Analyzing Georgia Southern’s Depth Chart

Over the past three weeks Georgia Southern Football has been gradually releasing their post-spring depth chart. This is a pleasant surprise to fans like me used to much more secretive coaching staffs, where getting a two-deep was like pulling teeth. But the Lunsford era has been fan-friendly and open from the get-go.

It’s been over a month since the end of spring practice and its still two months til fall camp starts August 3rd. It’s a dead period for college football news. But fans still want to know what their team will look like next season.  Preview magazines like Athlon, Lindy’s, and Phil Steele come out this time of year; I usually end up scooping up a couple to read during the summer.

This year I won’t have to because Georgia Southern beat the magazines to the punch. Lunsford and company didn’t have to do this but they did it anyways. It’s not much but it keeps fans like me engaged during the long summer months. Here’s a look:

Offense

WR (Z)
Malik Henry (6-0, 180, Sr.)
Darion Anderson (6-0, 185, r-So.)

WR (X)
Obe Fortune (6-1, 190, r-Jr.)
Mark Michaud (6-4, 220, Jr.)

SLOT (H)
Wesley Kennedy III (5-10, 175, So.)
Malik Murray (6-0, 170, r-So.)

LT
Jeremiah Culbreth (6-4, 320, Sr.)
Jarrod Leeds (6-4, 270, r-Fr.)

LG
Jakob Cooper (6-3, 295, r-Jr.)
Jawaski Webb (6-2, 280, So.)
Ryan Northrup (6-2, 285, r-Sr.)

C
Curtis Rainey (6-2, 290, Sr.)
Drake Grall (5-10, 285, r-Sr.)

RG
Lawrence Edwards (6-6, 300, r-So.)
Caleb Kelly (6-2, 285, So.)

RT
Drew Wilson (6-4, 300, Jr.)
Brian Miller (6-3, 285, r-Fr.)

TE (Y)
Ellis Richardson (6-3, 240, r-Sr.)
Cam Brown (6-2, 235, r-Fr.)

QB
Shai Werts (5-11, 200, r-So.)
LaBaron Anthony (6-0, 195, r-Sr.)

RB
Wesley Fields (6-0, 205, Sr.)
Monteo Garrett (5-10, 190, r-Sr.)
Matt LaRoche (5-9, 175, r-Fr.)

Notes

  • Wide Receiver remains pretty stable. None of those names should surprise you. The only two names I don’t see on there that could breakthrough the top four are D’Ondre Glenn and Dexter Carter. From the sounds of it, Bob DeBesse is still looking for more consistency from this personnel group. He even left the door open for a true freshman like Scoobie Ford or Davarius Bargnare to come in and play immediately. Wesley Kennedy III was the most consistent receiver during the spring game and is expected to be a big contributor next year.
  • A couple of changes on the offensive line. Lawrence Edwards and Jakob Cooper are listed as the starting guards. Ryan Northrup has been bumped down in the rotation. Wilson and Culbreth remain the starting tackles and Curtis Rainey will start at center. Juco transfers Jawaski Webb and Aaron Dowdell will provide immediate depth on the interior. Overall DeBesse seems impressed by the depth on the line. He spoke glowingly of tackle Brian Miller in particular.
  • Ellis Richardson has a stranglehold on the TE position. He was named to Athlon’s preseason All-Sun Belt first team. He’s backed up by Cam Brown and Mark Michaud. Brown is more of an on-the-ball blocking tight end, while Michaud will man the Cruiser position which involves more route running. True freshman Anthony Beck II is a tight end/punter hybrid that is an interesting option.
  • Shai Werts remains the starter. No surprise. They say it’s an open competition but Werts has all but locked it down. His explosiveness and arm strength set him apart from his competition. LaBaron Anthony has emerged are the main backup with Kado Brown and Jaalon Frazier behind him. Justin Tomlin arrives in the fall but will most likely redshirt barring an injury to Werts.
  • Very deep group headlined by Wes Fields and Monteo Garrett, who were sidelined with injury for most of spring practice. Matt “Speedy” LaRoche emerged as the primary backup running back this spring. Behind that are Grant Walker, Logan Wright, and Eric Montgomery vying for carries.

Defense

DE
Raymond Johnson III (6-3, 240, So.)
Quan Griffin (6-3, 270, So.)
Traver Vliem (6-4, 255, r-So.)

NT
Ian Bush (6-0, 275, r-Sr.)
Ty Phillips (6-3, 290, Jr.)

DE
Logan Hunt (6-2, 270, Sr.)
Josh Johnson (6-5, 240, r-Fr.)
Deshon Cooper (6-3, 250, r-Sr.)

MLB
Todd Bradley (6-0, 230, r-So.)
Chris Harris Jr. (6-1, 245, So.)
Tré Allen (6-1, 230, r-Fr.)

WLB
Tomarcio Reese (5-11, 230, Sr.)
Rashad Byrd (6-0, 230, r-So.)

