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Webb looks at the future

Webb looks at the future

Webb looks at the future

    If Saturday’s game at Furman is E.J. Webb’s final college football game, he can deal with it.
    Provided, of course, the Eagles beat their biggest rival.
    Georgia Southern (6-4, 4-3) gets one last chance to make an impression on the NCAA selection committee for one of the 10 at-large for this year’s FCS football playoffs, Saturday at 2 p.m. at Furman.
    With two additional at-large spots available this year due to the expansion of the field from 16 to 20 teams there is a strong possibility at least two four-loss teams could receive invites.
     Georgia Southern is one of at least a half dozen teams on that four-loss bubble including fellow SoCon member Chattanooga, which plays at Wofford. The Terriers need to win in order to claim a share of the league title with Appalachian State.
    Webb, a 6-foot-1, 211-pound senior outside linebacker, said the playoffs is not part of the thought process for players and coaches.
    “That’s a hard assumption to make,” Webb said when asked about what a victory over the despised Paladins would mean.
    “We’re not thinking or talking about the playoffs. That’s for someone else. Our focus is on Furman. This is a rivalry game. It’s Furman. That’s all you have to say. If both teams were 0-10 this would be a big game for us.”
    Webb has been one of the bright lights on a defense which has gotten progressively better during the course of the season.
    A starting defensive back last year the decision was made in pre-season camp by defensive coordinator Brent Pry to move him to linebacker where his quickness and athletic ability could be better utilized.
    It is a move which has paid huge dividends for Webb and the Eagles who lead the SoCon in scoring defense, and rank second to Wofford in total defense, allowing 296.2 yards per game.
    With 53 tackles, three fumble recoveries, a pass interception, two sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses totaling 21 yards along with a forced fumble the Roanoke, Va., product has made himself into an all-conference candidate.
    “He’s a very versatile athlete,” Pry said. “He’s a great student of the game, and he’s the smartest guy we’ve got on the field in terms of football sense. He communicates well on the field and he and Carson Hill are leaders that way.
    “He switched positions and he’s made the most of it,” Pry said. “He went from safety to linebacker, and when he did that he went to third team. He started against Savannah State because he had earned it.
    “E.J. plays with a lot of spirit and charisma.”
    Webb is on track to graduate next May with a degree in sports management, His goal is to go to graduate school, and then work either as a player agent or in player development at the professional level.
    “It was a big adjustment,” Webb said of the position switch. “But, the coaches told me they felt it would help the team, and that’s the most important thing. I took it in stride.
    “The season has gone well for me,” Webb said. “I’ve managed to stay healthy, and that’s a big thing. Being with these coaches and players I couldn’t be in a better situation.
    “I’ve had three head coaches and three coordinators. It is a testament to the players here and the coaches we’ve got that we remain true to one another. I bless our coaches. They’ve done a great job because we’re not their recruits.”
    Regardless of what Saturday and beyond may bring Webb has a career highlight which nothing else will top.
    Two weeks ago the Eagles beat No. 1 Appalachian State, 21-14, in overtime.
    However, it’s not a highlight because the Mountaineers were No. 1 in the nation, and unbeaten at the time.
    “Winning on Senior Day and Homecoming in my final game at Paulson Stadium is the highlight of my career,” Webb said. “The fact it came against a rival and a team ranked No. 1 was just icing on the cake.
    “It didn’t make any difference if it was Appalachian or Savannah State. To win in that final game with the guys I’ve been through so much with…it’s a great feeling. One you can’t describe.”

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