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Nine new Eagles you should know
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    Georgia Southern football fans won’t have any trouble recognizing Jayson Foster, Chris Covington, Lamar Lewis and others when the Eagles officially kick off the 2007 season against West Georgia Saturday. But a roster will probably come in handy as there’ll be plenty of new faces roaming the field at Paulson Stadium.
    Along with new coach Chris Hatcher and his staff, the Sept. 8 game will be the first in blue and white for a handful of transfers and newcomers, several of which are in line for significant playing time.
    Most notably, GSU shored up major voids on defense with the addition of five transfers — four from Football Bowl Subdivision schools. They’ll also be new Eagles working with the offense and on special teams, and Hatcher’s hoping they’ll all contribute. He’s more than ready to see how they react when the lights come on.
    “A lot of questions will be answered after that first ball game,” he said.
    With that in mind, here’s a quick look at nine key newcomers Eagle fans should get to know:

No. 7 Henry Chubb, junior, CB
    Chubb joined the Eagles this summer via Troy University and has made an immediate impression on coaches. He played in 13 games for the Trojans last year, recording 35 tackles (26 solo), two tackles for loss and one interception.
    “He’s a good player,” Hatcher said. “Right now he’s fighting for a starting cornerback position.”
    The Waycross native and former Ware County quarterback, adds strength and game experience to the secondary and said he’s glad to be closer to his hometown.

No. 52 Dakota Walker, junior, LB
    Walker also came to Statesboro this summer after spending the last two years at South Carolina where he was named to the SEC All-Freshmen team as a defensive end in 2005. He switched to outside linebacker last season when he played in 11 of 13 games and should help solidify a linebacking corps hit hard by the losses of John Mohring and Jason Earwood.
    “He’s fighting for the starting weak-side linebacker position,” Hatcher said. “The addition of Walker and Quentin Taylor has really kind of spiced things up (at linebacker) a little bit.”
No. 10 Quentin Taylor, junior, LB
    Like Walker, Taylor is expected to help the Eagles bolster the linebacker positions. He transferred to Georgia Southern from Ole Miss in January but missed spring drills to concentrate on academics.
    “Quentin’s doing good,” Hatcher said. “He’s fighting for the starting middle backer position right now. He worked extremely hard over the course of the spring and did a great job in the summer getting himself eligible. We are counting on him being an integral part of the football team.”
    Taylor played in a total of 15 games in two years with Ole Miss, recording 27 tackles (18 solo) last season.

No. 91 Kerry Bonds, sophomore, DE
    Bonds, GSU’s second transfer from South Carolina, caught the eye of defensive coordinator Ashley Anders during fall camp and should help fill the voids at defensive end left by departed seniors Charrod Taylor and Shaheen Solomon.
    “Right now he’s in the rotation,” Hatcher said.
    He joined the Eagles prior to fall camp, and Anders said he’s still working on learning GSU’s system. Bonds, regarded as a strong pass rusher, saw limited time in two games for the Gamecocks last season after redshirting in 2005.

No. 26 Zeke Rozier, freshman, RB
    Rozier is widely regarded as one of Hatcher’s top-notch recruits, and Hatcher said the true freshman is likely to see some time on the field this fall.
    “He’s a good one,” Hatcher said. “Whether he plays this year or not, we feel like we signed a good one in him and Chris Teal. We feel like they are going to help the team.”
    Rozier came to Statesboro after a standout career at Bleckley County High School where he rushed for 19 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards as a senior in 2006.

No. 13 Billy Lowe, redshirt freshman, QB
    Lowe’s arrival brought depth to the Eagles’ quarterback scene when he transferred to Georgia Southern from Northern Illinois this summer. The left-handed Lakeland, Fla., native has four years of eligibility remaining after redshirting in 2006. Lowe is equipped with a strong arm and good mobility and has worked with GSU’s first and second-team offenses during fall workouts.
    “He’s doing a good job, and I think he’s a good player,” Hatcher said.
    Will he see some snaps this year?
    “Don’t know yet,” Hatcher said. “Don’t know how it’s going to play out.”

No. 5 Chris Teal, freshman, RB/WR
    Along with Rozier, Teal is another noteworthy member of Hatcher’s first recruiting class. The versatile athlete has been working at both running back and receiver for the Eagles after lining up at quarterback, receiver, defensive back and punt returner last year at Cairo High School. He accumulated 890 yards of total offense as a senior, rushing for 553 yards and eight touchdowns.
    “He’s a good player,” Hatcher said. “Whether he plays or not is still yet to be determined, but he’s a good one. He’s either going to be good this year or be a good player down the road for us. We just really hadn’t decided what we are going to do with him yet.”

No. 54 Cory Clemons, senior, LB
    Clemons walked on this spring and didn’t waste any time moving up the depth chart at linebacker.
    “Right now Cory is in a battle for the Sam linebacker position for us,” Hatcher said. “He’s a good player, and we’re glad we got him. He’s probably the unknown guy (at linebacker).”
    Clemons didn’t play football last year after spending the 2004 and ‘05 seasons at Western Kentucky where he played wide receiver and on special teams. In ‘05 the Valdosta native saw time in six games for the Hilltoppers, catching six passes for three touchdowns and 52 yards.

No. 45 Jesse Hartley, junior, placekicker
    Coaches are looking to Hartley to bring much-need stability at placekicker. He walked on last year but was redshirted while meeting academic requirements.
    “Right now Jesse is fighting for that starting kicker position,” Hatcher said. “He’s been practicing well, and he’s in the mix.”
    Hartley played baseball at Tallahassee Community College in 2005 and kicked for Florida A&M in 2004.