The most pressing question in football camps around the state right now starts with an assessment concerning readiness.
Teams, like Plano, playing in zero week, have to be ready in a short amount of time. So, one scrimmage is all they have to make assessments.
Plano seems to have answered a few questions Friday at E.H. Hanby Stadium. There were some mistakes, as can be expected in a scrimmage, but by and large it was a good showing.
“I think we have a chance to be a good football team,” Plano coach Jaydon McCullough said.
But, he wasn’t pleased with two turnovers in the 12-minute timed quarter.
“If we make two turnovers a quarter, we’re not going to be a very good football team,” McCullough said.
Anyone who missed the junior varsity games last season may have been surprised by the performance of Plano’s backup quarterback Friday. Richard Lagow’s performance demonstrated that like most every other position, this team has depth.
“We used this as a situation to let him have a lot of reps,” McCullough said.
One reason is Connor Michelsen is locked in as the starting quarterback, according to McCullough, and also played well.
At running back, Plano has some options. Rakeem Crawford and Kevin Merrill appear as if they give the offense a pair of speed-back options and Murat Kuzu can fill the power-back role. The combination of the trio could be lethal, and McCullough has committed to using all three.
Plano may split out only one receiver measuring more than six feet tall this season, but there are some capable playmakers. Steele Hoetger and Brandon Hamilton appear locked in as the outside receivers. Clayton Parlin and L.J. Ausama will play the slot, with Kuzu and Merrill also being effective tools in the receiving game. Sam Leavitt was used at tight end.
On the line, the team could have the personnel to go two-deep at every position. Clayton Bennett anchors the unit at center.
“I think we’re going to be strong in the interior,” McCullough said. “The years we have been strong in the interior we’ve been pretty good.”
The secondary may have stolen the show with a pair of interceptions late, but some credit had to go to the defensive line Friday.
Taylor May and Arthur Skinner at tackle and Xavier Harbert and Dwayne Hicks at end gave Mesquite some trouble up front.
“I like our offensive and defensive lines,” McCullough said.
The linebacking corps mixed players in and out with success. McCullough doesn’t think the group is getting overlooked, at least not by him.
“I feel like we’re two deep there,” McCullough said.
He’s already compared Matt Johnson to Chris Mendenhall, an undersized but more than capable linebacker who helped key the 2007 defense alongside hard-hitting linebacker C.J. Martin. On this team that player is Ben Laures, a key to last season’s defense, at middle linebacker.
In the secondary, Austin Hall and Kobie Douglas both played the cornerback position opposite Blair Burns, who showed he can play physical when the time calls for it. Each cornerback position came away with an interception in the game.
The structure of the scrimmage didn’t offer much of a look at special teams, but there were a few things to take away.
Hoetger was worthy of mention. His first two punts of the scrimmage were for 55 and 47 yards.
Chris Moore took the placekicking chores.