With the season-opener against Savannah State just around the corner, the Savannah Morning News' Nathan Deen has posted Georgia Southern's two-deep depth chart heading forward. Obviously these things can change at any time, but it's still nice to get a feel for who we will see in the navy and white on Saturdays.
WR: BJ Johnson (Obe Fortune)
WR: Keigan Willaims (D'Ondre Glenn)
LT: Jeremiah Culbreth (Lawrence Edwards)
LG: Ryan Northrup (Jakob Cooper)
C: Andy Kwon (Sean Gaddy)
RG: Curtis Rainey (John Freeman
RT: Max Magana (Drew Wilson)
RB: Matt Breida (Wesley Fields)
QB: Kevin Ellison/Favian Upshaw
RB: L.A. Ramsby (Chaz Thorton)
WR: Montay Crockett (Malik Henry)
WR: Myles Campbell (Mike Summers Jr.)
TE: Kevin Ackerman (Ross Alexander)
DE: Bernard Dawson (Nardo Govan)
DT: Darrius Sapp (Darius Roper)
NT: Jay Ellison (Jonathan Battle Jr.)
DE: Ryan George (Logan Hunt)
LB: Ukeme Eligwe (Ken Butler Jr.)
LB: Ironhead Gallon (William Bussey Jr.)
LB: Chris DeLaRosa (Todd Bradley)
CB: Jesse Liptrot (Monquavion Brinson)
FS: Joshua Moon (Jay Bowdry)
SS: Vegas Harley (RJ Murray)
CB: Darius Jones Jr. (Christian Matthew)
P: Matt Flynn (Younghoe Koo)
PK: Younghoe Koo (Tyler Bass)
LS: Travis Baugus (Nick Sewak)
H: Kevin Ellison (Matt Flynn)
KO: Tyler Bass (Younhoe Koo)
KOR: Matt Breida/L.A. Ramsby (Montay Crockett)
PR: Montay Crockett/Malik Henry/BJ Johnson
First things first, quarterback Kevin Ellison and running back Matt Brieda are still your starters, so not much has changed there. Teammate L.A. Ramsby is listed as another starting running back alongside Brieda, so get ready to see them mixed in as they have in the past. Second-string quarterback Favian Upshaw will most likely mix in with Ellison like the two have done in the previous two seasons.
On the offensive line, four of the starters return having played in at least eight games each last season. Starting right tackle Max Magana is the least experienced of the bunch, having played in five contests in 2015.
Defensively, fans should recognize the names of Bernard Dawson, Darius Sapp, and Jay Ellison from a year ago. New starter Ryan George joins the trio, having played in 12 games last season. Returning starters Ironhead Gallon, and Chris DeLaRosa help bolster what is a young defense overall.
Young Defensive Backs
Seniors Vegas Harley and Darius Jones Jr. will try and aid a young pair of DB's in Joshua Moon and Jessie Liptrot. Moon and Liptrot were each rated 3-stars by 24/7 Sports before committing to GS, and will be expected to learn quickly with opponents Ole Miss, Appalachian State, and Arkansas State boasting solid passing attacks.
Hopefully the combination of new talent in the defensive backfield mixed with coaching from defensive experts Tyson Summers and Lorenzo Constantini will assist in improving a team that was ranked 39th in the country against the pass and allowed an average of 272.5 yards and two touchdowns per game in its four losses last season.
With new offensive coordinators David Dean and Rance Gillespie in tow, the Eagles may look to be more of a threat through the air this season, and quarterbacks Ellison and Upshaw need more passing threats to open up space for the running game. Dean has broken down his offensive philosophy in the past, showing how a quick passing attack in the spread offense helps open up space for playmakers.
In that vein, the Eagles list four starting receivers in the depth chart, with all four being juniors or seniors. Wideouts B.J. Johnson and Montay Crockett should be familiar to Southern fans, and should help spark some of the passing attack GS has been missing out on. Freshmen Obe Fortune and D'Ondre Glenn may see some playing time rotating in for their more experienced teammates.
With the season on the horizon, fans will soon get a taste of what the regime under Summers will look like in live action. Hopefully an improved passing attack and pass defense will allow the Eagles to claim its second Sun Belt Championship in three seasons.