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.
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“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.