When the University of Redlands opens football camp on Aug. 17, there will be a sense of urgency. The Bulldogs have a season opener looming on Sept. 7 and it will be against a foe likely to be ranked in the top five of all the national polls in Mary Hardin Baylor. Then its an equally tough opponent in Pacific Lutheran, then the SCIAC opener against conference juggernaut Cal Lutheran.
So veteran head coach Mike Maynard will be looking to get his house in order quickly. The biggest question mark is at quarterback where there are five returnees and two newcomers fighting for the starting spot. The frontrunner is Will King, who saw some playing time last year behind starter Chad Hurst.
Others returnees in the hunt are sophomores Paul Avila, Mitch Samson, Alex Bridgeford and Daniel Davis.
“We’re going to have to sort that out quickly,” Maynard said. “That’s not something we can afford to make a decision on at the last minute because our play calling will depend on who that person is.”
As for where his team looks to have the most depth, Maynard says its at running back and wide receiver. On the other side it’s the defensive line, an area very few coaches ever think they have enough players.
The biggest void Maynard will be looking to fill on the defensive side of the ball is that of LB Jordan Garcia, the team’s spirited leader on and off the field.
Senior kicker Kevin Grady has earned a handful of preseason All-American honors and has been the most lauded player heading into the new season.
As for players Maynard thinks are poised to make a big splash this year, the veteran coach singles out senior DB Michael Dariano and senior DB Stephen Reyes.