Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington sees a big season for the Panther offense in 2019.
Despite finishing ninth in the Sun Belt in scoring offense at 23.9 points per game last year, Georgia State set a program record for team rushing yards and produced undrafted free agent signee Penny Hart.
Ellington believes the pieces will come together on his side of the ball this year, crediting a deep backfield and a talented wide receiver group.
“Losing Penny (Hart), it hurts,” Ellington told Forgotten5 at Sun Belt media day. “But I have really good receivers coming back. Like Cornelius McCoy, he’s going to be a really good player.”
McCoy led all Sun Belt freshmen with 35 receptions for 495 yards. Devin Gentry, who has 35 career receptions, is back for his senior season, as well.
Ellington talked about having to deal with double coverages with Hart, but said he expects to see a lot more one-on-one opportunities with his receivers this year thanks to not only Hart’s absence, but the surging run game.
“If you play for coach (Shawn) Elliott, you’re going to run the ball,” Ellington said. “I think we got some tough backs. With me back there also, I think it puts more pressure on the defense. We got some really good backs. They’re going to make people miss and take it to the house.”
The Panthers’ 2,057 team rushing yards in 2018 was a school record and the majority of those yards return in 2019. Ellington himself led the team with 625 yards while Tra Barnett added 551 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.
Seth Paige and Destin Coates were two dynamic freshmen who combined for 478 yards last season and both are back again.
“I think we’re going to be really good offensively,” Ellington said. “I’m telling you, I think we’re going to be so good on offense. It’s scary.”
When asked if a bowl game was the goal this season, Ellington had a different accomplishment in mind. Instead, he pointed across the room.
“That trophy over there,” Ellington said, referring to the illuminated Sun Belt championship trophy. “I’m definitely pushing our guys to get that trophy.”