Georgia State’s football team will start spring practice on Thursday 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: Running back
Class: Redshirt junior
Stats from last season: None, because he missed the season after suffering a knee injury in August.
Why is he on the list? Dorn was considered the front-runner to challenge Kyler Neal for the starting job during last August’s camp. After a slow start during which he looked hesitant, he began to find a groove in the offense and looked good finding holes and making tacklers miss. And then he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. He started running as part of his rehab late in the season.
Why am I interested to watch him practice? Georgia State will have a new quarterback next year, one of four starters that must be replaced. Because it will have a new quarterback, I assume that the offense will rely on its running game and play action early in the offseason until one of the three quarterbacks finds his mojo and the passing game starts to resemble the previous two year’s.
The running game couldn’t be counted on last year. The team averaged 96.9 rushing yards per game and averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Those aren’t the averages of a sustainable running game. There were numerous examples of the team needing to get one yard, handing off the ball, and not getting that yard. That’s not all on the running backs, of course. And there were also examples of them creating something from nothing.
Anyway, Dorn will be one of several running backs that will be used, but he and perhaps Demarcus Kirk are the two that can do the most. Kyler Neal is mostly a between-the-tackles guy who can catch, but doesn’t make people miss. Glenn Smith can make guys miss and catch passes, but doesn’t have the size to be a between-the-tackles guy. Kirk showed a lot of potential last year. Taz Bateman showed big-play potential. Dorn is the one guy that would seem to be able to do all of the things. But right now it’s unknown, which is why I want to see him at practice.
Here are more posts:
Georgia State football
Georgia State basketball
The six-part series on what went wrong for the team in 2016: