Let's start at FB. Last year, we had to replace the great Anthony Sherman, and we tried to do it with Mark Hinckley, a previously sparingly used walk-on and Ruben Frank, a RS Frosh. Not surprisingly, we took a big step backwards at the position. Each showed the ability to catch the swing pass, but not to make a big play when they caught it. More importantly, neither was near the level of blocker we got used to at this position with Deon, Anthony Davis and Sherman. I wouldn't beat either up -- we were dealing with a frosh and a walk-on -- but it was a big step back. That having been said, Frank certainly showed potential as a road grader FB for a frosh, and will presumably make a big step up this year. Hinckley took his last year of eligibility and his degree and moved on when there was no schollie for him, and we moved Mike Osiecki from LB to FB. I saw Osiecki carry the pill in HS, and like this move. Where will he be on the learning curve this year -- no clue -- but he's got three years of eligibility left and I think he'll be a good, well rounded FB by the time he's done. We recruited two true frosh who could end up either at FB or LB -- as for now the roster says Clax is a FB/LB while Vinci is a LB/FB -- but I'm guessing the coaches figure they have this fall with those two being redshirted to figure that out. The position is rounded out by two walk-ons whom we haven't seen on the field -- the RS Frosh Matteis and the Sr. Tartaglino. Overall, the position should be improved from last year, but I'm not clear by how much. At TB, we've been spoiled since our move to the Rent, so much so that what Lyle McCombs did last year didn't seem to many like a good season. Now, McCombs has a limited cieling. He showed little strength, not great speed and not even particular shiftiness. What he did, however, was hit the right holes, make quick cuts, hold onto the pigskin and keep himself on the field. And he did those well enough to rush for about what the Donald and Todman combined for as frosh, and make all-conference. Do we need higher yards per carry from the ground game? Yes. More explosiveness? Would be nice. But he had a damn good year all things considred, and is already a better than average starting Big East TB. I expect him to be a little stronger this year, and a little more rounded in the passing game. I was really, really hoping DJ Shoemate would be back to at best challenge Lyle and at worst be relief help. Last year, with Todman, Frey and Wylie all leaving early, DJ and HYppolite hurt, Delorenzo redshirting and Foxx unable to crack the lineup (and the coaches determining he's more of a WR anyway), JJL was the only other tailback we had, and despite obvious athleticism (more so than McCombs) was played almost exclusively when he absolutely had to be played, finishing with less than 100 yards for the year. What was a traffic jam at TB just 20 months ago is now an understaffed crew, with the depth chart showing only McCombs, Hyppolite, local RS frosh Max Delorenzo and the true frosh (but in camp last spring) Joe Williams. One of them really, really, really needs to emerge as a backup who can give McCombs a breather when necessary, and it would help if one could also become a third down, pass formatioin back and/or a goalline back. Hyppolite did play some (mostly as a third down passblocking TB) during our run to the Fiesta Bowl two years ago, but has showed little through a lot of injuries. Delorenzo -- who knows. Williams shows a lot of promise, and frosh can play at TB, but we'll have to see. At the worse, this position should improve from last year just because Lyle should be better and we can't be worse off behind him than we were. But will it be materially better? Again, we will have to see.