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Opinion: Tim’s Take: Spring football’s winners and losers
Tim Cato / Senior Staff Writer
With the conclusion of another spring football season after last Saturday’s Green-White scrimmage, the next significant date for football is the season home opener against the University of Idaho on August 31 – the first home opener for UNT since 2001.
Although the coaching staff will have many decisions to make about the starting lineups and depth chart, the spring season helped give an idea of what the team might look like on that opening Saturday in the fall.
Some Mean Green athletes helped their stock, while others will have some more work to do if they want to start at the beginning of the season.
Winner – Senior quarterback Derek Thompson
Thompson looks to go out with a blaze of glory as he heads into his senior season. As last year’s starting quarterback, he played with the first team most of the spring and was successful, showing the chemistry with his receivers that is expected out of a veteran redshirt senior. However, Thompson must continue to show he’s calm and reliable in the backfield, no matter how many 300 pound behemoths rush at him.
Loser – Sophomore quarterback Brock Berglund
Berglund left high school as one of the more highly-touted dual threat quarterbacks in the nation, but a falling out in Kansas led him to the Mean Green last year. After sitting out the season due to NCAA transfer restrictions, Berglund was ready to show his ability to make plays could lead this team. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury hindered him for much of the spring and he was never able to show coaches what he was truly capable of.
Winner – Junior defensive back James Jones
A junior college transfer from Kilgore College, Jones was the most impressive at the Green-White scrimmage, showing he’s a true playmaker in a secondary that watched opposing receivers get past them for touchdowns much too often last year. In addition to tight coverage on whomever he was matched up against, Jones notched a safety in the scrimmage.
Loser – Senior defensive back Zed Evans
There’s a fine line between Jones, a player-maker, and Evans, a risk-taker. The University of Louisville transfer created buzz coming into the Mean Green program, but tried too hard to cause a fumble or snag an interception throughout the spring. A talented player, he can still contribute playing safety next year if he is able to change his mentality when he’s on the field.
Winner – Sophomore receiver Carlos Harris
When starting receiver Brelan Chancellor broke his collarbone last October, Harris came in and played remarkably well as his replacement. His first career catch went for a touchdown and he finished with the most receiving yards for a freshman in four years. Over the spring, Harris knocked off the “replacement” tag and showed he could do more than just fill-in when injuries arose. He had a nine-catch performance at the Green-White scrimmage.