The Panthers went 6-7, that seventh defeat coming in their first bowl game. The team won its final four regular season games to earn that bowl berth.
Over the next few days, I’ll review each position group and preview what that unit may look like when spring practice begins sometime in March.
Starters: Robert Davis, Donovan Harden, Penny Hart, Keith Rucker
Returning: Davis, Hart, Rucker, Todd Boyd, Bill Teknipp, Ari Werts.
What’d they do in 2015: A lot.
- Hart was named the Sun Belt’s newcomer of the year after catching 71 passes for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns.
- Davis caught 61 passes for 980 yards and six touchdowns.
- Rucker caught 39 passes 522 yards and six touchdowns.
- Boyd caught 25 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns.
- Harden, who used up his eligibility, caught 39 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games.
Who will battle in the spring: The group seems likely set with Davis, Hart, Rucker and Boyd the starters. Teknipp and Werts will back up Rucker.
It will be interesting to see who will be signed to add depth to the wide receivers. One signee, Johnathan Ifedi, has already enrolled.
Still, once a deep group, it is now somewhat thin because Kam Myers has transferred and Avery Sweeting and Nyiakki Height also used up their eligibility.
Outside of the starters returning, the likely reserves combined to catch eight passes last season.
Outlook: As long as the starters can remain healthy, this group should be OK.
But their production depends upon who is throwing the ball and who is blocking for that quarterback.
Either way, it’s unreasonable to think that Georgia State will match last year’s statistics of more than 3,330 yards receiving from the receivers and tight ends. Nick Arbuckle, the Sun Belt’s student athlete of the year after passing for more than 4,100 yards last year, isn’t walking back through that door as a player.
It is reasonable to think that the decrease in production that may occur between last season and next season may be offset by an increase in the other positions, such as the rushing attack.