Coach Randy Jackson won’t commit to a starting 22 at the close of Grapevine spring football. But when fall camp starts in August, he will have a pretty good idea who the starting candidates will be.
As rushed as it was, that’s the reason why Jackson wanted to hold spring football. By having these workouts, he and his staff had a sense of this group’s strengths, weaknesses and what kind of depth he could build. It would have been hard to do that had he opted to wait until August.
Grapevine finished its spring with the Red and Blue game on May 29 at Mustang-Panther Stadium.
“I thought the kids were good and there was great enthusiasm about doing things the right way,” Jackson said. “The defense is still ahead of the offense. But that’s to be expected this time of year. But we know this is going to be an important summer for all of the guys going to conditioning and doing reps.”
Jackson believes his team has a pretty good idea of how to run his base offensive plays and base defensive plays. That’s also a sign that the spring was needed. Now, the fall can be used to go back and rework the wrinkles.
At this point, Jackson believes his running defense and running offense are in a good place in terms of alignment and getting into running lanes to make plays. With Maddox Middaugh missing a good portion of the spring because of an injury, the wide receiver position is far from settled.
“The passing game is starting to gel, but we’re not there yet,” Jackson said. “Wide receiver still has a lot of moving parts to it. I don’t feel like we have a No. 1 receiver. Most of the guys are about the same. We want to spread the ball around. When they start stepping up that’s going to make a difference.”
Jackson will be the first one to tell you that he made the spring difficult for expected senior starting quarterback Sam Barry. That’s probably by design, because Jackson needs his quarterback to mirror what he wants.
What Barry showed him was something other than the skill set. And that’s why he’s a captain on this team.
“He really has the resiliency to play the position,” Jackson said. “I’ve been hard on him. But there’s not been one area where he hasn’t responded. And you can see how the kids follow him and respond to him. He just has a presence. That’s what impressed me the most.”
• Jackson seemed more encouraged by the last week of work with his running backs Jacobi White, Tyler Wolf and Jared McIntire. There is no leader there.
• Safety Brandon Coffin (5-10, 180) could be viewed as one of the top players on the defense. He had a great spring in terms of lining up the defense and creating a presence, Jackson said.
• The 7 on 7 season began Saturday at North Mesquite. Grapevine was in the same bracket as Class 5A Division State Semifinalist DeSoto.
• Jackson is still looking to hire an assistant offensive line coach for his staff.