--The49ers' best options at the receiver and slotback positions stand at 5-foot-9
(Austin Duke) and 5-10 (Mikel Hunter).
And while the playmaking potential of Duke and Hunter will
be significant factors in Charlotte’s
spread offense this season, finding a bigger, more physical possession
receiver is a high priority.
There are candidates for that role, but when freshman
receiver Jamel Ross (6-3, 215 pounds) was lost for the season in July with a
knee injury, the list became shorter.
Ross was a likely starter who caught four passes for 47
yards in Charlotte’s
“We’ve got some guys who are stepping up to take that spot
for Jamel,” said coach Brad Lambert.
Candidates include redshirt freshman E.J. Rhinehart (6-4,
2-5), true freshman Trent Bostick (6-1, 195) and junior college transfer Dmarjai
Devine (6-3, 210).
The 49ers will also use the H back (a tight end-slot
receiver hybrid) in the passing game. C.J. Crawford, a transfer from Marshall,
and redshirt freshman Justin Bolus have been splitting reps with the first team
in preseason practice. Bolus has been impressive in camp, especially going for
high passes over the middle.
-- Receiver Will Thomas injured his right ankle during a
passing drill and spent the rest of practice walking around with an ice wrap.
Also, offensive lineman Danny Book was held out of practice with a head injury.
-- The competition for long snapper involves two
inexperienced players – true freshman Keaston Sinicki (Charlotte Catholic) and redshirt
freshman Zach Bumgarner (Hickory St. Stephens).
Sinicki’s only position is long snapper, while Bumgarner is
a backup offensive lineman.
They’re going for a job that is perhaps the most anonymous
in football. The only time a long snapper gets attention is when he fails to do
his job properly.
“We’re trying to put pressure on them, but we might not make
a decision until the day before our first game,” said Lambert. “And long
snapper is the kind of position where you don’t want anybody to know who you
are. If your name shows up in the paper, it’s not good.”
-- The 49ers
practiced twice Monday and will have another double session Wednesday, with the
first practice beginning at 8:30 a.m. When fall classes start next Monday, they
will practice weekdays at 4 p.m.
-- A student drum line has been practicing for 49ers home
won’t have a marching band until 2015 (it will start at 150 members). The game day experience will be different
that season from 2013: Richardson Stadium also will have Conference USA-mandated lights
and will likely be expanded by then (either temporarily or on a permanent basis).