The South Dakota State football team wrapped up fall camp Saturday night with walkthrough/practice/scrimmage under the lights at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. Now, the Jackrabbits will begin to prep for this week’s season opener against Butler.
The latest news and notes:
The only long-term injury heading into the season is to veteran long snapper Matt Peitz. He could be done for good, although he hopes to rest and rehab enough to be able to return, according to coach John Stiegelmeier. That means true freshman Thayer Threnhaile will get the call.
There are also questions about redshirt freshman running back Isaac Rodgriquez. He wore a walking cast on his left foot Saturday. Reserves linebacker Patrick Schuster and Nick Carr also did not play.
The official depth chart will come out later this week, but the Saturday workout gave a glimpse at where things stand. Of note are a couple of moves on the offensive line: Senior Taylor Suess is penciled in as the starting center - juniors Nick Purcell and Andrew Mueller also got reps there during camp - and redshirt freshman Mike Shoff has surpassed senior Josh Kage at a guard spot.
Linebacker was a strange spot during camp as Kevin Klocek and Matt Romano left there for DE, Robbie Jelsma quit due to injuries and now Dallas Brown slides there from safety. The redshirt freshman Brown was a corner last fall, went into this camp as a safety and recently served as a LB/S hybrid in nickel packages. Now, he’s a full-time backer in part due to his athleticism.
On Saturday, the No. 1s were senior R.C. Kilgore and sophomores T.J. Lally and Charles Elmore. The No. 2s were Brown, redshirt freshman Tom Peitz and true freshman Jesse Bobbit.
Meanwhile, sophomore Drew Kreutzfeldt and juco transfer Melvin Tavares were the second group at safety, although Nick Mears remains in that mix, as well. And senior Austin Knowlton, a juco transfer last season, seems to be the lead candidate to be the fourth CB.
The only defensive starters that have yet to earn silver practice jerseys: DT Bryan Burke and safety Jake Gentile. Reserves Kreutzfeldt and Jimmie Forsythe have silver status, too.
Bobbit will play as a true freshman, while the redshirt talk is being revisited with defensive tackle Cole Langer. After the scrimmage, Stiegelmeier said it was better than 50-50 that the former Dell Rapids standout would play this season, pending continued conversations.
"He’s done a tremendous job in so many ways," Stiegelmeier said. "You play to win now, you play to get in the playoffs now and if he’s one of our top four tackles …"
The last defensive lineman to play as a true frosh: DE Danny Batten, a 2010 NFL Draft pick. Like Batten, Langer is No. 54.
The coach’s final thoughts on camp?
"It seemed longer, really. Our guys worked really hard. We did a nice job as a team and a staff of not beating ourselves up so really all we need to heal up are tired legs for the most part."
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.