With MAC Media Day upon us, the first installment of the 2015 Ball State Cardinals Football depth chart was released this week. Last season the Cardinals kicked off with quarterback Ozzie Mann under center. Ball State stumbled out of the gate, dropping five of its first six contests. Jack Milas took over for Mann midway through the season, and the Cardinals finished 2014 with a 5-7 mark. This season Ball State will have veteran leadership on both sides of the ball, critical if the Cardinals are to compete in a stacked MAC West.
The uncertainty of 2014 has passed. Milas will start the season under center for Ball State when the season begins on September 3rd. Protecting Milas will be one of the most seasoned units in the league. Ball State returns five starters on the offensive line, including Jacob Richard who is on the Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List for the top center in the nation. Returnees Jordan Williams, Chris Shillings, and KeVonn Mabon put the BSU receiving corps near the top of the MAC. The biggest question mark for the Cardinals remains at running back. With Ball State great Jahwan Edwards graduated, Darian Green, Teddy Williamson, and James Gilbert should all have the opportunity to compete for the bulk of the carries.
QT: Drake Miller (Sr./Jr.) Ian Anderson (5th/Sr.)
QG: Jeremiah Harvey (5th/Sr.) Vinnie Palazeti (Jr./So.) -OR- Malik King (So./Fr.)
C: Jacob Richard (5th/Sr.) Alex Joss (So./Fr.)
SG: Jalen Schlachter (5th/Sr.) Vinnie Palazeti (Jr./So.)
ST: Steve Bell (Sr./Jr.) Nick Plavchak (5th/Sr.)
TE: Dylan Curry (5th/Sr.) Sam Brunner (Sr./Jr.) -OR- Michael Raby (Sr./Sr.)
QB: Jack Milas (Jr./So.) David Morrison (So./Fr.) -OR- Riley Neal (Fr./Fr.)
HB: Darian Green (So./So.) -OR- Teddy Williamson (Jr./Jr.) James Gilbert (Fr./Fr.)
WRX: Jordan Williams (Sr./Sr.) -OR- KeVonn Mabon (Sr./Jr.) Devin Reece (So./Fr.)
WRZ: Chris Shillings (5th/Sr.) -OR- Corey Lacanaria (So./So.) Aaron Hepp (Sr./Jr.)
WRW: KeVonn Mabon (Sr./Jr.) -OR- Jordan Hogue (So./So.) Cywettnie Brown (Sr./Sr.)
Ball State also returns plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball. All three starting linebackers return for 2015. Senior Darnell Smith, a 2014 All-MAC selection, returns at defensive end.
Rush: Michael Ayers (5th/Sr.) Anthony Winbush (Jr./So.)
DT: Darnell Smith (Sr./Sr.) Kevin Willis (So./So.) -OR- John Whitman III (Jr./Jr.)
NT: Carlutorbantu Zaramo (Sr./Jr.) -OR- Keenan Noel (5th/Sr.) Julian Jackson (Sr./Sr.)
DE: Osa Igbinosun (Sr./Sr.) -OR- Joshua Posley (Sr./Jr.) Kyle Seger (Sr./Jr.)
WLB: Ben Ingle (5th/Sr.) Julian Boyd (5th/Sr.)
MLB: Zack Ryan (Sr./Jr.) -OR- Sean Wiggins (Jr./Jr.) Stu Stanley (Jr./So.)
SLB: Aaron Taylor (Sr./Jr.) Avery Bailey (5th/Sr.) Cleveland, Ohio -OR- Damon Singleton (So./Fr.)
BC: Darius Conaway (Jr./Jr.) Corey Hall (Jr./Jr.) -OR- Armani McNulty (Fr./Fr.)
FS: Martez Hester (Sr./Jr.) Rontrell Peyton (Sr./Jr.) -OR- Dedrick Cromartie (So./So.)
SS: Dedrick Cromartie (So./So.) Lamont McPhatter (So./Fr.) -OR- Terin Solomon (Jr./Jr.)
FC: David Moore (Jr./So.) -OR- Tyree Holder (Sr./Jr.) Quinten Turner (So./Fr.) -OR- Marc Walton (Fr./Fr.)
MAC kicking always keeps you interested. Scott Secor, the league's most accurate field goal kicker in 2014, has graduated. Alex Egan will assume those duties in 2015 for the Cardinals. Ball State returns punter Kyle Schmidt. Last season Schmidt ranked fifth in the MAC averaging 42.1 yards a kick.
PK: Alex Egan (Jr./So.) -OR- Morgan Hagee (Fr./Fr.) Steve Drida (Jr./So.)
P: Kyle Schmidt (Sr./Jr.) Alex Egan (Jr./So.)
LS: Nick Traub (Sr./Sr.) Brendon Towle (Sr./Jr.)
H: Kyle Schmidt (Sr./Jr.) Jack Milas (Jr./So.)
KR: KeVonn Mabon (Sr./Jr.) Darian Green (So./So.) Cywettnie Brown (Sr./Sr.)
Ball State University Cardinals football kicks off its 2015 season on September 3rd at 7:00pm ET when VMI visits Muncie. The game will be televised on ESPN3.