The connection of Conner Poulson to Tarik Littlejohn has carried Capital the past two years. But the Eagles’ rebuilding process this season focuses on a dominant line.
Capital returns three starters on the offensive line: Jacob Molenaar (6-4, 335 pounds), Brenan Leatham (6-6, 250) and Owen Midkiff (5-10, 240). Add in returning defensive ends Braydon Ball and Ben Vering, who is returning from an ACL injury, and all that experience and heft up front will spot Capital a head start as it all but starts over at the skill positions.
“They just haven’t had the experience of starting a game and kind of being the guy,” coach Todd Simis said. “Hopefully, up front they can do their job and make it easier.”
Sam Brixey, 6-4, returns as an athletic receiver for new junior quarterback Drew Korf, another dual-threat weapon to build around.
“He’s athletic enough to run. He throws it pretty well,” Simis said. “His liability right now is just experience.”
Early in camp, Simis said he’ll use a backfield-by-committee approach until someone emerges from the junior-laden position.
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Players to watch
SAM BRIXEY, WR
The reigning 110- and 300-hurdle state champ caught 32 passes for 466 yards and 7 TDs last season on his way to first-team all-5A SIC honors.
BEN VERING, DL
A first-team all-conference selection in 2013, the honorable mention pick in ‘14 returns for his third year as a starter.
JACOB MOLENAAR, OL
Idaho State has extended a scholarship offer to the 6-4, 335-pound senior, who was a second-team all-conference pick last season.
BRENAN LEATHAM, OL
The 6-6, 250-pound lineman has started the past two years on offense, and he may start seeing time on defense, too.