Fresh faces to man Mustang’s offense in 2016
If offense is your game, Mustang is usually your team.
The Broncos historically have a knack for scoring. Last year, they racked up 30.6 points per game on rout to seven wins and a trip to the state quarterfinals. They averaged 412.5 yards per game, 261.4 through the air and 151.1 on the ground.
This year, Mustang enters with fresh faces; a new quarterback and running back, a new set of receivers and a restructured offensive line. However, there is talent. And they will be well coached with Jeremy Dombek and offensive coordinator Kyle Williams.
How everything falls into place and how they put points on the board? We will find out Friday, but until then, here’s a look at the team’s projected offensive depth chart:
(The Mustang News will take a look at Mustang’s defense Tuesday)
- STARTER: Brayden Garrett (6-1, 175, Jr.)
- BACKUP: Haden White (6-0, 165, So.)
All eyes will once against be on a Garrett this year at quarterback, but this time it will be younger brother Brayden running the show as Chandler takes his talents to Wyoming.
Garrett injured his knee early last year as a defensive starter, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Now he’s back, 100-percent and looking to bring a different dynamic to Williams’ offense. He brings more athleticism in the run-game with the ability to throw on the move and make plays outside the pocket. Dombek expects big things out of the junior, but understands he will need time to develop early in the schedule.
“People keep forgetting he hasn’t played in over a year,” Dombek said. “We’ve got to do a good job bringing him along and putting him in a position to succeed.”
Garrett has big shoes to fill as older brother left behind a fabulous career and over 3,000 yards of production last year. Haden White will step into the backup role after starting for the freshman team last year.
- RUNNING BACK
- STARTER: Carlos Thomas (5-10, 185, Jr.)
- BACKUPS: Graydon Reid (6-0, 165, Sr.), Darrien Dumas (5-8, 1765, Jr.)
Carlos Thomas transitions to the backfield after starting at outside linebacker last year.
Thomas brings a downhill, powerful style much different than the mix of Terran Daniel and Aaron Kinchion last season. Thomas will have to shoulder a heavier load than the 2015 combo, which produced over 1,200 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, but Dombek is excited about his potential and knows his skillset will work fine in Williams’ offense.
“That’s his natural fit,” Dombek said. “He’s got great strength and is a very strong runner and he can make people miss too. You’ll see some other guys back there too, but we like what we have. It’s just going to take some time to get it oiled up and going in the right direction.”
Darrien Dumas and Graydon Reid could see some time once again in backup roles this year. Last season, the duo combined for over 180 yards and three touchdowns in relief of Daniel and Kinchion.
- WIDE RECEIVER
- STARTERS: Caden Arthur (6-4, 185, Sr.), Mason Lowe (5-11, 170, Jr.), Ping Harris (6-0, 170, Sr.), Damian Close (6-0, 175, Jr.)
- BACKUPS: Skylar Carson (5-9, 140, So.), Skylar Nunn (6-1, 160, Sr.), Damian Daniel (5-10, 150, Jr.), Charley Stover (6-1, 170, So.)
- TIGHT END
- STARTER: Ashton Jones (6-3, 195, Sr.)
- BACKUP: Phil Baker (6-3, 230, Jr.)
Mustang lost a ton of production at receiver and tight end last year, but returns players with game-experience, athletic ability and speed.
Bobby Brown, Miles McFadden, Dylan Doran and Mason Brown produced over 1,500 yards last year with 12 touchdowns. However, in Williams’ system, receivers are bound to produce big seasons and it should be no different in 2016.
Caden Arthur brings back the most production with 16 catches for 262 yards last season. He and Mason Lowe will man the outside while Ping Harris and Damian Close man the slots. Harris will likely step up as one of the top receivers with size and athletic ability and could be a factor in the return-game after returning three kicks for 118 yards last year.
Ashton Jones has big shoes to fill as well at tight end. Bryce Roberts and Blake Williams combined for over 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns last year. However, Jones can handle the load at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. He has played a backup role on the school’s basketball team the last two years as well, helping with his footwork and speed.
- OFFENSIVE LINE
- STARTERS: LT-Drew Rosko (6-2, 245, Jr.), LG-Cody Pistole (6-2, 315, Sr.), C-Blake Russell (6-2, 280, Jr.), RG-Colton Atkison (6-1, 300, Sr.), RT-Caleb Brian (6-6, 270, Jr.)
- BACKUPS: Drake Dennison (6-3, 195, So.), Coby Trichel (6-2, 230, Sr.), Christian Garcia (6-2, 240, Jr.), Corey Robertson (6-0, 260, Jr.), Curtis Watson (6-0, 275, Jr.)
What was a weakness in 2015 could now be a strong point as Mustang’s offensive line enters with experience and strength, averaging 6-foot-2, 285 pounds across the board.
Drew Rosko makes the move to left tackle. He has D1-potential as well as Owasso-transfer Blake Russell, who will start at center. Cody Pistole and Colton Atkison return at the guard positions with Caleb Brian being the wild card at left tackle. Brian’s size, 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, is intriguing, but he will have to develop after missing last year with an injury.
“They definitely look the part,” Dombek said of his o-line. “We have a little inexperience, but we are deep and have the size. I say it every year we have the best offensive line coach in the state of Oklahoma with coach (Chas) Stover. We know they’ve got to play together to be really good.”
Trey Hunter is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He has covered Mustang High School sports for three years in an editorial role and has covered Oklahoma high school sports for the last five years. He can be reached by phone at (405) 659-9898 or by email at [email protected]