Georgia State review/preview: Linebackers

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Georgia State’s football team wrapped up its most successful season under coach Trent Miles.

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.

I’ll continue to review each position group and preview what that unit may look like when spring practice begins sometime in March.

Linebackers

Starters: Michael Shaw, Kaleb Ringer, Alonzo McGee and Joseph Peterson started most of the games.

Returning: Shaw, Ringer, McGee, as well as Trey Payne, who started three games, Ed Curney, who started one game, Chase Middleton, James Traylor, Malik Ricks, Niemus Bryant and Jameel Spencer.

What’d they do? The impact made by Ringer and McGee in their first years at Georgia State can’t be overstated. Ringer, who transferred from Butler Community College, had 73 tackles and became a very vocal leader. McGee, who came to Atlanta when UAB shortsightedly shuttered its program, 70 more. Ringer was the run-stuffer between the offensive tackles and McGee a disruptor on the edge, particularly against the option offenses that that flummoxed Georgia State last year.

Joseph Peterson led the team with 116 tackles, finishing his streak of being the top tackler in each of his four years.

Shaw, in his first action as a redshirt freshman, began to make an impact in the second half of the season. He finished with 36 tackles, 7 ½ for loss with 2 ½ sacks.

Outlook: If Georgia State’s defensive line, which next year should feature two seniors and a redshirt junior, is the anvil then the linebackers will be the hammers in Georgia State’s defense. It’s a cliché, but I’ll try to explain in the next two paragraphs.

Though it loses Peterson, there are plenty of capable candidates to fill his spot, including Andrew Everett, a transfer from Old Dominion. Curney would seem to have the inside track considering he started when Peterson couldn’t in a game last year.

Each of those who will likely play will have at least two years in coordinator Jesse Minter’s system, which will enable to play them quickly, and another in Scott Holsopple’s strength and conditioning system, which should make them that stronger and theoretically durable.

Here are more posts:

Trent Miles reviews Georgia State’s special teams and recruiting

Trent Miles reviews Georgia State’s offense

Trent Miles reviews Georgia State’s defense

Georgia State finds out its Sun Belt opponents for 2016

Georgia State welcomes six early enrollees

Georgia State adds Tennessee State to football schedule

Georgia State’s Hart named All-American

Ongoing review/preview series

Defensive line

Offensive line

Wide receivers

Running backs

Quarterbacks

Ongoing 2016 schedule previews

Wisconsin

Tennessee-Martin

Air Force

Ball State

Switching to basketball

A midseason look at Sun Belt hoops

 

 


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