By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
My Take: Another summer of football question marks

Now that the spring game has come and gone, there won’t be a whole lot of Georgia Southern football to talk about between now and late July.

            I wish I could sit here and go over all the loose ends that were tied up over the weekend. Unfortunately, there weren’t any.

All I really took out of the spring game was that Dion DuBose is capable of doing things a defensive end shouldn’t be able to do and that Josh Rowe is going to be just fine replacing him at middle linebacker.

            Oh, and Brent Russell deserved his FCS Freshman of the Year award. I wonder if there’s one for sophomores, too?

            Other than that, with Jeff Monken’s recruiting class coming in over the summer and a bunch of positions that are currently being run by committee, it’s hard to even picture who’s going to be lined up anywhere.

            The guy everybody expects to start at quarterback hasn’t even practiced with the Eagles yet. The slotbacks, though the apparent strength of the offense right now, are too numerous to mention. The residue of the 2009 passing offense has caused a logjam at the wide receiver position too, and on the offensive line, the five that can spend 60 minutes under a card table will be the first five on the field.

            At B-back, Zeke Rozier and Brandon Nolley seem to be the frontrunners, but none of the five fullbacks really got enough carries to show us anything. It could be a long season for them unless the O-line makes some room under that table.

            With so many new faces coming to join the Eagles in the fall – who were actually recruited for this offense – it almost seems like when camp starts, the coaching staff will take all the offensive players, put them in a jar, shake it, and pray for “yahtzee.”

            With Major League Baseball and NASCAR kicking into high gear, these next four months of wondering what the future of GSU football holds are going to be the longest of the year.


Identity crisis averted

I’ve spent some time this season talking about Georgia Southern baseball and the quest for an identity.

            We knew that Kyle Blackburn and A.J. Wirnsberger were going to have to be the foundation of the lineup, and it’s been fun watching the rest of the offense build itself around them.

            It started with the new guys. Freshman Arthur Owens and junior-college transfer Shawn Payne have added consistency to the order since the opening series.

            Freshman Victor Roache has recently decided to join the party and has been killing it lately.

            Sophomore Eric Phillips, who seemed to play whatever position was left after making his way into the lineup in 2009, got off to a slow start at the plate. It was almost like he spent so much time worrying about playing shortstop he forgot about hitting.

He remembered at Elon. Now he’s got three homers in the last six games, and the move of Wirnsberger to the five hole to make room for Phillips at cleanup has the middle of the order popping.

Then, all of a sudden, catcher Randy J. Williams, who was baseball’s Edmund Coley last season (I know somebody out there got that reference) after backing up Griffin Benedict in 2009, has started to swing like a senior. Along with fellow catcher Michael Burruss, who hit in the designated hitter role against Samford, and Mr. Reliable Kevin Bowles, it seems like the Eagles have finally found an order that makes the outs harder and harder to find for the other team.

And don’t forget about the offense in the dugout. Roman Grimaldi, Steve Cochrane, Bryce Dial, Jake Ware and Vince Smith are still around if the need for a pinch hitter arises, and are always capable of finding their way into the starting lineup.

No, they’re not going to beat Georgia Tech 23-3 like they did last year, but riding a six-game winning streak into today’s Tech game, this GSU club has finally found the recipe it needs to put itself in a situation to be successful down the road. 


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.