2015 Glen Rose football position preview: OFFENSE
OFFENSIVE LINE WITH COACH BRANDON GREENHAW
The strength for the Tigers in 2015 will be in the trenches. Glen Rose returns very little experience to its skill positions, and will have to lean heavily on the experience, skill, and toughness of the big fellas up front if it expects to match - or exceed - last year’s success.
Reece Nickell is a three-year varsity starter, and will anchor the Tigers’ offensive line as the team’s starting center. Nickel will be joined on the line by Braxton Barrios and Miguel Barraza on either side of him holding down the guard positions, transfer Willie Bryant – an athletic 6’3” and 260lb left tackle from Minnesota – and right tackle Matt Willis, another three-year varsity letterman.
Willis, Barrios, and Barraza will all see significant time on the defensive line, but the depth behind them is there, according to Greenhaw.
Abraham Munguia will play significant time at guard, and “is a very smart and savvy football player, who will also see some time on defense at linebacker,” Greenhaw said. “Seniors AJ Ibarra and Dylan Frailey will be the back-up tackles and they provide us with some good, solid depth.
“They have all put in a lot of work in the weight room, and are a pretty tight group. They take care of each other and take care of their quarterback. It has the potential to be one of our strongest groups on the field, and has plenty of depth.”
QB'S WITH GR HEAD COACH TOMMY DUNN
Tigers’ Head Coach Tommy Dunn has two quality quarterbacks under his wing, and regardless of QB1 or QB2 status, expects near-perfection from both on a daily basis.
“I have very high expectations for our quarterbacks. If you are playing the quarterback position, then you are the key part of making everything work,” Dunn said. “You have to have leadership skills, and you have to be able to handle all of the things that come at a quarterback. It’s not easy.
“With all of the motions that we do, you have to be able to stand in there and throw the ball on time. You have to be able to get the proper look on the play action, execute the play and know what defense they are in and what your read is doing. I expect the quarterbacks to do everything right, and I try to put a lot of pressure on them in practice to make the game easier than practice is. I’m hard on the quarterbacks. I make sure and tell them when they have done something good, but I expect them to do well.”
Starting under center for the Tigers this year, will be Ethan Hartman. Hartman is a junior, and although he has not played the position since junior high, has two years of varsity experience under his belt as a receiver.
“Ethan is a very good athlete, he has gotten better each day,” Dunn said. “We have struggled at times with reading the defense and getting the body into position to throw correctly, but that is to be expected. He did go through all of the drills last spring, and while you can do great in practice, everything speeds up once you get into a game. He needs the game experience so the game is not so fast, but that will come, and he will settle, and be able to make the reads and throws that he needs to.”
Brennan Cary, another junior signal caller, is a “program kid” that has “worked his tail off,” according to Dunn, and is “absolutely” capable of stepping into the starting role at a moment’s notice.
“[Cary] has gotten better and better every day, and right now I am very pleased at how he is playing. He doesn’t have any varsity experience under center either, but he has been playing quarterback for the last two years, and I think that works to his advantage. He has gotten his arm stronger, and has progressed well in his development. I am very pleased with what he has brought already this fall.”
RUNNING BACKS WITH COACH KIEL MILLER
Glen Rose enters the season with its strength being in its lines, which is good news for Tiger ball carriers this season, as there should be plenty of opportunities to find a running lane. Chasen Monk has emerged as the front-runner at the tailback position, and the fullback will most likely be the guy not winded from defense, according to backfield coach Kiel Miller.
Monk is a senior, who had a very promising sophomore campaign at the varsity level before he sustained an injury in practice last season prior to the season opener. The injury caused him to miss his entire junior campaign.
“We are expecting pretty big things out of him, and even though he has been injured, he is very strong in the lower body,” Miller said. “He is a tough kid to bring down, and has a low center of gravity.”
Junior Dakota Prcin will serve as the Tigers’ “change-of-pace back,” and after spending the majority of last season on the JV, the coaching staff saw glimpses of potential after he was called up to the varsity at the end of the year.
“He is also coming off of an injury last year, but he can really go when he gets into the open field. Prcin is kind of going to be our speed guy,” Miller said.
Matt Branham is the third tailback on Miller’s radar, and while they will use him in certain situations on the offensive side of the ball, he will predominantly be a defensive player.
The fullback position will feature a combination of sophomores Tate Swearengin and Dakota Stroud, and junior Kully Reynolds.
Swearengin has previously played tailback and fullback, but will be used “quite a bit on defense,” according to Miller. The same goes for Reynolds, who is the Tigers’ “most advanced fullback right now,” but again, defense is where he will be spending the majority of his time.
That leaves the bulk of the work in the hands of Dakota Stroud, another sophomore, who Miller described as, “a real strong, tough runner, and kind of a between the tackles guy. He is a kid who has played fullback since he was in seventh grade, so he kind of knows the position a little better.”
WIDE RECEIVERS WITH COACH ERIK HARTMAN
The wide receiver corps will be the group for the Tigers with the most to prove, as it is the least experienced facet of the team heading into the season.
“There are a lot of guys who are going to be playing this year who do not have any previous varsity experience. They are coming along though. They are busting their tails trying to learn everything. Overall, they have adjusted and done very well to this point.”
On the left side, expect to see Cashion Klipfel, Austin Mullins, Dakota Paschall, and Logan Smith – who was just recently moved from the slot to the outside.
“Klipfel is a senior who is out there at nine-man and is really competing, same with Mullins who is a junior. Smith can really stretch the field and has pretty good hands, and Dakota Paschall is a sophomore who has shown some good things.
In the slot, the Tigers will feature sophomore Logan Thames, junior Brazos Overton, and occasionally Stone Castello – a senior who will see significant time on defense.
“They all bring something different to the table. Thames has some height and athleticism, Overton has some speed and pretty good hands, and then you have Castello there who can make some plays, but he is going to play a lot of defense. Those guys are going to have to rotate in and all take some snaps at that spot.”
Opposite of Klipfel, Mullins, Paschall and Smith will be a combination of Tyler Torres, Landen Ibarra, freshman Westen Halcom, and Hunter Burney.
“Torres is a sophomore out there who has shown some good things, and while he was a running back last year for us, we have moved him to receiver this year. Landen Ibarra is a junior who has shown he can compete, and we have even looked at freshman Westen Halcom out there who has done a lot with his opportunities. Hunter Burney is a senior who did not play football for us last year, but wants to play for us his senior year.”
“It is really going to be receiver by committee until someone shows that they want to step-up and take the job, and the jobs are open for someone to take it.”