Because some of you indicated by emails to me that you liked this last year, I’m bringing back the Georgia State football A-to-Z series.
If you aren’t a soccer nut like me and have Atlanta United team construction, Champions League, the fight to get out of relegation in leagues around the world, MLS and Copa America Centenario to keep you occupied this summer, I hope this series can provide a daily drop of sunshine fill these non-pigskin doldrums that we must suffer through until camp opens in August.
Quick recap: the Panthers went 6-7 last season with that last loss coming in the team’s first bowl game, the Cure Bowl in Orlando against San Jose State.
Coach Trent Miles will return seven or eight starters on offense (depending upon your definition of what makes a starter) and nine on defense.
The team should be picked to finish in the top half of conference in the preseason poll and, if not for the lock that Appalachian State will likely have on first-place votes, might even receive a vote or two in that category.
Anyway, off we go:
A is for Alonzo McGee
I think most people were optimistically curious about the impact that the transfers from UAB were going to have when they arrived last year.
Those players were leaving one mess and walking into a situation in which they could do more good than perhaps at any other school because Georgia State so badly needed that experience, talent and skill. The team had just two wins in its previous three years and was struggling to gain traction in its move from FCS to FBS. Attendance was poor, as was general interest in the Sun Belt program.
No matter. McGee was one of two players (the other being Bobby Baker) that stepped into a starting role and set a tone that the rest of the defense soon followed.
At strongside linebacker, he finished with 70 tackles including an amazing 12 ½ for loss. He was a one-man wrecking crew during the four-game winning streak because he was a disruptive force against option offenses, basically taking from them his half of the field. He earned all-conference honors.
The senior is going to move to weakside linebacker this season, a swap that probably better fits his size and speed and will give him the freedom to pursue the quarterback depending upon the play.