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2007 Central Michigan Preview - Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jun 18, 2007


Preview 2007 Central Michigan Chippewa Offense

Central Michigan Chippewas

Preview 2007 - Offense

- 2007 Central Michigan Preview | 2007 CMU Defense Preview
-
2007 CMU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Central Michigan Preview 

What you need to know: Thanks to the emergence of quarterback Dan LeFevour, the offense went from decent to ultra-efficient, leading the MAC in yards and scoring. The passing game became fantastic, and the ground game, while not always getting enough from the backs, hit home run after home run. Now there will be more running from the backs, especially Ontario Sneed and Notre Dame transfer Justin Hoskins, and less running from LeFevour. The receiving corps is good enough for LeFevour to spread the ball around to several different targets. The line won't be as good as last year, after losing two key starters, but it'll be fine.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Dan LeFevour
247-388, 3,031 yds, 26 TD, 10 INT
Rushing: Ontario Sneed
135 carries, 764 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Bryan Anderson
73 catches, 867 yds, 5 TD

Star of the offense: Sophomore QB Dan LeFevour
Player that has to step up and become a star: Junior OT Greg Wojt
Unsung star on the rise: Junior RB Justin Hoskins
Best pro prospect: Junior OT Andrew Hartline
Top three all-star candidates: 1) LeFevour, 2) RB Ontario Sneed, 3) WR Bryan Anderson
Strength of the offense: Skill positions
Weakness of the offense:
Offensive line depth

Quarterbacks

Projected Starter: Early in the opening game of the year against Boston College, now-sophomore Dan LeFevour had to step in. All he did was come this close to beating the Eagles with a 221-yard passing day with 72 rushing yards and two scores, and then he went on to lead the team to the MAC title with 3,031 passing yards, 26 touchdown passes, 521 rushing yards and seven scores. He's 6-3, 226-pounds and an effective runner when he gets a lane to take off. While he threw ten interceptions, few turned out to be killers. Not afraid to take chances, he'll try a few throws here and there he probably shouldn't make, but he's almost always able to pull them off. Now he'll be the league's signature star going into the season.

Projected Top Reserves: Junior Brian Brunner was the starter going into last year, suffered a concussion right off the bat against BC, and the rest is history. A good all-around quarterbacks with 6-3, 241-pound size, good mobility, and a nice arm, he's more than just a capable backup; he could step in and lead the team to wins if he had to. He saw a little bit of work throughout last year completing 25 of 40 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 82 yards and two scores.

Sophomore Duane Brooks is a smallish quarterback compared to LeFevour and Brunner, but he's a fast runner with a decent arm. He saw time in ten games, mostly on special teams, and ran for 74 yards. He struggled with his accuracy. If he's in, it's garbage time.

Watch Out For ... LeFevour to run less. While he's not going to become a pure pocket passer, the good running backs will handle most of the workload, while LeFevour's job will be to make the passing game more dangerous and to spread it around more.
Strength
:
The reserves. Not only is LeFevour an All-MAC star, but the team could be a champion again with Brunner at the helm.
Weakness
:
Not much. Brunner is unproven for a long stretch having only produced in short stints. That's nitpicking.
Outlook: LeFevour is only going to get better now that he's able to throw the ball more and has a good receiving corps to throw to. With Brunner only a junior, the situation will be strong for the next few years.
Rating: 8


Running Backs

Projected Starter: It took a while for junior Ontario Sneed to get going last year, and he was out of the picture for a late-season stretch failing to get ten carries in four straight November games, but he showed what he could do with minimal work, tearing off 130 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against Ohio in the MAC title game. Even at 5-11 and 203 pounds, he was less of a workhorse than he was as a freshman having problems staying healthy,  but he's still a home run hitter and a tremendous receiver finishing third on the team with 52 catches for 415 yards and seven scores.
 
Projected Top Reserves: The excitement this spring was over Notre Dame transfer Justin Hoskins, a quick 5-10 and 195-pound junior who was great throughout spring showing the skills to potentially challenge Sneed for the starting job. As good as he was, he'll have to battle with sophomore Marcel Archer for the number two spot. The team's third leading rusher last season, the 5-11, 193-pound slasher ran for 335 yards and seven scores highlighted by a three score day against Western Michigan.

Watch Out For ... Hoskins. He might not take over for Sneed, but he showed this spring that he could do it if needed.
Strength
:
Quickness. Sneed, Hoskins and Archer can all zip in and out, and each has a nice burst when they get the ball in open space. Sneed is gone with a little bit of room to move.
Weakness
:
Power. Sneed is big enough to be a bit of a powerback, but he's not a between-the-tackles runner. Archer and Hoskins aren't small, but they're better getting to the outside.
Outlook: With the emergence of Hoskins, there should be an excellent three man rotation that'll take the running game away from the quarterbacks and keep it in the backfield. Everyone will be kept fresh, everyone will catch the ball, and everyone will be involved.
Rating: 7

Receivers

Projected Starters: Bryan Anderson was supposed to be a part of the offense as a redshirt freshman, but no one could've seen him coming up with an All-MAC 73-catch, 867-yard, five touchdown season. While he's 6-5 and 194 pounds, with 4.5 speed, he's not just a deep threat. He's great at making catches all over the field and isn't afraid to go across the middle. Now he has to become more of a scorer having gotten in the end zone just twice, with both touchdowns coming against Buffalo, over the final eight games.

