POST SPRING DEPTH CHART
1. Willie Tuitama, So.
2. Adam Austin, Sr.
3. Kris Heavner, Jr.
WHAT WE KNOW:
*The depth chart is set. Willie Tuitama is the starter, Adam Austin his back-up and Kris Heavner is the clear No. 3.
*Tuitama benefited greatly from the spring drills, but still has some work to do. Last year he was “winging it” quite a bit and now he is being asked to be more intellectual in running the offense. He has shown that ability but he has by no means mastered the position.
*Tuitama has been exposed to all of the playbook. Last year the offense was pared down and tailored to his strengths but now he has all the weapons at his disposal.
*Some favorite targets are staring to emerge. Tuitama found a rhythm with players like Brandon Lopez and Travis Bell, in addition to usual standouts Mike Thomas and Syndric Steptoe.
*There is no doubt that Tuitama is the leader of this team. The guys, especially on offense, have rallied around him and are ready to go to war with him.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW:
*How successful he can Tuitama be this year? There are still a ton of other questions on the offense and no matter how good Tuitama is, he needs these other spots to be addressed to be successful.
*How big of a role will Tyler Lyon play? The incoming freshman quarterback may be given a bigger role than originally assumed. Austin was not sharp in the spring game and Heavner took only and handful of snaps in scrimmage situations.
*Just how good can Tuitama be? After last year the expectations are high, can he live up to them? He will be a good passer, but fans are expecting the world from him.
WHAT WE THINK:
*Tuitama will be just fine and will be among the top five passers in the Pac-10.
*Austin will rebound from the spring game performance and be a reliable No. 2. Although he struggled in the spring game he looked great in the team’s second scrimmage. He’s a smart, sound passer, perfect for a back-up.
*If push comes to shove Lyon would get the call if something happened to both Tuitama and Austin and they were out for an extended time.
COACH CANALES SAYS: “I see that he (Tuitama) is improving with every rep. He’s seeing the toughest secondary group in the Pac-10.”