Jacob Mezera can’t really pinpoint a go-to guy in the Fort Hays State offense, but the Tiger senior quarterback doesn’t consider that a problem.
“We have a lot of weapons, it’s just trying to figure out how to get them the ball in the right situations,” Mezera said. “I think we have a good scheme right now. We just have to execute from there.
“There’s nobody that’s my go-to guy right now. I feel like everyone can make the same play as the other person. That’s not a bad thing at all. I really trust every one of them to get open.”
Layne Bieberle and Harley Hazlett are the top returners at receiver. Bieberle caught 40 passes and for 484 yards last year with two touchdowns while Hazlett had 19 catches for 273 yards and four TDs.
Andrew Jay is also listed as a starter on the depth chart at receiver and newcomers to the receiving corps include junior college transfer Dandre Reed and redshirt freshmen Jmari Davis and Manny Ramsey.
“There’s a lot of depth there,” Tiger coach Chris Brown said.
Two-time All-MIAA tight end Matt Wendelberger is also a threat in the pass game, hauling in 22 passes for 252 yards with two touchdowns last year.
In the backfield, junior Charles Tigner will look to help fill the void left by Kenneth Iheme, who rushed for 1,380 yards last year as a senior. Tigner ran for 631 yards in 10 games as Iheme’s back-up.
“We need Charles Tigner to have a big year, for sure,” Mezera said. “Replacing Iheme is not an easy task at all.”
The Tigers return three starters on the offense line — left tackle Pat Kelly, right guard Romello Burke and center Nathan Hale.
“We just have some warriors up there,” Burke said. “We’re going to fight through the nicks and things. We’re just trying to make sure Jake’s comfortable, because if Jake’s comfortable, we’re rolling.”
Sophomore Amari Angram-Boldin (6-foot-2, 340 pounds) and senior Geoffrey Lodge (6-4, 310 pounds) will step into starting roles on the line.
“(Angram-Boldin) has really come along and he’s going to be a really, really good offensive lineman for us,” Brown said. “Burke has stepped it up, and Hale’s put some weight on (listed at 295 pounds), you can tell he’s stronger.”
Mezera said the Tigers will look to rely on a balanced attack again.
“It makes my job easier,” Mezera said. “But it’s kind of a flow thing, if they’re doing a good job stopping the run then obviously I need to throw the ball, or vice versa. It’s just kind of a feel thing. Whatever’s working for us, we’re going to keep rolling with that. I think it’s important to be balanced.”