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.
Position: Defensive line coach, though his hire hasn’t been officially announced by athletics.
Class: Henderson State.
Height: Doesn’t matter.
Weight: Doesn’t matter.
Stats from last season: He was the linebackers coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Why is he on the list? From Wikipedia:
|1977||Henderson State (GA)|
|1979–1980||Louisiana Tech (DE)|
|1980–1982||North Carolina State (DE)|
|1984||New Mexico State (LB)|
|1985–1991||Ball State (DC)|
|1992–1993||Notre Dame (DC)|
|2004||South Carolina (DC)|
|2005–2007||Notre Dame (DC)|
|2009||Marshall (interim HC)|
|2010||Indiana State (LB)|
|2013–2015||Philadelphia Eagles (LB)|
Why am I interested to watch him at practice? Where to start? It will be interesting to watch the dynamic between Rick and his son Jesse, who is Georgia State’s defensive coordinator. I can’t find another current example of a father working for his son in college football (Monte working as defensive coordinator for Lane when he was coach at Tennessee is the only one I can think of, ever). There are lots of examples of sons working for fathers, or sons following fathers. So, there’s that dynamic.
And then there’s group of players.
I was critical of the defensive line in 2013 and 2014. They didn’t do much in terms of tackles, tackles for loss or sacks. As a result, it was hard for the defense to do anything because it didn’t seem like it was 11 on 11.
But that was then.
Last year they were arguably one of the best groups on defense, perhaps tied with the cornerbacks. Funny how the play of one can affect the other.
Though their stats weren’t great, you could tell by watching starters Jalen Lawrence (21 tackles, 1 ½ tackles for loss, no sacks), Shawanye Lawrence (41 tackles, ½ sack) and Mackendy Cheridor (34 tackles, 6 ½ tackles for loss, 3 sacks) that they were causing problems for offensive lines.
Why did they improve? Coach Trent Miles said it comes down to experience, development and coaching. Those who were freshmen in 2013 were juniors last year. It is the difference in high school players competing against grown men. If you don’t think there’s a difference, watch the NCAA tournament and see if you can pick out the seniors. It likely won’t be difficult because they will appear much more muscular.
Now, they’ve had another year of strength and conditioning, another year of experience on the field and now the coaching of Minter to help them fulfill their potential.
Here are more posts:
Georgia State football
Georgia State basketball
The six-part series on what went wrong for the team in 2016: