I apologize for the three month hiatus, but my life has undergone several changes since February (new wife, new kid, new house) to go along with the usual madness that comes with the last three months of the school year. Needless to say, I have been busy. But so has Georgia Southern. Time to play a bit of catch up.
A lot has happened in the world of Georgia Southern since I last published an article. Let’s recap:
They finished with a respectable 21-12 record, 12-6 in conference. Another season without a meaningful postseason appearance, 27 years since their last trip to the NCAA tournament, 13 since the last NIT appearance.
Farewell to the wonderful senior class of Tookie Brown and Montae Glenn. Tookie Brown leaves campus as perhaps the best basketball player in Georgia Southern history. Brown made first-team All-Sun Belt a record four times, received an Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention, was named 2019 Men’s Basketball Sun Belt Player of the Year, and is the all-time leader in points and assists in Georgia Southern history. It is only a matter of time before Tookie’s number 4 is raised to the rafters of Hanner Fieldhouse.
Expect Georgia Southern to take a step back next season; those are big shoes to fill. Ike Smith will return after receiving a medical hardship waiver after back surgery. So will Calvin Wishart, Quan Jackson, Simeon Carter, and Isaiah Crawley. Expect the Eagles to remain competitive in the Sun Belt.
The baseball team had a very successful year, winning the Sun Belt East Division with a 32-23 record, 18-12 in conference. Three Eagles received all-conference honors, RF Mason McWhorter and SP Seth Shuman made the 1st team, while 2B Steven Curry made the 2nd team.
It is the 19th time in 20 seasons that the Eagles have won at least 30 games. For all the criticism that Rodney Hennon receives from segments of the Georgia Southern fanbase, he has been a model of consistency during his two decades at the helm. The Eagles are looking to win the Sun Belt for the first time since joining and make the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2013. Georgia Southern kicked off its campaign with a thrilling 6-5 victory in 13 innings over ULL Wednesday. They face 3-seed Little Rock Thursday at 4.
The Eagles have an RPI of 71 currently and probably need a deep run in the tournament if they want an at-large bid to the tournament.
Starting this Friday the Men’s Golf team will participate in the NCAA Championships at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas. They earned their birth with a solid three rounds at the Palo Alto Regional despite being the 10th seed in a 13-team field. This bid is Georgia Southern’s first since 2010. Lead by Steven Fisk, the Eagles are the lowest ranked team (58) in the 30-team field in Fayetteville. It will be shown on the Golf Channel.
Victor Cabral named Recruiting Coordinator
DL Coach/Professional Wrestler/Unofficial Georgia Southern Hype Man Victor Cabral was elevated to Recruiting Coordinator earlier this week. He takes the reins from RB Coach Chris Foster who held that title for the past two seasons. Foster was promoted to associate head coach earlier this year.
Cabral brings high energy and boundless optimism to the job. He is known in football circles for his recruiting acumen and already plays a significant role on the GATA Lifestyle account. In many ways he is the perfect man for the job.
Eagles in the NFL
While no one from Georgia Southern was drafted in the NFL Draft last month, five Eagles earned training camp invitations:
Ellis Richardson to the Chicago Bears
Joshua Moon to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Wesley Fields to the San Francisco 49ers
Sean Freeman to the Atlanta Falcons
Curtis Rainey to the Atlanta Falcons
With the addition of Wesley Fields, San Francisco will now have three Georgia Southern runningbacks in camp to go with Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida. The Atlanta Falcons will also have three Eagles in camp with Freeman and Rainey joining veteran Safety J.J. Wilcox in Flowery Branch. Hopefully one of these young men follows in the footsteps of Breida and fight their way onto an opening day roster.
The Georgia Southern/Armstrong State merger has been a logistical challenge to say the least. The task of tying both campuses together as seamlessly as possible has been daunting. Take this year’s graduation for example.
In years past, Georgia Southern has hosted one university-wide Spring commencement in Paulson Stadium. Nice and simple. But this year, for reasons that remain unclear, they decided to hold eight smaller ceremonies at each of Georgia Southern’s colleges, five at Hanner Fieldhouse and three at the Savannah Civic Center. Then hold one larger university-wide ceremony on the morning of May 11.
The results were nothing short of disastrous. Parents and family members were turned away at the door of Hanner Fieldhouse after it quickly filled up. They instead had to watch the ceremony on TVs in overflow rooms at the Wiliams Center and Russell Union.
Needless to say, these families were not very pleased. University administration took an absolute beating on social media.
I think it’s safe to say that this whole plan was a failure. i understand the thought process behind what they did. The heat in Paulson in May can be unbearable. The school is a lot larger than it used to be. But 4 hours in Statesboro heat sounds a heck of a lot better than watching your son or daughter’s graduation on a TV. Keep it simple stupid and move graduation back to Paulson.
Look for more content in the coming days. I take a look at the impact of the Transfer Portal and will do a position-by-position preview over the course of the summer.