Kaiser tops CMU depth chart for opener
Russ Martin expects to play two quarterbacks Saturday when Colorado Mesa University opens the football season.
Aric Kaiser, though, will take the first snaps.
Two redshirt freshmen are listed 1-2 on the Mavs’ depth chart, released Monday. Kaiser, a transfer from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, is listed as the starter, with Kyle Duran, from Chandler, Ariz., as the backup.
After Saturday’s scrimmage, Martin said he plans to play two quarterbacks, and the close competition told him it shouldn’t matter which quarterback is on the field.
The Mavericks face Menlo (Calif.) College, an NAIA school, at 7 p.m. Saturday at Stocker Stadium. Menlo lost to Carroll (Mont.) College, ranked No. 12 in NAIA, 51-7 last week.
Kaiser has college game experience over Duran, starting three games at Nebraska-Kearney last season before he was injured. He averaged 142 yards passing in those three games, with four touchdowns.
He was granted a medical redshirt season and transferred to Colorado Mesa in the spring. Because Kearney granted him a release, he does not have to sit out a year because of the transfer.
The two redshirt freshmen moved ahead of senior Jason Haferman, who started seven games last season.
There’s no surprise at running back, with junior Jake Cimolino, who rushed for 1,365 yards and nine touchdowns last season, the starter. Ricky Trinidad, who rushed for 1,037 yards and six touchdowns in eight games at Kearney last season, will get his share of carries.
Redshirt freshman Jerreon Dennis, a Grand Junction High School graduate, is listed as the No. 3 back, giving the Mavericks plenty of depth as they attempt to put together their first winning season since 2008.
Mitch Wehrli, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound freshman from Phoenix, will start at left guard, one of five players fresh out of high school listed on the two-deep. Another nine redshirt freshmen, including the QBs and Dennis, are starters or backups.
Defensively, senior Jake Edmiston, an All-RMAC player out of Palisade, anchors things at middle linebacker, with junior Luke Knapton backing him up.
Senior defensive end Will Harvey, who missed most of the fall with a hip injury, is listed as a starter.
Grand Junction grad Mitch Irwin, a sophomore, will start at defensive end. Irwin spent his first year at Northwestern (Iowa) College, and joined CMU’s program last year after being dismissed at Northwestern because of grade issues.
Another former Tiger, sophomore Tyler Winder, backs up junior Jordan Price at cornerback, and Fruita Monument product Cody Daniels, another sophomore, is the nickel back.