Deciding who makes a football team's travel roster isn't as easy as it sounds, but Monday, the Georgia Southern Eagles put together a rough draft of the travel squad in preparation for Saturday's season-opening game against Samford in Birmingham, Ala.
Roughly 70 Eagles will make the trip. Of course the entire two-deep suit up, but deciding which backups to bring gets tricky.
"There's some guys who may not play unless someone's hurt," said GSU coach Jeff Monken. "It really comes down to the health of those guys in front of them — who we may need in case someone goes down — and who we need on special teams. Those are the two biggest factors."
Four players, all true freshmen, will not be eligible to start the season due to the pending approval of transcripts with the NCAA clearing house.
Slotback Seon Jones, cornerback Emanuel Orange, offensive lineman Maurice Hunt and wide receiver Charlie Brower are still pending clearance.
"Hey, there's rules in place, and we absolutely are always going to follow the rules here," said Monken. "We're respectful of that, and hopefully we'll get them back soon."
Some players are still unsure of their status on the travel squad.
With three quarterbacks — senior Jaybo Shaw, sophomore Jerick McKinnon and redshirt freshman Ezayi Youyoute in the mix, true freshman Prince McJunkins is still undecided.
"We like to take the freshmen quarterbacks, we always do, just to give them the experience of being on the road," said Monken. "We use the extra quarterbacks as signalers, and it's we try to bring as many as we can. Right now [McJunkins] is not a guy who's factoring in at quarterback on Saturday, but who knows down the road."
Kickoff against Samford takes place at 7 p.m. EST Saturday at Seibert Stadium.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.