Because some of you seemed to like 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-eight starts 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 the media polls 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:
B is for Backfield
In a change from most of the program’s first few years, the Panthers could have as many as six running backs in competition for snaps this season. The returners are:
Glenn Smith (356 yards, 4.0 yards per carry, 1 touchdown);
Kyler Neal (327 yards, 3.9 yards per carry, 5 touchdowns);
Demarcus Kirk (320 yards, 4.3 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns);
Taz Bateman (253 yards, 5.1 yards per carry, 1 touchdown);
The two that most of Georgia State’s supporters are likely most interested in seeing are Kendrick Dorn, a junior college transfer in 2014-15 who redshirted because of a knee injury last season, and Darius Stubbs, who signed in February.
The Panthers’ runners combined to average less than 100 yards per game last season, but much more will be expected this season because of the inexperience returning at quarterback.
Each brings a different skill set and coach Trent Miles said the carries will likely be split between the guys.
You’ll read more about a few of the guys in the series.