ELKHART — Experience is thin, and finding a sound blend will have to be a work in progress. But Mike Campbell faced a similar landscape a year ago.
"It’s a slow process, just like last year,” said Campbell, who has won 63 games in his first six seasons as head coach of the Jimtown Jimmies. “We’ll see a lot of guys getting time. There’s not a lot of difference from the 1’s to the 2’s, not that it means we’re super deep, but we need guys to get better. They need reps at certain positions.
"But that doesn’t mean they won’t get quality time.”
Here are three things to know about the Jimmies, according to Campbell:
"I think we know who we’ve got. We’ve just got to keep molding them. The offensive line is going to be a process. Hopefully as the year goes on, they grow and get better and better. We had four new guys last year too. We’ve got Ben Davis back at guard and Adam Gill out at tight end, but everyone else is new. With the O-line and D-line, if we’re going to get where we want to get eventually, they’re gonna have to improve and really be the backbone of the team.”
"I think Marquis (Schieber) is more familiar with what his options are on certain pass routes and we’ve pushed him to run more. I think he can hurt people tremendously with his feet. Last year he waited in the pocket too long at times when things weren’t there and didnt’ utilize his speed. And we’ve got a good receiving corps in (Trevor) Hobbs, (Dylan) Guldager, (Jake) Grove and (Sam) Pawlak, but the tight end position is where we have to have the ability to block and then run like a deer and catch the ball up the seam. That makes our offense good. If you don’t have anyone to attack the seam in our offense, you’re limited.”
"Nik (Olson) is as explosive of a back as we’ve had here. He’s not necessarily the fastest guy, but he has great vision, he’s very powerful and has great balance. If he stays healthy, he can have a tremendous season. We’ll have (Tyler) Lundy at fullback and we can mix in a Kenny Kerrn, a Max Magyar and a Mason Castro, but a kid like Nik can carry a team.”