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.
Class: Redshirt freshman
Stats from last season: None because he redshirted. He was a two-time all-state selection at Mount Pisgah.
Why is he on the list? Because Georgia State needs a new starting quarterback. Nick Arbuckle exhausted his eligibility after passing for more than 4,300 yards last season and being named the Sun Belt Conference student-athlete of the year. Arbuckle, who holds most of the school’s passing records, was more than just a quarterback; he led film studies and served as another coach on the field.
Why am I interested to watch him practice? This may have just been an oversight on Arbuckle’s part when discussing the film sessions, but when asked who else attended he usually mentioned Winchester. I don’t remember him saying Emiere Scaife. Again, that could be an oversight on his part or me simply not remembering the conversations accurately.
Anyway, Winchester has the height (and working on the weight) and the physical tools to be a solid quarterback. As with Scaife and Conner Manning, it now remains to be seen if he knows the offense, can read defenses and move teammates into the proper positions. Because Winchester ran the scout team last year, he didn’t get opportunities to show these skills. A version of this ability to read defenses will be repeated for the next two people in this series.
The quarterback will have help: most of the receivers return, including Penny Hart, Robert Davis and Keith Rucker. Three starters on the offensive line return, though it can be argued that has advantages and disadvantages based upon the 33 sacks allowed in the passing game and 3.1 yards per carry in the rushing game.
Here are more posts:
Georgia State football
Georgia State basketball
The six-part series on what went wrong for the team in 2016: