QB: Rawlings is already 8th all-time in completions and 9th all-time in touchdowns after just two seasons. Most importantly, he is 2-0 versus Harvard. Developing chemistry with wideouts will be crucial this spring with the graduation of Williams-Lopez, Graham, Drwal, and Siragusa. Patrick Conte saw limited action last year as the backup and he and Jimmy Check will need all the practice reps they can get to master the offense. In the event of an injury to Rawlings, Tre Moore might prove to be the most effective at running the offense.
RB: Zane Dudek was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and led the Ivy League in rushing yards. Salter will graduate, but Melvin Rouse and Michael Purvey have playing experience and both showed rare talent for freshmen. The addition of Lamar next season should give Yale a number of explosive options in the backfield.
WR: The receiving corps is filled with talent and experience, but none of them have been long term starters to date. Shohfi will likely be the number one wideout with Rouse, Klubnik, Carrington, Marcinick, and Herring contributing. Rouse and Carrington in particular must use the spring to establish themselves as legitimate receiving threats with the departure of Williams-Lopez.
TE: John Lager has the most experience in the group playing in eight contests last season. He will face stiff competition for the starting job from Roman, Howland, Hoban and Dawson. The tight end competition seems to be wide open this spring after the loss of Graham.
OL: Eiselen and Strother will be the veteran stalwarts along the offensive line. Cameron Warfield filled in nicely last season at tackle when Bezney went down with an injury. Jack Lee was a starter during spring ball last season, but an injury derailed his campaign in 2017. Tribble, Sexton and Cepalia each started one game last season and each have the potential to be solid starters in 2018. Hinish, Jost, Lemay, and Van de Grift all have in-game experience and could challenge for starting positions.
DL: The graduation of Copache Tyler, Earl Chism and John Herubin will put smiles on the faces of opposing Ivy League offensive line coaches. Luckily, Yale has built tremendous depth along the defensive line over the past two seasons. Kyle Mullen and Charles Callender dominated on the outside last season. Matthaei started six games, while Keeler and Roman rotated in often. Kissel and Sampleton should see increased playing time at defensive end. Julian Fraser had a great freshman season and then was rarely utilized last season. Look for him and Daniel James to make strides this spring. Crowle is rumored to be coming back for a fifth year in the fall.
LB: Replacing Oplinger and Foye will be difficult challenges of the spring. Micah Awodiran had a slow start to his career, but by the end of the season, he was one of the most explosive players on defense. Look for Awodiran to make huge strides this spring and begin commanding the defense. Herbert, Balter and Burke all have experience as starters, but need to develop consistency in tackling and pass coverage. John Dean and Jordan Carey had solid freshman seasons and will have the chance to compete for a starting role.
DB: Alessi, Carlson, and Rymiszewski all depart in addition to Coach Rice. Dixon, Alburg, Peggs and Henson have all started at corner at one point or another, but they are all finesse players that do not possess the tackling abilities of the departing defensive backs. Some of these corners may transition to safety, yet as it stands now, the safety position is a huge liability. Agbeyegbe, MacPhee, and Vissman will be given every opportunity to claim these open safety spots. Yale needs to find a big hitter with great tackling skills to complement the cover corners.
The special teams units should be crisp this spring and into 2018 with the return of long snapper Hunter Simino, kicker/punter Alex Galland, and kickoff specialist Sam Tuckerman.