Taking over on the X for Obed Cetoute will be senior Justin Gardner, who made 36 catches for 471 yards and five touchdowns as a consistent fourth receiver. Now the former walk-on will start on the X, where he'll be expected to be a big-play target with all the attention being paid to Anderson.

With Anderson moving from the inside Z to the outside W, redshirt freshman Kito Poblah will take over the opening. A solid all-around athlete, he should use his 6-2, 196-pound frame to make several big plays across the middle. He won't be Anderson, but he'll put up several big plays.

Sophomore Sam Williams, a former linebacker, is an emerging receiver, but he only caught ten passes for 120 yards. The offense mostly used four-wide sets last year, so Williams didn't get any starting nods after the middle of the year. At 6-4 and 218 pounds, he's a tall, tough, fast target who should be more of a factor in the offense this year.

Projected Top Reserves: While the starters were set coming out of spring ball, that could quickly change this fall. Senior Jemmy Jasmin is one of the team's fastest receivers, but he hasn't been able to break out. While he can move, he's not all that big at only 5-8 and 171 pounds and has a hard time holding up. A knee injury has limited him over the course of his career, but he made several big plays this spring and should be a decent backup behind Anderson.

Another rising star out of spring ball was junior Joe Bockheim, a 6-2, 197-pound deep threat who ripped up the secondary in the spring game with two touchdowns. With his size and athleticism, he should finally become part of the offense behind Gardner on the X.

Behind Williams at tight end will be junior Andre Moore, a former quarterback who's 6-2 and 222 pounds with good speed. He has the potential to grow into a top receiver, but he hasn't come up with a catch yet.

Watch Out For ... more from the backups. Anderson, Damien Linson and Cetoute were tough to get off the field. This year, Jasmin, Bockheim, and redshirt freshmen Matt Torres will find their way on the field more than last years reserves.
Strength
:
Anderson and Gardner. Anderson is a true number one who can take all the heat off the rest of the receiving corps, while Gardner should blossom into the number two role Linson held last year.
Weakness
:
Deep targets. Anderson can make the big play, but the home runs were made last year by Linson and Cetoute. Gardner has deep threat potential, but someone else has to emerge for the passing game to take off like it's supposed to.
Outlook: The passing game will be the bread-and-butter of an attack that finished 22nd in the nation last year, and this corps will get the job done. The emergence of Jasmin and Bockheim this spring upgrades a corps that was already going to be good with the 1-2 punch of Anderson and Gardner.
Rating: 7

Offensive Linemen

Projected Starters: Three starters return to the line, but there's a big hole at left tackle with the departure of Joe Staley to the NFL. 6-5, 297-pound junior Andrew Hartline will move over from the right side, where he's been good for the last two seasons earning All-MAC honors last year. While he's not even remotely at Staley's level, he's a good all-around blocker who can do a little of everything well with his run blocking a major strength.

With Hartline moving over, 6-4, 285-pound junior Greg Wojt takes over at right tackle after seeing a little time in the rotation. A good athlete, he should grow into a good pass protector now that he has the full-time job. He might not be huge, but he's physical.

Outside of the loss of Staley, the other big loss is at center, where All-MAC performer Drew Mormino is off in Miami Dolphins' camp. 6-3, 280-pound redshirt freshman Colin Miller will take over after bulking up over the last year. Extremely strong, he should be a mauler in the middle.

There aren't any issues with either of the guards, where seniors Eric Tunney and Mike Decker return after good years. Decker started most of the year at left guard before filling in for Mormino at center in the bowl game. At 6-1 and 286 pounds, he's not huge, but he's active, athletic, and has the versatility to move around where needed inside. Tunney, a 6-3, 291-pound former defensive tackle, first got a little bit of work at center after making the move over to the offensive side, then he became a rock at guard over the last two years. Starting out on the left side as a sophomore, he started every game at right guard last year.

Projected Top Reserves: At 6-6 and 301 pounds, junior Andrew Cribbs is a big, strong reserve who'll play a bit at left tackle. He's been a key backup on both sides and now should play an even bigger role in the rotation to keep Hartline fresh.

The backup guard options are bigger than the starters, with 6-5, 304-pound senior Michael Raffaeli playing behind Decker on the left side and 318-pound redshirt freshman Jeff Maddux playing behind Tunney on the right. Each should be great against the run when they're in, but neither one is as close to athletic as the ones.

Watch Out For ... a dip in the overall production. You don't lose two NFLers like Staley and Mormino and get better. However, there's still ...
Strength
: The three returning starters. Decker and Tunney might not be all-stars, but they're plenty good and nice pieces to revolve around. Tunney is an all-star and a top blocker to work behind.
Weakness
:
Depth. There are nice prospects across the board, but there aren't as many battles for spots as you might think. The reserves are big, but there's a big drop-off.
Outlook: The line wasn't quite as strong as you might think it would be considering it had three All-MAC performers and an NFL first round draft pick in Staley. Part of the reason was having a new quarterback like LeFevour who ran a lot and took 214 yards in sacks. The line will be great as long as Wojt is great right away and Miller can hold his own in the middle. If Miller has problems, then Decker has to move over and the guard situation will be up in the air.
Rating: 6

  

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2007 Central Michigan Preview
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2007 Central Michigan Preview - Defense
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2007 Central Michigan - Depth Chart
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