Georgia State camp preview: Defensive line

September 4, 2015 - Atlanta, Ga: Charlotte 49ers quarterback Matt Johnson (8) is tackled by Georgia State Panthers defenders from left to right; defensive end Carnell Hopson (55), linebacker Joseph Peterson (6), and linebacker Alonzo McGee (4) in the third quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome, September 4, 2015, in Atlanta.  Johnson fumbled the ball on the play. The 49ers won 23-20. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

September 4, 2015 – Atlanta, Ga: Charlotte 49ers quarterback Matt Johnson (8) is tackled by Georgia State Panthers defenders from left to right; defensive end Carnell Hopson (55), linebacker Joseph Peterson (6), and linebacker Alonzo McGee (4) in the third quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome, September 4, 2015, in Atlanta. Johnson fumbled the ball on the play. The 49ers won 23-20. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Georgia State’s football team will open its camp on Thursday ahead of its season-opening game vs. Ball State at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 2.

The team went 6-7 last season, its final defeat coming to San Jose State in its first bowl game, the Cure Bowl in Orlando.

Coach Trent Miles’ squad returns nine starters on defense, six or seven on offense and has a depth that it hasn’t since he took over three seasons ago.

Continuing the position group breakdown.

Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers/tight ends

Offensive line

Defensive line

Who is competing? This group is dominated by seniors: Shawanye Lawrence, Jalen Lawrence, Tevin Jones, Carnell Hopson and Tevin Jones. Mackendy Cheridor, DeQueszman Kelley, Will Cunningham and Julien Laurent will be redshirt juniors. Also in the mix are freshmen Terry Thomas and Clifford Amazan.

Key stat? Two, one good and one bad: the run defense improved by more 122 yards per game compared to 2014, allowing 181.4 yards per game last season. However, the linemen combined for 5 ½ sacks. Cheridor had 3, Hopson 2. That’s not enough.

Who has the edge? The starters will most certainly be Shawanye Lawrence (41 tackles, 3 ½ for loss), Jalen Lawrence (21 tackles, 1 ½ for loss) and Cheridor (34 tackles). The remaining players will be used in certain packages, situations or injuries. The good news is the group is so deep that defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and position coach Rick Minter can platoon players, if they want. They will also have the luxury of redshirting certain players, should they decide.

If the line can help the defense reduce those rushing yards per game at the same rate as they did last year, the defense should be considered one of the best in the Sun Belt this season.

Football A-to-Z series

A is for Alonzo McGee

B  is for Backfield

C is for Chandon Sullivan

D is for Robert Davis

E is for Andrew Everett

F is for fumbles

G is for Georgia Dome

H is for Harold Etheridge

I is for interceptions

J is for Jesse Minter (because I’m a dummy, I originally posted this as M is for Minter)

K is for Kicker

L is for Luke Huard

M is for Trent Miles

N is for non-conference

O is for October

P is for Penny Hart

Q is for Quarterbacks

R is for run defense

S is for sacks

T is for Turner Field

U is for undergrads

V is for victory

W is for wideouts

X is for X-factor

Y is for yellow flags

Less than a minute with…

Taz Bateman

Jalen Lawrence

Mackendy Cheridor

Kendrick Dorn

Jerome Smith

Gabe Mobley

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Part 1 of Q&A with Ron Hunter about summer workouts

Part 2 of Q&A with Ron Hunter about summer workouts

Minters enjoying coaching together at Georgia State

Georgia State football picked fourth in Sun Belt preseason poll

Five Panthers named to Sun Belt preseason all-conference teams

Davis, Baker will rep Georgia State at Sun Belt media day

Sports Illustrated confuses Georgia State with Georgia Southern

Georgia State football players participate in Atlanta march

Georgia State accepting nomination for second Hall of Fame class

Ron Hunter and Ray McCallum’s ties run deep

Ray McCallum joins Georgia State basketball staff

Georgia State hoops will play at Mississippi State

Justin Seymour joins Georgia State hoops

Georgia State basketball will play at Auburn, with other dates confirmed

Georgia State adds Furman, W. Michigan to schedules

Miles: Georgia State going from Pinto from Benz

Georgia State men’s basketball headed to Dominican Republic

Sun Belt will add football title game

Georgia State adds transfer power forward

Sun Belt Conference adds a fifth bowl

Georgia State opens online store

Few things that need to be in Georgia State’s online store

Georgia State athletics honored for class work

Watch: Georgia State football players in dunk contest

R.J. Hunter reviews his first year in the NBA

Miller Grove’s Sharman White joins Ron Hunter at Georgia State

White: ‘Good time to be a Panther’


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