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Georgia Southern's Two Deep For the North Carolina State Game

A quick look at the Georgia Southern two-deep roster

One thing I'm really looking forward to: more pictures to use than just the Florida game!
One thing I'm really looking forward to: more pictures to use than just the Florida game!
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Southern quietly released their two-deep in their game notes for the North Carolina State game this weekend on Tuesday afternoon. It gives us our first clear look at some answers to questions I posed a week or so ago about the offense. Matt Yogus from the Statesboro Herald has a good break down of it, as well. My thoughts/comments are below where I felt the need to make any.

GSU Two-Deep for North Carolina State

4-Kevin Ellison, So.
13-Favian Upshaw, So.

Kevin Ellison has been named the starter for the first game of the year. This is really not all that surprising given his level of experience. I do expect Favian Upshaw to play during the game at some point, but Ellison's experience as a starter last season - particularly in the win against Florida - helped him win the starting day spot. 

36-Matt Brieda, So.
1-Alfred "LA" Ramsby, R-Fr.

These are two new players with little or no experience in big games. Given Willie Fritz's run-heavy offense, they had better be ready to step up. It's hard to really get a feel for them until I've seen them in action, though. 

42-Nardo Govan, Jr.
84-Dylan Turner, Sr.

12-B.J. Johnson, Jr.
31-Ryan Longoria, Jr.

9-Zach Walker, Sr.
85-Montay Crockett, So.

I did not realize that Zach Walker (or Kentrellis Showers, listed below) were both Seniors this year. They have both shown some big play ability in their career and that will definitely be needed in their senior season. Walker made it on ESPN's top-10 plays with the below catch back in 2012

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80-Kentrellis Showers, Sr.
23-Derek Keaton, Jr.

58-Garrett Frye, Sr.
64-Hunter Lamar, Sr.

63-Darien Foreman, Jr.
53-Jeff Ward, Jr.

75-Manrey Saint-Amour, Sr.
60-Andy Kwon, So.

74-Logan Daves, Sr.
76-Trevor McBurnett, Sr.

70-Raymond Klugey, Sr.
73-Maurice Hunt, Jr.

The offensive line is full of experienced players led up front by Manrey Saint-Amour. They're not the biggest unit in football, but they're excellent at what they do. This is the unit that helped Georgia Southern obliterate Florida's run defense last November to the tune of 400+ rushing yards. They are going to have to continue performing at a high level if Georgia Southern is going to have any hope of a successful first season in FBS.

30-Valdon Cooper, Sr.
19-Caleb Williams, Jr.

Valdon Cooper is as close as Georgia Southern has to a lock-down corner. As Matt Yogus pointed out in his article linked above, he has even gotten some NFL looks. Georgia Southern will definitely need someone capable of that level of play, since pass defense has been a weakness over the past few years.

7-Matt Dobson, Jr.
2-Steve Williams, Jr.

16-Antonio Glover, Jr.
25-Robert Brice, So.

5-Darius Jones, So.
21-Nick Wright, So.

29-Deion Stanley, Sr.
14-Tay Hickin, Jr

It's good to see Deion Stanley back after he missed the final two games of last season due to injury.

40-Edwin Jackson, Sr.
48-Patrick Flowe, So

Edwin Jackson was the leading tackler last season, so his return should help a defensive unit that has been average at best the past few seasons.

37-Antwione Williams, Jr.
27-Deshawntee Gallon, So.

2-Steve Williams, Jr
37-Antwione Williams, Jr

54-Lennie Richardson, Jr.
93-Rashad Williams, Sr.

92-Johnathan Battle, Jr.
90-Darrius Sapp, Fr.

99-Jay Ellison, So.
91-Justice Ejike, Sr.

56-Bernard Dawson, So.
44-Quaun Daniels, Jr.

Special Teams

36-Matt Breida, So.
82-Kameron Maye, Fr.

17-Brandon Thomas, Sr.
26-Tray Butler, Sr.

47-Alex Hanks, Jr.
9-Younghoe Koo, So.

I'm actually surprised to see this. I thought with the way Younghoe Koo finished the season that he would win the job. This is going to be key for Georgia Southern as kicking has been an issue over the past few seasons, as noted in my offensive questions piece

49-Ryan Nowicki, Jr.

97-Jake Banta, Jr.

Overall thoughts: There is a lot of experience on this team, but depth may be an issue. Particularly if Georgia Southern has injury issues on the level of last season. If they can stay healthy and Fritz's offense clicks, they are going to give teams some fits. There are some play-makers on both sides of the ball capable of doing great things, but until we see exactly what the Fritz Blitz looks like against actual competition on the FBS level it's hard to get a real feel for how this team will do. My biggest personal question right now is how well the running backs perform and if Ellison has improved as passer. That will be the key to whether Georgia Southern ends the season with a few surprise victories and a successful first FBS campaign or as a door mat for the majority of teams they play.