Promises for the '08 campaign
1. O-line dominance. Wildcats will lean heavily on the offensive line for success. Look for USF commitment Kamran Joyer to lead the way.
2. Strong ground game. In turn, the running game will produce plenty of points and highlights as players such as Hunter Joyer, Aaron Duncan and Keenan Reynolds flourish.
3. Sound coaches. Led by coach John Castelamare, the Wildcats have always enjoyed a smart, disciplined coaching staff with most of the core guys still around from the glory days at the start of the decade.
What the Wildcats can't promise
1. Replacement for Ray Rouch at linebacker. So far, Jacob Fisher looks like the guy and is considered "the hitter" of the defense. He played as a freshman and is getting bigger and stronger.
2. Solid defense. The Wildcats lost some good people, and they'll have their hands full with plenty of potent opponents such as Gaither, Wharton and Pasco.
3. Replacement for Greg Jenkins. C.J. West and Geoffery DeGroot are not afraid to make plays, but they won't necessarily break loose for one of those 60-yard Jenkins runs.
A look at some of the key figures in the Wildcats' 2008 campaign
Primary offensive skill player: FB Hunter Joyer. A quick runner with plenty of power. He can outrun defenders and bowl over those in his path.
Primary defensive skill player: MLB Jacob Fisher. It didn't take long for him to earn a coveted black jersey — handed out to hard hitters — earning him a spot in the middle. He has tremendous upside.
Primary offensive lineman: OL Kamran Joyer. He's slimming down because USF coaches want him at 300 pounds, but he has maintained his strength. He has good feet and great strength and is becoming a leader.
Primary defensive lineman: DL Patrick Pate. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound lineman is quick to the ball and punishing when he arrives.
Primary special-teams player: KR Keenan Reynolds. He had only two kickoff returns last season, but they totaled 119 yards. Look for him to make a bigger impact this season.
Voices from the precincts
What some are saying about the Wildcats
"(John Castelamare) knows how to attack teams. He always has a great game plan and can formulate it as quick as anyone. He doesn't have to sit and study. His teams are disciplined and they run the plays well. When you play them you have to play the whole game." — Pasco coach Tom McHugh
Izzy Gould, Times staff writer