College Football Centers vie to continue moving forward as the 2022 Spring Practices conclude

We’ve reached the midpoint of the 2022 college football spring practice sessions, and it’s going to be a huge weekend of spring games on board that will include Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and more who wrap up their off-season with showdown brawls. Coaches love the Spring Ball competition and the chance to watch players perform with their coveted Depth Chart points on the line. And while we know that the “every job open” message does not apply to every position for every team, position battles in the spring can go a long way in determining who will fill the key holes for high-profile teams in 2022.

Below we’ve outlined some positioning battles to track the trend into the final weeks of spring training. Some very important fights – Like a quarterback competition at Texas A&M; M and DJ Uiagalelei in defense of his inaugural job at Clemson – It’s already wrapped up for spring and will run into fall, but these are the ones who will get our attention the rest of the way.

Alabama: wide receiver

spring game: April 16
Names to knowJacquery Brooks, Jermaine Burton, JoJo Earl, Trishon Holden

Jameson Williams and John Mitchell III are moving to the NFL, Javon Becker has moved to Kentucky and Agee Hall is in the transfer gate. That leaves only one player – Ja’Corey Brooks – who started his career at Crimson Tide and a handful of other talented options battling for a chance to get assists from Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young. Burton brings SEC expertise with his move from Georgia, and it is possible to follow in Williams’ footsteps to move on from a top-tier program and see his star rise further in Tuscaloosa. But the talented underclassmen JoJo Earle and Traeshon Holden bring speed and potential to the table that deserve attention in this fight.

Texas: Quarterback

spring game: April 23
Names to know: Queen Ewers, Hudson Card

Last year, we’ve been following the battle between Card and Casey Thompson, a rivalry that began in the spring and continued throughout Steve Sarkissian’s first season as Longhorns head coach. Thompson has since moved to Nebraska, but Card is far from the hot favorite for the job thanks to the arrival of a prospective former five-star Queen Ewers from Ohio. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound Ewers has been ranked the #1 Rookie in high school, according to 247Sports Composite, and this excellent condition has many fans who have given him the QB1 honor already. But Card indicated that he is ready for a head-to-head challenge against the newcomer, and his year-long experience in Sarkissian’s offensive could prove invaluable in the competition. The uproar of the early brawl suggests that the experience may not be enough to beat the Ewers’ live arm and explosive passing ability, which had Longhorns fans buzzing with verve as the spring game approached.

Ohio: Cornerback

spring game: April 16
Names to know.: Denzel Burke, Cameron Brown, Jacqueline Johnson, Jordan Hancock

The Buckeyes’ pass defense struggled last year, ranking 96th nationally and 12th out of 14 teams in the Big Ten. The inability to speed up the passers and ultimately defending Ryan Day to hire defensive coordinator Jim Knowles away from Oklahoma State put a major focus on Ohio State’s defense this spring. Burke played more shots than anyone else in the Buckeyes defense last year, so he thinks he’s in one place, but there’s a real battle going on between Cameron Brown, Jacqueline Johnson and Jordan Hancock over time. The way Knowles would like to have the secondary setup, the safety and nickel positions are deep and likely to be talked about, including the claim of former Oklahoma State star Tanner McAllister.

LSU: Quarterback

spring game: April 23
Names to know.: Miles Brennan, Jaden Daniels, Garrett Nosmeyer

Expectations for this competition took a sharp turn earlier this month when former Arizona State quarterback Daniels announced LSU as his transfer destination. A regular fixture for three years for coach Herm Edwards and Sun Devils, Daniels emerged as an instant-impact star in 2019 with 17 touchdowns and interceptions before failing to match that high level of play for the next two seasons. Brennan had emerged to be the leader in this competition before that news, because he was a consistent and reliable option when in good health. However, his injury history raises some concerns which may have been a factor in Daniels’ arrival in Baton Rouge. The tenth factor here is how new coach Brian Kelly and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrook want to manage the attack, which in turn may depend on who wins the job.

