After breaking down each Mountain West soccer team by center, which ones are in the best overall shape with springtime exercises in the books?
A shot of where everyone stood before the fall.
positional depth arrangement
Quarterback | running backwards | Wide Future / Narrow End | offensive line | defensive line | full back | Back Corner / Safety | Kicker / Punter
Position depth arrangement: QB: 10 | Right-back: 8 | WR / TE: 12 | ol: 9 | DL: 11 | lbs: 11 | CB/S: 12 | k/p: 6
What does order mean: More than other teams in Mountain West that have suffered a lot of early defections to the transfer gate, graduation and pro, the Warriors still have more questions on both sides of the ball. The unknowns are not the same as the bad ones, however, there is an important distinction to remember when falling.
Why ranking can be tricky: The Warriors have a proven track record over the past 20 years or so of engineering faster-than-expected turnovers and have interesting talents in attack (Bryden Chauer, Deederick Parson, Zion Boynes) that make it easy to envision this team as the “thorn of the next year” in the side. “.
The biggest question heading into fall: After losing so many defensive talents like Darius Moissau, Cortez Davis and Khoury Bethley, who will take charge of a unit that has been able to surprise over the past few seasons?
Reason for optimism: Even if it takes the defense a while to find a foothold, Ian Shoemaker’s attack appears to be going well, and Vacant, who looked more comfortable week after week in the tackle for Chivan Cordero’s injury last season, could be the midfielder of the future. And present at this stage.
A name worth remembering: Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala, WR
Position depth arrangement: QB: 11 | Right-back: 6 | WR / TE: 10 | ol: 12 | DL: 10 | lbs: 12 | CB/S: 10 | k/p: 7
What does order mean: Like Hawaii, Nevada is still picking up pieces from its early off-season fallout, but the Wolf Pack may be a little ahead of the curve given that at least two units (retrograde, defensive back) bring back a good chunk of last year’s production.
Why ranking can be tricky: Nevada hasn’t reached the same peaks as other teams in the conference recently, but it also hasn’t really exploded since going 2-10 in 2000. Even with so many new contributors in the fold, a lack of familiarity isn’t the same thing as a lack of talent and a track record. The program suggests that January’s terrible distress could be an afterthought by August.
The biggest question heading into fall: Now that Shane Illingworth is in the mix, how will the quarterback competition between him and Nate Cox unfold when fall camp arrives?
Reason for optimism: If Ken Wilson’s goal is to make the Wolf Pack’s attack more balanced, he may be full of options behind established duo Toa Taua and Devonte Lee to make it happen. Wesley Kommer has been one of the highlights of the spring while Cross Patton has also received a lot of praise for his work throughout the spring.
A name worth remembering: Brilon Garcia, DL
10. New Mexico
Position depth arrangement: QB: 12 | Right-back: 10 | WR / TE: 9 | ol: 11 | DL: 8 | lbs: 9 | CB/S: 6 | k/q: 11
What does order mean: Things are not as bleak in Albuquerque as you might think. Defense is annoying and attacking was very young, so if you give them more time to grow together, it doesn’t make sense that they will return to the ball game in the next couple of years.
Why ranking can be tricky: If New Mexico can definitively solve its middle ground problems, it could sneak up on one or two unsuspecting foes next season. Do not believe me? Just ask Craig Pohl.
The biggest question heading into fall: After an injury Terry Wilson left crime in shambles last year, who will step up and strengthen his grip on the QB1 job?
Reason for optimism: Aside from the potential regression of an attacking midfield, replacing Joey Noble’s performance in defense would be difficult but not impossible, especially if full-backs and linebacks can make it difficult for opponents to throw.
A name worth remembering: Trace Brockler, TE