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Spring Football, So Far 4.13.16

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Spring Scrimmages will rarely tell us everything. However, they can tell us something, however little it may be. Here's what to watch for this Saturday at the Jones Scrimmage.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

There's really not much to say about Spring Football. Whatever happens on Saturday typically doesn't mean much when it comes time for the season, but we can gain a couple of nuggets from it.

First and foremost, watch the interior of the Defensive Line. We'll have Breiden Fehoko returning to anchor the noseguard position (typically), and we'll have Ondre Pipkins in the three-technique tackle spot. If Pipkins works out and stays healthy, this will be the best that the interior of our defensive line has been in a long time. Fehoko has already shown that he has the tools to be a dominant defensive lineman, and if Pipkins and the rest of the DT crew can follow suit, we'll have a solid defensive front.

While we're on the subject of the Defensive Line, don't just watch how many sacks the defense gets, watch who's doing the sacking. In Midland we had 5 different players record sacks. It's Spring Football, sacks mean next to nothing. Sacks from multiple players is a much better indication of how the Defensive Line/Defense as a whole is progressing. We had sacks from dang near every position on the field, from Zach Barnes and Kolin Hill at the D-Ends to Paul Banks at Cornerback. I'm not sitting here telling you that our Defensive Line is going to be excellent in 2016, but the fact that so many people along that line are making plays is definitely a good sign.

Who will replace DeAndre Washington at running back? According to nearly every single report from Spring Practice, the job is Justin Stockton's to lose. However, if he doesn't progress as planned, he'll have Felton, Dauphine, and White nipping at his heels. I don't think we'll be able to completely replace Washington, and our Offense will change its run game strategy at least a little going forward. The Jones Scrimmage will tell us a lot about who will be the guy toting the rock for us this year. If Stockton gets most of the snaps with the ones, provided he doesn't fumble multiple times, it would be hard not to imagine him as the starter in the fall.

Personally, I've heard many good things about Cameron Batson, and I'm excited to see his progression. Those slot receivers are a big part of what we do on offense, and replacing Jakeem Grant will be a must for this Offense. Fortunately, everything we've heard about Cam Batson and Ian Sadler has been overwhelmingly positive. I'm going to be looking specifically at the route-running of this group, which was something that the young receivers struggled with in the past. We've already discussed this in Spring Football, So Far, but it really looks like the young guys are figuring out their routes very well.

Seriously, this Zach Austin route is 10 times better than anything I've seen him run in the past. Then again, my TV doesn't have the full field on it, so he might have run something this deceptive before. Whatever the case, I'm excited to see this group of slot receivers go to work.

Enjoy Patrick Mahomes. If this Spring Game is anything like practices, we'll probably see some ridiculously dominant play that he just so happens to pull off casually. He's slung around no-look passes, he's hit pinpoint passes, and he's escaped sacks all spring. It helps a ton that this is his first spring to be fully committed to football. I came into every game in 2015 expecting Patrick Mahomes to take my breath away at some point during the game, and I'm expecting him to give me that "wow" factor at least once during the Spring Scrimmage.

Ultimately, just enjoy the scrimmage, and remember that Spring Football doesn't mean too much. Every time we look good, we'll look bad, and every time we look bad, we'll look good. Enjoy some Red Raider football, celebrate the good, and don't get too down with the bad.