USC: wide receiver

spring game: April 23
Names to know: Mario Williams, Brendan Rice, Terrell Bynum, Gary Bryant Jr., Taj Washington, Kyle Ford

Lincoln Riley’s pool of broad reception talent indicates that his in-store season airs for its first year in Los Angeles. Trojans lost main receiver Drake London to the NFL but saw a few rotation players back, but Riley and his staff decided to hit that center hard in the transfer gate. Williams (Oklahoma), Rice (Colorado) and Penum (Washington) could be prime targets for star linebacker Caleb Williams, but they have to win these roles before players who were at USC before Riley arrived. It was Gary Bryant Jr. He is the team’s main receiver after the 2021 London campaign ended due to injury, so he’s considered part of the mix, but Washington, Ford and the rest of the hall are struggling to secure a proper spot on the depth chart. With all the transfer talent added into the mix.

Oregon: running backwards

spring game: April 23
Names to know.: Byron Cardwell, Shawn Dollars, Stephen McGee, Noah Whittington

Travis Dye and CJ Verdell have been Oregon’s number two hitters over a long period of time, so after Verdell left for the NFL and Dye moved to USC, there’s a huge gap in the running back. Cardwell is enjoying the most production after collecting 417 streaming yards and three touchdowns during his rookie season, but fourth-year player Shawn Dollars has earned great reviews from the coaching staff after finally returning to full health after injury. First-year coach Dan Lanning and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham hit the transfer gate to anchor some depth here with Noah Whittington of Western Kentucky State and the group would get a boost in terms of depth and talent as rookie Jordan James, a major four-star prospect flipped the Ducks of Georgia, arrives this the summer.

Notre Dame: Quarterback

spring game: April 23
Names to know: Drew Bean, Tyler Buchner

Presumably there won’t be an official announcement here until mid-August, but that doesn’t change the plot to what happens when both midfielders hit the field in the spring game. Both players saw the field in 2021 either alongside or in place of Jack Kwan. But while Pyne played fewer games than Buchner – who was used to a niche package that took advantage of his ability as a runner – the youngster led an impressive comeback against Wisconsin in one of the biggest wins of the season. Buchner was a highly rated potential out of high school and characters to be the favourite, but he will have to limit turnover and show a full range of action this spring and into fall camp to get the benefit of QB1 in Week 1.

Miami: wide receiver

spring game: April 16
Names to know: Xavier Restrepo, Key’Shawn Smith, Brashard Smith, Jacolby George, Romello Brinson, Frank Ladson Jr.

Much of the excitement about the Miami offensive starts in 2022 with his ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year Tyler Van Dyke at the quarterback and the 2022 Broyles Award Josh Gattis as offensive coordinator. But with Charleston Rambo, Mike Harley Jr., and a handful of other veterans leaving last year’s team, a major part of the work this spring is arranging the spacious reception room under new lead coach and coordinator. Restrepo, who played from the hole last year, is the first comeback receiver, but Gates has shown in previous stops a penchant for spreading the ball and making use of different skill sets. There is plenty of speed and potential with this group but not much production has been proven, which makes it key to Miami’s hopes of competing for the ACC title.

Washington: Quarterback

spring game: April 30
Names to know: Dylan Morris, Sam Howard, Michael Benicks Jr.

In the first season, Michael Bennix was the starter in Indiana, and Washington’s new head coach Kalin Debore was the Hoosiers offensive coordinator. That, plus Penix saying he’s finally in good health, seems to give the transitional quarterback an edge, but the battle rages with fourth-year student Dylan Morris and former five-star prospective Sam Howard pretty much in the mix. Given Penix’s injury history, it’s important for the Huskies to start the year deep in the center, and that makes the QB2 fight just as interesting as the QB1 that DeBoer should name the Indiana transfer as his start to Week 1.

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