When the Ventura College football team broke into positions for conditioning drills after one intrasquad scrimmage last month, it looked like half the roster consisted of receivers and defensive backs.
Turns out, the Pirates (2-2) have really needed that depth.
Four games into the season, none of the potential starting receiving group of Gordon Warner, Abraham Taylor and Tim Vizzi have yet to see the field.
Warner, a transfer from Toledo, is redshirting after a transcript snafu. Taylor fractured an elbow in a scrimmage and will probably redshirt. Vizzi, the former Moorpark High star who transferred from Cal Poly, suffered a back injury on the eve of the season opener and has yet to play.
When you include former St. Bonaventure High star Nolan Rodarte, who tore knee ligaments against Fullerton Sept. 11, said Ventura head coach Steve Mooshagian, "Really, we've lost four of our top five."
The receiving position has fallen to deep threat Kodarius Rice, the transfer from Southern Mississippi, Renwick Scissom, who didn't play as a senior at St. Bonaventure High and Jordan Anderson, a Buena High product who took advantage of his first start Saturday with a big night.
"That's hard for a quarterback to throw to so many different receivers," said Mooshagian. "I think we've finally got some consistency at that spot."
The consistency has perhaps best been provided by running back Michael Davis, who has caught more than a third of Antavius Sims' 73 competitions.
The issues in the defensive backfield are a different challenge. While no one has been lost for the season, minor injuries have kept defensive coordinator Tim Hyde from employing the same foursome in two consecutive games.
At least five different starters have missed games. The rotating lineup has forced several players, including Jordie Escalante-Rising, Earnest Hall and Antwone McGuire, to shuttle between cornerback and safety.
The result is a backfield that has seen nine different permutations.