Here at Mountain West Media Days, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun gave a rundown of his team heading into training camp, which starts on Aug. 3. There were some interesting personnel developments, and I’ll break it up into offense and defense.
Quarterback: No surprises here, Connor Dietz is the guy. But Calhoun did note that Dietz threw the ball “really well” in the spring – which is the biggest question on him coming into camp.
“He’s made quite a bit of improvement in the last three years as a passer,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun said whether the offense will be as balanced as it has been the past couple years will depend on if the receivers develop, which we’ll touch on in a moment.
Running back: The move of Wes Cobb to tailback, something Air Force did in the spring, is official. He will start camp there. Mike DeWitt will be the starting fullback. Calhoun singled out DeWitt for getting in great shape during the offseason and said he thinks DeWitt can be even better this season. Depth at tailback is a potential problem, however.
Cody Getz, who is coming off a knee injury suffered late last season that kept him out most of spring practice, will start camp as the primary backup at tailback. Fullback is pretty well set, with Scott Day and Broam Hart backing up DeWitt (that’s one reason the Falcons could move Cobb to tailback), but tailback depth is something worth watching.
“That is an area you say could be a tad thin,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun said perhaps a freshman or sophomore could emerge behind Cobb.
Wide receiver: The Falcons are replacing Jonathan Warzeka and Zack Kauth, two productive receivers, and this is an area that Calhoun has some concern about. Ty MacArthur had an impressive spring and is one starter, though he has to stay healthy. At the other receiver spot, Calhoun said Dontae Strickland has taken the lead for the starting spot. Others like Mikel Hunter and Brandon Hirneise have experience but Calhoun wants to see them have a good camp. Right now, he’s unsure about the depth at the position.
“That’s what we’re going to find out in August,” he said.
At tight end, Calhoun said Austin Briehl will enter camp as the starter.
Offensive line: The Falcons feel pretty good about this group. Left tackle Jason Kons and left guard Jordan Eason are two of the Falcons’ three returning starters on offense. Center Michael Husar, right guard Drew Kerber and right tackle Alex Huskisson played well in the spring to enter camp as starters, and tackle Evan Kaufman was singled out as a top backup by Calhoun. With a lot of uncertainty going into camp, the line is pretty well set.
Specialists: The Falcons obviously feel good about preseason all-conference pick Parker Herrington at kicker. But punter?
“Nobody emerged in the spring,” Calhoun said.
And long snapper?
“You got any eligibility left?” Calhoun said.
David Baska, Air Force’s punter last season, and Will Conant will battle for that job. Calhoun said the snapping job is wide open.