Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cardinal Senior Send Off: Offense


This is the second of a 2 part series evaluating the losses to graduation that Ball State will face before we get to the incoming players and prospects in our Cardinal Recruiting Series beginning next week. Thanks for your blood, sweat, and tears gentlemen. It's truly appreciated. The final installment... the offense.

Name: Robert Brewster
Number: 71
Position: OT
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 310
Career Stats: 50 GP/50 GS
Replaceability: Brewster has started every game he's been on campus for, most of which were at right tackle (with the exception of a 7-game stint at right guard). Brewster is one of many graduating off of a dominating offensive line that not only blocked well enough to keep Nate Davis out of trouble, but opened enough holes to make MiQuale Lewis a 1000-yard back. That sort of size, experience, and toughness doesn't come along everyday. Brewster finished 2008 on the All MAC First Team.

Name: Chris Clancy
Number: 27
Position: TE
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 231
Career Stats: 41 GP/5 GS, 18 rec, 135 yds, 2 TD, 47 car, 299 yds, 2 TD, 6 Tkls
Replaceability: Clancy was the victim of simple overcrowding at the tight end position, and as such, bounced around many different positions during his career. Spent time at halfback, tight end, and even on defense for parts of his sophomore and junior campaigns.

Name: Adam Cole
Number: 58
Position: OT
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 278
Career Stats: 16 GP/0 GS
Replaceability: Cole didn't see much action, just as a substitute when needed along the O-line due largely to the fact that All MAC teammates Brewster, Gerberry, and Ramsey along with Cornwell were also in this class. If Cole had another year of eligibility he would be vital in replacing the losses.

Name: Kyle Cornwell
Number: 51
Position: RG
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 272
Career Stats: 36 GP/24 GS
Replaceability: The graduation of starting RG Kyle Cornwell, along with RT Robert Brewster, mean the entire right side of the offensive line is moving on. What Cornwell lacked in sheer size, he made up for with quickness and agility.

Name: Dan Gerberry
Number: 52
Position: C
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 292
Career Stats: 50 GP/50 GS
Replaceability: Gerberry is another of the 4-year starters from the offensive line. Named All MAC First Team in 2008. Gerberry was a tri-captain the last 2 seasons and while replacing his blocking and athletic ability will be exceptionally difficult, replacing his leadership and football smarts may prove to be impossible.

Name: Darius Hill
Number: 88
Position: TE
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 236
Career Stats: 50 GP/35 GS, 157 rec, 2544 yds, 31 TD
Replaceability: Hill was a force on the offensive side of the football due mainly to the fact that he was so much faster than the linebackers that tried to cover him. Occassionally would not hang onto a catchable ball, but Darius was a 2008 All MAC 1st Teamer. The TE position in Stan Parrish's offense is a valuable one, and the Cardinals do have talent on the roster at this position.

Name: Louis Johnson
Number: 81
Position: WR
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 177
Career Stats: 45 GP/24 GS, 96 rec, 1678 yds, 12 TD
Replaceability: Louis Johnson provided a downfield threat for Nate Davis, especially in the wake of Dante Love's absence. He, along with others, elevated their own games to account for the loss in production with Love's injury. While never considered an upper tier star, Johnson's experience next year will be missed, though mitigated, by the current roster and incoming offensive playmakers.

Name: Dante Love
Number: 86
Position: WR
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 179
Career Stats: 40 GP/23 GS, 199 rec, 2778 rec yds, 20 TD
Replaceability: BSU unfortunately had to deal with replacing Dante Love much sooner than they would have liked as he suffered a career-ending injury against Indiana. The offense continued to build success, but it was evident in slow starts and sometimes stagnant play that Dante Love's speed and spark were sorely missed.

Name: Wade Overton
Number: 10
Position: WR
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 200
Career Stats: 2 GP/0 GS
Replaceability: Overton saw virtually no action during his career at BSU. The transfer from Valparaiso saw no action his junior season and only appeared in two games his senior season, with no statistical contribution.

Name: Andre Ramsey
Number: 79
Position: LT
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 304
Career Stats: 48 GP/42 GS
Replaceability: Ramsey was the anchor on the left side of the line at arguably the most important position on the field... protecting the QB's blindside. Ramsey was a stalwart space eater on the O-line and neutralized star defensive ends all season, most notably Northern Illinois' Larry English. Ramsey, much like the other offensive line losses will be exceptionally difficult to replace because of game experience and leadership in addition to sheer athletic ability.



Offensive Recap:
Players lost: 10
Starters lost: 6
Starter Positions Lost: LT, C, RG, RT, TE, WR

The good news is that running backs MiQuale Lewis and Cory Sykes are back, as are Briggs Orsbon, Daniel Ifft, Myles Trempe, and Madaris Grant. The bad news? There may be no one up front with any experience blocking for the backs to run or allowing the QB time to throw. And while we're on the subject of QBs, it's still anyone's guess as to whether Ball State will need to test a new starter or not next year pending Nate Davis' NFL decision. The loss of 4 starting offensive lineman is devastating, plain and simple.

Looking to replace them will be current LG Michael Switzer and RG Kreg Hunter who have both seen starting roles and current reserves Ben Jacoby, Travis Arnold, and Jordan Applegate. Replacing Darius Hill's production will fall largely to Madaris Grant, who saw significant action in the 08 season.

On the recruiting trail, the Cardinals picked up a solid class, 12 commitments on the offensive side of the football, most at running back and wide receiver, though 2 offensive linemen are currently verbal commitments to the Cards. The offensive gem in this class may be QB Aaron Mershman, but with Kelly Page in a holding pattern and Nate Davis potentially around for another year, it could be several years before we see Mershman truly shine.

2 comments:

Brian BSU97 said...

Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication, seniors!!

Papa Lou BSU said...

As noted elsewhere, it'll be tough to replace a guy like Brewster on the OL, but note that Cornwell didn't start the CMU or WMU game (at least he wasn't listed as the starter), as well as a couple other games this year. So that's only three full-time starters to replace, technically, instead of four. Also, the back-ups will mostly be upperclassmen next year. It'll still be a veteran line.