Running back Donovan Wilson is listed as one of Bowling Green's starting rushers for the team's opener Saturday vs. Michigan State. BLADE PHOTO
BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University football team on Monday released its two-deep roster for Saturday’s season opener at Michigan State.
There are a few interesting choices, starting at quarterback. It is no surprise sophomore James Morgan is the starter; the surprise is that redshirt freshman Grant Loy and true freshman Jarret Doege are listed with an “or,” meaning either one could be the backup.
“Grant Loy redshirted last year, and Jarret Doege has a redshirt available,” Falcons coach Mike Jinks explained. “If we can get through the season with our starter healthy, we’d like to redshirt [Doege].
“He has competed very well; it’s too close to tell which one we would put in if we had to play without James. If we had to replace James, we would have to re-evaluate the situation.”
That is the only position on the depth chart that lists an “or.”
The starters at running back are seniors Donovan Wilson and Josh Cleveland. Although they are not listed, sophomore Matt Domer and true freshman Andrew Clair also could see action against the Spartans.
The only true freshmen on the offensive two-deep are Doege and receiver Matt Wilcox, who is listed as the backup to junior Scotty Miller. Doege and Wilcox were early enrollees at BGSU, taking part in spring practice.
The other starters at receiver besides Miller are senior Teo Redding and junior transfer Datrin Guyton, and senior Hunter Folkertsma is listed as the starting tight end.
The Falcons starting offensive line has Tim McAuliffe at center, sophomore Jack Kramer at right guard, junior Austin Labus at right tackle, sophomore Lorenzo Taborn at left guard, and senior Ryan Hunter at left tackle.
“There weren't too many surprises there,” Jinks said. "We felt good about the first six or seven guys, but depth is a little bit of an issue because we have some guys who are unproven.
“We're going to continue to push reps towards those younger linemen, and we'll see how it goes.”
On defense, there are just two true freshmen on the two-deep: linebacker Kholbe Coleman, who will back up senior middle linebacker Nate Locke; and cornerback Darius Wortham, who is listed behind sophomore cornerback Cameron Jefferies.
“[Defensive lineman] Josh Croslen also will play,” Jinks said, citing a third true freshman. “With Marcus Milton moving to safety, that opened up reps for Wortham.
“And we really wanted to redshirt Kholbe Coleman, but he’s not going to let us. He’s a unique talent who will be in the mix early on.”
Sophomore Robert Jackson, Jr., is the listed starter at the other cornerback spot, while junior transfer Fred Garth and junior Tavaraus Wade are the safeties.
“There was great competition at the safety position, with Jamari [Bozeman] being out indefinitely,” Jinks said. “We’ve had a lot of guys who have played a lot of football there: [Jerry] McBride, [Tavaraus] Wade, and Ben Hale is back from injury.
“That’s probably still a work in progress. A lot of guys will play there Saturday, and we’ll make a decision moving forward.”
Expected to flank Locke at linebacker are senior Aaron Banks and junior Brandon Harris.
The starting defensive line includes seniors Gus Schwieterman at tackle and Shannon Smith at nose guard, along with juniors Brian Sanders and David Konowalski at the ends.
There were few surprises among the special teams positions, as senior Joseph Davidson will do the punting, junior Jake Suder will do the placekicking, and senior Nick Fields will handle kickoffs.
The kickoff returners are two true freshmen, Andrew Clair and Wilcox, while Milton is listed as the punt returner with Wilcox behind him.