Georgia State’s football team will start spring practice on March 24 at the practice complex on MLK Drive.
The team returns nine starters on defense and seven on offense.
This is an interesting year for coach Trent Miles as he looks to build momentum on last year’s 6-7 season, which included the first bowl appearance in program history.
This is the second in a 10-part blog series on the people I’m most excited to watch this spring.
Most of these are people who either didn’t play last year, didn’t play a lot last year, or are trying to replace the few key starters who graduated and/or used up their eligibility.
Nos. 10-4 are in no particular order. The final three are.
No. 8 Ari Werts
Position: Tight end
Stats from last season: He had five receptions for 84 yards, including three for 63 yards in the Cure Bowl.
Why is he on the list? First, I want to see him score a touchdown so I can watch him do the Juug (Jug?, I’m no longer hip to the scene) Walk that he talks about on twitter. Second, he has the physical tools to create mismatches in the offense once he is put into motion. I’m not sure a linebacker can cover him as a tight end, and I’m not sure a cornerback can be physical enough with him if he goes into motion and lines up as a wide receiver.
Why am I interested to watch him practice? Tight end Keith Rucker will likely be the starting tight end, but Werts, Bill Teknipp and Hunter Atkinson will challenge for playing time. Put Rucker, Werts and Atkinson together and there could be some interesting offensive formations and play-calling. Of course, I wrote a few years ago that the Panthers were going to use Rucker, Joe Ruiz and Bill Teknipp were going to be included in formations featuring three tight ends and I think I’ve seen that twice since then. Not exactly a thick part of the playbook.
Here are more posts:
Georgia State football
Georgia State basketball
The six-part series on what went wrong for the team in 2016: