Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks gives instruction to running back Ra'veion Hargrove during opening day of practice Friday.
By the end of the 2017 season, Bowling Green’s backfield was a youth movement: a true freshman quarterback was starting and often handing off to true freshman running back.
This season, quarterback Jarret Doege and running back Andrew Clair are back to run the show as sophomores, but the Falcons have a few newcomers who could follow the same path as Doege and Clair and see the field in their first year on campus.
The Falcons’ most recent recruiting class ranked third in the Mid-American Conference, according to 247Sports.com. While some of the youngsters will wait their turns behind older players, some will have roles right away.
Ra’veion Hargrove, running back: Anyone who saw the Falcons practice in the month of August likely noticed No. 6. The Falcons’ coaches were thrilled when Hargrove picked Bowling Green, and it wasn’t difficult to see why. At Trotwood-Madison High School, he rushed for more than 7,000 yards to finish in the top 10 in Ohio history, and BG has looked into ways to get Hargrove to touch the ball this season.
He doesn’t have a clear path at running back, as Clair is the clear starter, but Falcons coach Mike Jinks said they’ll figure some way to play Hargrove.
“I’m not sure where and how we’ll use him, but he’s shown that he’s got unique talent. We’ll utilize him,” Jinks said.
Karl Brooks, defensive lineman: Another true freshman, Brooks looks as if he will claim a spot in the Falcons’ defensive line rotation. Bowling Green was enthused by Brooks’ showing in training camp, with Jinks saying that Brooks should be able to jump in and help out the team.
If Brooks proves ready for regular time right away, that would be welcome news for BG. The Falcons will be without the position’s leader, David Konowalski, who will miss the entire 2018 season with an Achilles injury. The line could use any depth the young players can provide.
Presley Motes, tight end: A converted quarterback, Motes switched to tight end as a junior college player. He came on Bowling Green’s radar very late in the recruiting process, but had such a good visit that he committed to BGSU on the spot.
A junior by eligibility, Motes is listed as the No. 2 tight end on the depth chart and should figure into BG’s plans in big sets and as an occasional target for Doege.
Bryce Veasley, quarterback: Several MAC schools offered a scholarship to Veasley, including Toledo, but he became the Falcons’ quarterback in the class of 2018. The freshman was in competition to be Doege’s backup in fall camp, and relaxed restrictions on redshirt rules — players can appear in as many as four games and still redshirt the season — could mean Veasley sees the field as early as this season.
Julian Ortega-Jones, wide receiver: One of the Falcons’ many Texans, the true freshman is part of BG’s rotation at wide receiver. Jinks said this month that the Falcons will begin the season with eight to 10 receivers who are ready to play at any given time. Ortego-Jones should be part of the mix.
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