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Eagles travel to Colorado State in November
Recruits, assistants
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A November trip to Colorado State highlights Georgia Southern’s 2007 football schedule, which was released by the university Thursday.
    In Ft. Collins, Colo., the Eagles will be vying for their first Football Bowl Subdivision win, aside from a 2004 victory over transitioning Florida International. The Rams (4-8 in 2006) of the Mountain West Conference will be Georgia Southern’s first FBS opponent since the Eagles opened the 2004 season at Georgia.
    West Georgia, Coastal Carolina and South Dakota State round out GSU’s non-conference slate.
    For the second straight year, Georgia Southern’s open date will be the first week of the season. First-year coach Chris Hatcher will make his Georgia Southern debut on Sept. 8, hosting West Georgia before traveling to Coastal Carolina the following week.
    The Eagles begin Southern Conference play at home against Chattanooga on Sept. 22 and will also host Western Carolina (Sept. 29), The Citadel (Oct. 27, Homecoming) and Furman (Nov. 10). Georgia Southern is slated to travel to Elon (Oct. 13), Appalachian State (Oct. 20) and Wofford (Nov. 3).
    GSU steps out of league play on Oct. 6 to host South Dakota State and again on Nov. 17 to travel to Colorado State.

Recruits, assistants
   With National Signing Day rapidly approaching on Feb. 7, Hatcher said recruiting has been his main focus since was introduced as GSU’s new coach last Friday.
    “Everything is going well,” he said. “My top priority is signing this recruiting class. We’ve got a list of guys we want to try for. We’re going to get the best players we can, and we don’t want to make any mistakes.”
    Hatcher said he’s anticipating signing anywhere from 12 to 15 players.
    He’s met with the current team twice and has also spoken with players individually.
    “They are excited, hungry and know what I expect,” he said. “We are going to make the best with everything we’ve got.”
     As for assistants, Hatcher will retain Jeff Beckles, who worked with Eagle wide receivers last season. Beckles will continue to be an offensive assistant this season and will join three coaches Hatcher brought with him from Valdosta State — assistant head coach/offensive line coach Shawn Bostick, defensive coordinator Ashley Anders and secondary coach/recruiting coordinator Keith Hatcher.
    James Madison assistant Jeff Durden turned down an offer to become Hatcher’s offensive coordinator. Durden told The Daily News Record in Harrisonburg, Va., on Wednesday.
    “I want to make sure I get the right fit,” Hatcher said of his search for assistants, adding that the openings have drawn significant interest.
    Hatcher hasn’t set a date for the start of spring practice.
    “We are focused solely on Feb. 7,” he said.
    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.
Sept. 8     WEST GEORGIA                                  
Sept. 15   at Coastal Carolina                           
Sept. 22   CHATTANOOGA                            
Sept. 29   WESTERN CAROLINA                  
Oct. 6       SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (Family Weekend)    
Oct. 13     at Elon                                                   
Oct. 20     at Appalachian State                         
Oct. 27     THE CITADEL (Homecoming)                         
Nov. 3     at Wofford                                     
Nov. 10   FURMAN                                            
Nov. 17   at Colorado State