Seth Littrell and the Mean Green recently wrapped up spring practice with the Green and White game at Apogee. Now comes more offseason and summer workouts, so where do the Mean Green stand heading into the summer?
Quarterback is a Battle
Mason Fine and Quinn Shanbour came out of spring in a closer quarterback battle than most imagined, not because Fine, the incumbent played poorly, but rather because Shanbour stepped up. He was particularly effective in the spring game. Fine on the other hand had a good spring as well, but struggled in the spring game. It will be hard to overlook Fine's starting much of the 2016 season, but Shanbour gives the Mean Green options, especially in the wake of Alec Morris' graduation.
Offensive Line is an Issue
Finding good offensive linemen and enough of them is tough business and Littrell is finding that out. The Mean Green are very thin at offensive line and their front line players didn't exactly shine this spring. In the spring game the line didn't protect well or run block. We're not sure what else an offensive line does. North Texas might miss Trey Keenan and Sam Rice more than anticipated.
Skill players Shined
North Texas is quietly putting together a stable of receivers for OC Graham Harrell's offense. That's a big step from the end of last year when three of the top four pass catchers either graduated or left the program. Turner Smiley had a nice spring, culminating with a four catch 125 yard outing in the spring game. Sophomore Rico Bussey led all pass catchers with eight catches and JC transfer Jalen Guyton was the most consistent receiver all spring. Guyton was considered a star in the waiting at Notre Dame but left after a suspension in 2015. He spent last season at Trinity Valley and looks ready to step into a big role for UNT this fall.
Better up Front
North Texas' defensive line is moving in the opposite direction of its offensive line. The Mean Green have added depth and improved their frontline talent overall. Bryce English, the former DeSoto Eagle and Kansas State transfer gives the Mean Green a nice player up front. He joins with junior T.J. Tauaalo and Roderick Young to give the defensive interior a nice rotation. Tillman Johnson had a good spring as well. The defensive front gives coordinator Troy Reffett the ability to do a lot of things from a scheme standpoint this season.