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GSU, the Bulldogs, and question marks
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Sporting notes compiled while wondering when Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets will knock off Georgia:
— Plenty of fans have shared varying opinions on whether or not Georgia Southern should jump from the Football Championship Subdivision to college football’s elite, the Football Bowl Subdivision. A feasibility study is currently ongoing, but how do the Eagles feel about it?
— “When we are ready to do it, it’ll be a great move,” senior defensive back Chris Covington said. “Georgia Southern is always going to be a good team, and the only place for us to go is up. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m just glad I’m a part of it right now as part of the building process.”
— Said senior defensive lineman Larry Beard: “I think it’ll be a great opportunity for Georgia Southern to finally show what they have. We have six national championships, and Georgia Southern is a great program. It can only really go up from there.”
— Up the road in Atlanta, Georgia Tech’s football players don’t gauge their success solely on whether or not they beat Georgia, but they admit it’s pretty important. Johnson will do his best to get the Jackets back on top of the lopsided rivalry.This and that
— Georgia Southern’s first football practice is slated for Aug. 1.
— Mark your calendars: Little Eagles Camp and Meet the Eagles Day will be Saturday, August 23 at Paulson Stadium.
— GSU football coach Chris Hatcher said defensive back Carson Hill and running back Zeke Rozier are progressing well from last season’s injuries and should be ready to go this fall. In other roster notes, Hatcher said quarterback Billy Lowe’s back injury could be career-threatening, and Hatcher isn’t planning on bring in any more transfers before fall camp. Never say never.
— New Georgia Southern quarterback Antonio Henton has plenty of potential. Wonder who’s going to block for him.
— Of all the former Eagles playing professional baseball, A.J. Battisto and Chris Walker are having the best years. Pitching relief for the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers (Florida Marlins) of the South Atlantic League, the right-handed Battisto has 65 strikeouts and eight walks in 54.2 innings. He’s 6-1 with two saves and a 1.65 ERA. Walker is on fire for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees (LA Angels), batting .301 with 30 stolen bases in 47 games.
— Eleven GSU student-athletes posted 4.0 GPAs last school year.
— Here’s to hoping new GSU softball coach Maggie Johnson will continue the success prevalent under Natalie Poole, who left last month to take over at McNeese State, her alma mater.
— Will the Eagles be thinking of Appalachian State’s monumental win at The Big House when they travel Between the Hedges next month? You can bet on it.
    “On any given day anybody can win,” Beard said. “We look at every opponent as a huge opponent, but to open up with Georgia feels real good because you only get to open up against them one time in your career.”

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.