During his daily interview after practice on Tuesday, Skip Holtz identified five incoming freshmen who have a chance to contribute this season. Let's go through them in the order which I estimated they would have a chance to play this year when I did my now-hilarious handicapping:
- Terrence Mitchell (previous odds - off the board). He was a lock to play before and I still think he's a lock to play.
- Deonte Welch (previous odds - 3:1). Welch only started getting his name included on this list a few days ago, but with his own versatility and the wide receiver depth problems, he's worked his way into position to play as a freshman. This is nothing more than a hunch, but I could see Welch contributing as a kick or punt returner this season even if he doesn't crack the two-deep at wide receiver.
- Mark Joyce (previous odds - 20:1). When Mistral Raymond slid over to a starting cornerback slot, that started a chain reaction - Jon Lejiste is now at the top of the list at free safety, instead of backing up Jerrell Young at strong safety, and that gave Joyce a chance to play at SS. And he's made the most of his chance, having an extremely strong camp by everyone's report. (I swear someone had a mini-story about Joyce a few days ago but I seem to have lost the link. Promise I'll add it back when I figure out where it came from.)
- Bobby Eveld (previous odds - 30:1). Eveld, a walk-on quarterback, came almost out of nowhere to get this opportunity. I figured he would clearly slot in behind Jamius Gunsby and it would be a battle between him and Ryan Eppes to see who would be the last active quarterback. Instead, he's been much better than anyone expected and with Gunsby battling some injuries the last few days, Eveld is right in the discussion.
- Quinterrious Eatmon (previous odds - 50:1). Well, I just completely screwed this one up. Even with Holtz openly talking about redshirting the massive 340-pound offensive tackle a couple of weeks ago, along with two other freshmen linemen, and with the experienced veterans at his position, Eatmon made a huge push in Vero Beach to get himself a chance. I feel better knowing that probably no one else saw this coming, either. And since I have nothing else to add, here's Greg Auman's version of the Holtz interview with Eatmon and a couple other offensive linemen running sprints in the background.
All the other odds look pretty decent with the exception of Todd Chandler, who hasn't been mentioned recently by Holtz. After the first scrimmage, Todd Snyder suggested Chandler might be a third-stringer this season because of the depth they have at defensive tackle, but the question might be whether it's worth burning a year of his eligibility if the guys in front of him keep him off the field.