays, and he has tremendous hands finishing third on the team in receiving.

Top Backups
- Anthony Boykins, Soph. - 17 carries, 65 yds, 3.8 ypc, 2 catches, 4 yards
Very, very fast. He's only 5-7, but he makes up for it with a 4.38 40, elusive quickness and decent strength at 190 pounds. He saw a little bit of time as a true freshman getting most of his carries in the blowout loss against Penn State, and now he'll be a key number two man to keep Ontario Sneed fresh.

Receivers
The receiving corps was a bit shaky early last season and then found its stride. Leading receiver Justin Harper is gone, but the situation should be even better with the return of Jemmy Jasmin from a knee injury and the expected emergence of Obed Cetoute as one of the team's new star offensive playmakers. It's a deep corps with good size and speed. Andre Moore and Dave Condeni have to combine to replace the 33 catches from Jacob Brown.
The key to the unit: Get more deep plays and hope for Obed Cetoute to turn into an All-MAC candidate.
Receiver Rating: 6.5

Projected Starters
- Damien Linson, Sr. - 56 catches, 832 yds, 14.9 ypc, 4 TD
Linson was the team's most productive receiver last year and should be the number one target yet again after getting bigger and stronger. He's 5-11 and 184 pounds with good speed and consistent hands. He was having a good season, and then he blew up late catching 18 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns over a two game stretch against Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. He'll start at the W position. 

- Jemmy Jasmin, Jr. - 13 catches, 95 yds, 7.3 ypc
Jasmin appeared to be on his way to being one of the team's breakout stars when he got knocked out for the year with a knee injury. He's not all that big at 5-8 and 162 pounds, so his role is as a field stretcher instead of an underneath target. He's one of the team's fastest receivers.

- Obed Cetoute, Jr. - 27 catches, 364 yds, 13.5 ypc, 2 TD
It appears the light has gone on for the Quebec native. He's 6-4 and 212 pounds with good speed and the best skills on the team. His hands have been an issue and he didn't become the playmaker he was expected to last season. Now he appears ready to be a dangerous deep threat and a go-to receiver on key downs.

- Tight end Andre Moore, Soph.
The former quarterback will be more of a receiver than a blocker. He's 6-2 and 221 pounds with great speed, and now he has to show he has his new position down and can be consistent.

Top Backups
- Bryan Anderson, RFr.
He has big-play potential. The 6-4, 200 pound redshirt freshman has 4.5 speed and turned into a playmaker this spring. He won't beat out Damien Linson for the starting W job, but he'll be a major factor all season long. 
- Darren Martin, Soph.
He's one of the team's biggest receivers at 6-4 and 205 pounds. While he can play the slot W position with his size being a major plus, he'll start out pushing for time on the outside behind Obed Cetoute.
- Justin Gardner, Jr. - 3 catches, 32 yds, 10.7 ypc
The former walk-on is a big limited as a receiver, but he's very athletic and has a little bit of experience seeing time in every game last year. He'll play behind Jemmy Jasmin at the Z.
- Tight end Dave Condeni, Sr.

He was supposed to be the starter going into last year, but it didn't happen getting beaten out by Jacob Brown. He's a good-sized target who should be physical in the running game. 

Offensive Linemen
The line turned into a tremendous strength as last season went on with all five starters sticking in the same lineup for the entire year. Only guard Jeff Jenerou is gone, but the Adam Benke is more than ready to fill in the gap. Eric Tunney will move from left guard to right guard, Drew Mormino is back for his fourth year as a starter and his second at center, and Andrew Hartline and Joe Staley form one of the MAC's better tackle tandems. Experienced depth is a big issue.
The key to the unit: Be a little better in pass protection and get a rotation going early on. CMU isn't going to go coast-to-coast again with the same starting lineup.
Offensive Line Rating: 5.5

Projected Starters
- OT Joe Staley, Sr.
The former tight end turned in a fantastic season on the left side and should be an All-MAC candidate. He's fast, big, now that he's up to 299 pounds, and is a great pass protector. He didn't allow a sack last year.
- OG Adam Benke, Soph.
The only new starter to the line, the 314-pound sophomore is experienced enough to handle the work. He has seen time at tackle and now will take over at left guard with Eric Tunney moving over to the right side.
- C Drew Mormino, Sr.
A starter from the moment he came to campus, the 301-pound senior made the successful move from guard to center where he should be an All-MAC candidate. He's a tremendous run blocker.
- OG Eric Tunney, Jr.
The former defensive tackle was tried out at center early on last year before starting every game at left guard. He bulked up big time over the last two years getting up to 290 pounds. Now he'll start on the right side.
- OT Andrew Hartline, Soph.
Hartline turned in a tremendous first season starting on the right side. He had a few issues with pass protection, but he has the size and experience to be better and also turn into a major run blocker.

Top Backups
- T Jeff Gilbert, RFr.
Gilbert is a massive prospect at 6-7 and 302 pounds. He's surprisingly fast and very strong. Expect him to eventually become a solid pass protector.
- G Andrew Cribbs, Soph.
At 6-5 and 309 pounds, Cribbs is a bigger option than Eric Tunney on the right side and could end up seeing a little bit of work on the left side.

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