INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
Independence nearly matc ... »
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THE DEPTH CHART
WR-X: Allen Lazard, jr., 6-5, 223; Hakeem Butler, Rfr., 6-6, 210
WR-Z: Dondre Daley, sr., 6-2, 195; Carson Epps, so., 6-1, 205
WR-M: Trever Ryen, jr., 5-11, 192; Deshaunte Jones, fr., 5-10, 175
TE: Justin Chandler, sr., 6-4, 260; Cliff Fernandez, jr., 6-3, 255
TE-F: Cole Anderson, so., 6-4, 250; Sam Harms, jr., 6-3, 235
Other WRs — Marchie Murdock, jr., 6-1, 195; Darius Lee-Campbell, so., 6-2, 205; Brandon Harris, jr., 6-0, 190; Orion Salters, so., 5-9, 178; Jalen Martin, fr., 6-3, 205; Amechie Walker, so., 5-10, 175
Other TEs — Chase Allen, fr., 6-6, 230
NEXT MAN IN: The Electric Company
Neither one has taken a snap in college football, but true freshmen Deshaunte Jones and Chase Allen have branded “electric” and “bright” by their coaches.
Jones is 5-feet-10 and 175 pounds out of Cincinnati, but has been in a backup role to Trever Ryen at the ‘M’ position, which is essentially a slot receiver who has a few more responsibilities. The ‘M’ receiver has to be lightning quick, capable of catching passes and efficient in the run game on sweeps and end around.
“Deshaunte is smooth out there,” said wide receivers coach Bryan Gasser. “He’s a smooth customer. He finds spaces and voids and the kid’s got fantastic hands, especially a young man that was a quarterback the last couple years in high school.”
After Jones and freshmen running backs David Montgomery and Kene Nwangwu, Allen is another likely candidate to get involved in the offense. He’s slender at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, but his hands are good enough to be used as a pass-catching tight end.
The son of former Northern Iowa head coach and ISU assistant Terry Allen, Chase essentially didn’t miss a beat of fall camp after he was hit by a car in Ames this summer, resulting in 103 stitches in his back.
Tight ends coach Alex Golesh guided Allen as slowly as he could in recovery, but once his back was in acceptable condition, he was suited up.
“It’s like ‘dude, we’ll get you back when we get you back,’” Golesh said with a smile. “He’s wired the other way. He’s wired with when can I be back. Like I said I think that’s how he’s been brought up and I think Terry brought him along that way that you play ball and let the rest of it sort itself out.”
— Dondre Daley has stood out through fall camp and provides a secondary option to Lazard. Daley caught 24 passes for 244 yards a year ago.
— After only six total catches as a position group last season, the tight ends have been utilized more in the pass game with Justin Chandler and Cliff Fernandez as the primary targets.
— The ‘F’ position will be used primarily in the run game as an added blocker on the outside of the tackle.