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Eagles ready to get season started
GS Football
Georgia Southern running back Jalen White celebrates a 5-yard touchdown run with teammate Derwin Burgess in the third quarter against Morgan State at Paulson Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. White and the Eagles open up their 2023 season at Paulson against The Citadel on Sept. 2. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The Georgia Southern football team held its second and final scrimmage of the preseason Saturday afternoon at Paulson Stadium. The defense dominated the first scrimmage, but the offense bounced back nicely Saturday, putting up 500 yards of offense in the session. 

Davis Brin continues to hold down the number one spot at quarterback and combined with his backup J.C. French to throw for over 350 yards and four touchdowns. The wide receiver corps depth was on showcase as Derwin Burgess, Jjay Mcafee, Josh Dallas and Dalen Cobb all caught touchdowns, while seven different players had at least 28 yards and 14 players had at least one catch. 

“I was especially impressed by the work of the first and second team offense and in particular the play at quarterback,” said coach Clay Helton. “They both protected the ball very well and were extremely efficient. I think Davis was like 18 for 21 passing today with three touchdowns and made the most of it without forcing the ball. J.C. also looked good and played within the system today and I like what he can add from the standpoint of being able to run the ball as well.” 

The Eagles lost a lot of key players last year to injury including multiple skill position players who have worked their way back during the off season. 

"It was great to have Jalen White back out there at running back,” Helton said. “He didn’t play much but it was great to see him out there live and see what he can do. This was also the first time we have had Derwin Burgess and Khaleb Hood both out there together and to get them back in the flow. We’ve missed Chandler Strong, but I have been impressed by Pichon Wimbley going in at the center position and I feel if that happened in a real game there’s no fall off.” 

Jalen White could have easily surpassed 1,000 yards last year, but missed the last two games of the season after suffering a knee injury against Marshall. He finished the season as the Eagles leading rusher with 914 years and 10 touchdowns. White hasn’t contributed much in the Eagles two scrimmages, but says he feels healthy and is ready to be back on the field for game action. 

“It’s been tough getting back but it feels great to be back here and healthy and ready to go,” White said. “I’m not happy to be restricted from getting hit in some of these scrimmages but I understand they are being cautious. It was hard having the year end for me because I felt like I was having my best season ever and that Marshall game may have been the best I have played. To get knocked out in the third quarter after having over 100 yards was really tough. I actually feel better now than I did where I left off so I am excited about this season.” 

White’s excitement Saturday at least, paled in comparison to the emotions for Eagle senior defensive lineman Kierron Smith who was surprised by Helton after practice with a message on the Eagle jumbotron revealing that the walk-on had earned a scholarship. 

“It was an honor to give a scholarship to Kierron today,” Helton said. “He is a selfless guy who puts the team over self always. He was put in some big situations last year and really came through for us including a big fourth-and one stop at Appalachian State. He had a tremendous off season and just leads by example. He will graduate in December and if there was ever a man who has earned something, he has earned it.” 

The Eagles now turn their attention to The Citadel season opener set for Sept. 2 at Paulson Stadium.