Anchor
Jay Bowdry (6-0, 200, r-Jr.)
Lane Ecton (5-11, 195, r-Jr.)
Benz Josue (6-0, 210, r-Fr.)

Dog
Randy Wade Jr. (6-2, 250, r-So.)
Alvin Ward Jr. (6-4, 230, r-So.)
Demetrice Lofton (6-5, 240, So.)
Benz Josue (6-0, 210, r-Fr.)

CB
Monquavion Brinson (5-11, 180, Jr.)
Christian Matthew (6-3, 185, r-Jr.)

CB
Kindle Vildor (5-11, 180, Jr.)
Bryce Cross (5-11, 180, r-Fr.)

FS
Joshua Moon (6-0, 200, Sr.)
RJ Murray (6-0, 205, r-Sr.)
Martial Washington (6-3, 210, r-So.)
Kenderick Duncan Jr. (6-3, 205, r-Fr.)

SS
Sean Freeman (6-0, 190, Sr.)
Jessie Liptrot (6-0, 190, r-Jr.)
Darrell Baker Jr. (6-1, 190, r-So.)

Notes

  • The defensive line has had to transition from a four-man to a three-man front this offseason. There is enough talent returning along the line of scrimmage to make transition go smoother. Logan Hunt was named preseason first team All-SBC by Athlon and Raymond Johnson III was an all-conference honorable mention during his freshman campaign. They will be the starting defensive ends in the new scheme while Ian Bush and Ty Phillips compete for playing time at nose tackle. Bush has lost a ton of weight. Josh Johnson, Quan Griffin, Traver Vliem, and Deshon Cooper will be the main backups at DE. They didn’t seem to have trouble getting into the backfield during the spring game. Excited to see what they can do.
  • The inside linebacker spots are settled. Todd Bradley and Tomarcio Reese are locked in as the starters. Rashard Byrd and Chris Harris cut their teeth last year as freshmen and will likely see their fair share of playing time. Tre Allen, Brandon Holley, and John Ferguson are expected to play primarily on special teams.
  • The two outside linebacker spots are split up between the anchor and dog spots. The anchor is somewhat of a LB/Nickel hybrid while the dog’s main responsibility is closer to the line of scrimmage. The anchor has to have the speed to cover receivers and track down ball carriers. Dogs are expected to rush the QB and disrupt the running game. Jay Bowdry made the move from safety and took a control of the anchor position in spring. Lane Ecton and Benz Josue will be his primary backups. Josue in particular has been impressive and could see action at either spot according to Scot Sloan. Randy Wade, Alvin Ward, and Demetrice Lofton will continue to battle it out for snaps at dog this fall. Very intrigued to see who can take control of this position.
  • Arguably the best personnel group on the team is cornerback. No need to worry about Monquavion Brinson or Kindle Vildor, either could be all-conference. 6-3 Christian Matthew will be the primary nickelback. Highly anticipated true freshmen Brandon Cross, and Justin Birdsong will arrive on campus this fall and could make an immediate impact.
  • Josh Moon is the leader back there and can play either safety spot of called to. Sean Freeman won the starting strong safety spot with impressive play this spring. The depth and experience here is substantial with RJ Murray, Jessie Liptrot, Darrell Baker, Martial Washington, and Kenderick Duncan coming off the bench.

Special Teams

PK
Tyler Bass (5-10, 180, r-Jr.)

P
Magill Bauerle (6-1, 200, r-So.)

KO
Tyler Bass (5-10, 180, r-Jr.)

SN
Ryan Langan (6-1, 210, So.)

HOLD
Ellis Richardson (6-3, 240, r-Sr.)

KOR
Malik Henry (6-0, 180, Sr.)

PR
Wesley Kennedy III (5-10, 175, So.)

Notes

  • From reading between the lines on Andrew Dodge’s blurb about the punter competition, it seems as though it isn’t completely settled. He left it open that true freshmen Anthony Beck or Bryce Christensen or even kicker Tyler Bass could end up taking over punting duties in fall camp. I think putting the former QB Ellis Richardson at holder is a smart move. Kennedy at PR will be entertaining.

 

3 thoughts on “Analyzing Georgia Southern’s Depth Chart

  1. What a surprise, another offensive coordinator and head coach that will be running that stupid option from the shot gun formation that just doesn’t work in big boy football. Georgia Southern is a laughing stock. They are one school that so desperately wants to get away from their long standing success so bad while the nation watches Army, Navy, Air Force, and Georgia Tech run flex bone offense so well. Enjoy the losing Georgia Southern.

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  2. I went to Georgia Southern as well, during the Tracy Ham heyday. And Georgia Southern is just hell bent to get away from their identity and it has resulted in comical disappointment. And guess what the Georgia Southern administration does? They hire yet another coach that is going to be running the same ineffective offense. That offense has actually trended downward with each succeeding head coach after Jeff Monken left to go to Army. And that same offense isn’t working wonders at Tulane under Willie Fritz and at New Mexico it was downright awful last season. Georgia Southern seems to be going through what Nebraska has been going through ever since they’ve gone away from their identity and have yet to find their way back.

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