Welcome to the Georgia State blog. I will be filing regularly with tidbits about Bill Curry’s ball team. If you’ve read the many excellent blogs on ajc.com, you’ll know that we want this to be interactive and fun, so if you’ve got questions, shoot them my way.
I have to say, I’m looking forward to the season because I think it’s hard to know what’ll happen and it’ll be fun to find out as we go along.
So with that, I’ll drop some information as we all wait for kickoff Thursday night.
- Our video guy Ryon Horne put together a “Know Your Panthers” series, the first batch of which you can see here. It’s the second video from the top.
- Starting lineups:
Offense: RB Rosevelt Watson, WR Sidney Haynes, WR Danny Williams, SL Jordan Giles, TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi, LT Clyde Yandell, LG Joseph Gilbert, C Ben Jacoby, RG Harrison Clottey, RT Grant King. Curry hasn’t named a starting quarterback, but all signs point to Drew Little with Star Jackson as the No. 2 backup.
Defense: DE Kalan Jenkins, NG Dion Peary, DT Christo Bilukidi, OLB Jake Muasau, OLB Robert Ferguson, ILB Evan Bostic, ILB Olufemi Opanubi, FS Brandon Jones, SS Fred Barnes, CB Brent McClendon, CB Justin Hughes.
If you’re wondering, that’s 11 players recruited out of high school and 11 transfers. Also, 10 players from Georgia, five from Florida, two from South Carolina and one each from Arizona, California, North Carolina, Texas and Canada.
- At his press conference Monday, Curry talked about the impact that football has already had at Georgia State. He said that last year, he was contacted by a colleague on the academic side who was involved in recruiting a noted professor to the school. The colleague asked Curry to contact the professor and assure her that the school would have a football team. The professor was a “football junkie,” in Curry’s words, and apparently needed to know that her future employer had a team. Curry did as he was asked, and the professor took the job.
“She’s got her tickets,” Curry said. “What does that mean (about football’s standing on campus)? I don’t know. But it’s something.”
- My two cents on the game. Simply because of the difference in talent level, I have to think it’s Georgia State’s game. After all, the school wouldn’t have scheduled a team it thought it would have a good chance of losing to for its first-ever game.
Consider that Georgia State has several players good enough to play at the FBS level – offensive linemen Joseph Gilbert, Clyde Yandell and Ben Jacoby, wide receiver Sidney Haynes, quarterback Star Jackson and tight end Bailey Woods all played at that level. Quarterback Drew Little was recruited by Tech (by GSU offensive coordinator John Bond, to be specific) before a coaching change.
Shorter can’t make that claim.
An NAIA school, Shorter has played a handful of NCAA schools, including Division II West Alabama last week (a 37-7 loss), Division II Lenoir-Rhyne last year (a 21-14 loss) and FCS (the division GSU is in) Western Carolina two years ago (a 35-0 loss). For what it’s worth, West Alabama is a very good Division II team and Lenoir-Rhyne not so much. Western Carolina was 3-9 in 2008 but in a tough conference.
So maybe we could say that Shorter equates to being an average or low-end Division II school. While what division a school is in doesn’t say everything, it certainly says something.
The X factor, of course, is that Georgia State has never played before. As Curry has mentioned a few times, no one knows what will happen Thursday night. However, it’s not like the team got put together three weeks ago. It’s been practicing for a year under some pretty good coaching. The Panthers should be fine.
I hope you all have fun tonight. For GSU students and alumni, I think this will be a day to remember.