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2022 MAC Football Positional Ratings: Toledo Rocket Offensive Skill Positions

2022 MAC Football Positional Ratings: Toledo Rocket Offensive Skill Positions

Toledo finished 7-6 overall and was 5-3 in the MAC in 2021, good enough for third place in the MAC West.

Their final placing was not due to a lack of effort on the offensive end; The Rockets totaled 435.2 yards per game, good for third overall in the MAC, and were also the top scoring offense in the MAC, averaging over 31 points per contest. They faced Middle Tennessee in the Bahamas Bowl after falling short in the MAC title race, falling to the Blue Raiders by a touchdown by a final score of 31-24.

It’s this promise on offense that lifted Toledo into the MAC championship conversation during Media Day, so a close look at who returns at the offensive skill positions will be key to understanding expectations.


Quarterbacks

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Toledo at Ohio

It all starts with the quarterback
Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

At quarterback, promising dual-threat sophomore Dequan Finn returns. Last year, he played in all 13 games, going 144-of-250 through the air for 2,071 total yards, good enough to be fourth among MAC passers after taking over the job several weeks into the season. He threw 18 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Finn proved to be a dual threat by gaining 505 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns as well, giving Toledo another weapon in the backfield for defenses to game plan for. It’s Finn’s offseason development as the undisputed starter that will be the catalyst for where this Rockets team finishes in the MAC, as his performance in 2021 showed plenty of potential

Sophomore AJ Gucciardo (one game appearance) and freshman Tucker Gleason (6-of-9, 69 yards in 2021 in three games) will likely battle for the backup job. The Rockets have several at quarterback behind the three players, all of whom will likely compete for emergency roles and/or redshirt.


Wide receiver and tight end

Toledo vs. Notre Dame

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Matt Landers, a promising transfer from Georgia, transferred in the offseason once again after leading the Rockets in touchdowns in 2021, while several longtime contributors graduated from the program (including Isaiah Winstead, Bryce Mitchell and Danzel Mc-Kinley-Lewis, ). but there is still plenty of talent returning to the Toledo roster, returning three juniors who should all be big contributors.

Arguably at the top of that group is Devin Maddox, who saw time as a return specialist as well as a receiver. As a punt returner, he was good enough to be named to the All-MAC second team. At receiver, he had 41 receptions for 567 yards and four touchdowns, leading all returners at the position. Next up would be Jerjuan Newton with 13 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown, and DeMeer Blankunmsee (16 receptions, 165 yards, one touchdown.) A dark horse for reps could be Mikel Barkley, a five-foot-11, 170 lb. speedster who hails from TCU.

At tight end, senior Jamal Turner returns for this season. Last year he had 8 catches for 87 yards. Also returning are fellow students Alex Enders and Dalton Andrews. None of them recorded any statistics.


Running back

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 10 Toledo at Bowling Green

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

At running back, the Rockets lose a giant in the form of Bryant Koback, who rewrote the Toledo rushing record books in his long career as a Rocket, gaining 1,447 yards in his final season.

But they won’t be short of experienced talent, as they return sophomores Micah Kelly (59 attempts for 327 yards; five receptions for 44 yards) and Jacquez Stuart (46 attempts for 250 yards, one touchdown; eight receptions, 53 yards.) Let’s see if he can step up. Whoever bets on the stone will work together with Finn, who returns as the team’s main threat.

Behind Kelly and Stuart are a number of redshirts and sophomores who could compete for spell and backup roles, including Lamy Constant (who scored a touchdown in 2021) and Maryland transfer Peny Boone (39 carries, 172 yards, two touchdowns in 2021.)

The Rockets will lose a superstar running back, but their depth should still offer plenty of opportunities for Jason Candle and his staff.

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