Tis the season for speculation.
Georgia Southern football has a coach and a vision. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an offensive depth chart.
From now until the end of spring practice, Jeff Monken will have his hands full trying to find slotbacks, fullbacks, wide receivers, and a quarterback who can run the option.
There’s no telling who will fill those positions, but Monken says he wants to use the current guys on the team.
Well, in the spirit of pure speculation, conjecture and high hopes, here’s how I see it.
The centerpiece of the offense – the fullback – will be quite a battle. Brandon Nolley has the build and Adam Urbano had the moves and the toughness. Breakaway speed in the position is a plus – but not a necessity. Zeke Rozier is an obvious fit, but it’s always been a pipe dream of mine to see what he could do as a safety. He could really lay some lumber.
Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the offensive backfield either.
If there’s too much of a logjam back there, Urbano has the skill sets for slotback, too. Darrieon Robinson is an obvious fit there, as well as Jonathan Bryant, J.J. Wilcox, Nico Hickey and Patrick Barker. Laron Scott would be a good fit, but if the transition is as tough as I think it will be, the defense will still need him.
Jamere Valentine, Tyler Sumner and Mitch Williford have what it takes at wide receiver, in my opinion, to take advantage of the one-on-one matchups that come along with the option, as well as all those other guys who got their feet wet at wideout last season.
Also, don’t forget, those receivers and slotbacks need to be able to block on the perimeter and downfield, too.
The o-line is the o-line, and the ones who can make the switch from the “protect” mindset to “attack” will be the ones who rise to the top.
Then, there’s the quarterback position (d’oh!).
Lee Chapple, Kyle Collins, Russell Demasi and Brent Osborn have a big decision to make. It’s up to them if they want to see this through, and if they do, their decision making on the field will be key to their success.
Leander Barney is the popular choice if he can get eligible. Other than that, I’m clueless.
Chris Teal and Marcus Russ are two other sure contributors somewhere on offense if they are eligible next season.
If I forgot anyone, I apologize. And for all I know, I could be wrong about each and every one of those positions. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Oh, and one more thing – Brent Russell. He’s be great for that “Von Allen” role – mauling folks from the d-line, then switching to offense for “set right” when GSU wants to go heavy and ram it up the gut on fourth-and-1. I bet he can clear a path. Plus, play-action from that set is always good for kicks and giggles.
Let’s not forget…
Over the past couple of years, Statesboro, Bulloch Academy, Portal and Southeast Bulloch have put together some exciting basketball teams here in the county. Screven, Metter Claxton and the other area teams have been impressive too. This year looks to be no different.
With SHS coach Lee Hill, you always know what to expect from the boys - a winner.
Jeff Seier’s Lady Blue Devils have put on a show so far this season, starting off 6-0 and looking unstoppable. The Jenkins County ladies are looking like the 2008-09 squad after graduating only one senior.
The ladies of Portal and SEB played one of the most exciting games this area’s seen in a while last Friday, coming down to a PHS shot that was a millisecond too late in a 41-40 Yellow Jackets win.
Jeff Brannen’s Portal Panthers have the talent to make another run to the top of Region 3-A, and if they can put four quarters together, they’ll be even more impressive.
Screven has Corn Roberts and Fab Mills, Metter has Devin Byrd, Statesboro has Jaqwan Raymond, Claxton has Sherrod Johnson, BA has Zach Altany and SEB has the post play of Chris Rogers and the shooting of Marcus Smith – not to mention all the other game-changers on all the girls and boys squads I can’t fit in this column.
The bottom line is, no matter where you choose to spend an evening, you’re sure to catch some exciting action on the hardwood anywhere you end up.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.