Here are some of the new faces you will see if you attend Georgia State’s first football practice of the fall:
Running back Donald Russell (formerly of Kentucky): He was the Wildcats’ third-leading rusher with 293 yards, a 4.6 average and two touchdowns last season. He has two seasons of eligibility.
Tight end Alex Smith (formerly of Kentucky): While in high school in Cincinnati, he was No. 11-rated tight end in the nation by Rivals.com. He redshirted last season and has four seasons remaining.
Defensive end A.J. Portee (formerly of Connecticut): He attended Mays High School. He played in nine games last fall at Connecticut, with six tackles. He has two seasons of eligibility.
Inside linebacker Dexter Moody (formerly of Fort Scott CC): Moody’s travels are well-known. Can he stick at GSU?
Freshman signees who didn’t attend summer school: placekicker Christian Benvenuto (Palm Coast, Fla.), wide receiver Mark Young (Charlotte, N.C.) and athlete Lynquez Blair (Swainsboro). Also joining are placekicker Matt Ehasz (Camden County), punters Matt Hubbard (Starr’s Mill) and David Miller (Bradwell Institute), defensive back Daniel King (Marietta/Arizona Western), offensive lineman Victor Ozieh (Peachtree Ridge), and defensive end John Kelly (Norcross/Nevada).
Coach Bill Curry said this about a few more of the new faces: “One of them you have already seen in the spring, D’Mario Gunn. He’s a good player and we expect a lot of good things from D’Mario Gunn. Qwontez Mallory was one of his teammates at Georgia Military. He is a linebacker and we expect Qwontez to make an immediate impact. We have the young placekicker, Christian Benvenuto, who had a tremendous high school career. He will be trying to replace our third-team All-American Iain Vance, but he will have competition from some talented walk-ons.”
True freshmen that attended summer school are:
Offensive lineman Tyler Ferguson
Defensive tackle McClain Head
Strong safety Nick Henderson
Offensive lineman David Huey
Quarterback Ben McLane: “We would love to redshirt Ben McLane,” Curry said. “If it is the right thing to hold somebody out, then we would like to do that. If we can, we will. If we have to play him, we will prepare him to play.”
Wide receiver Nathaniel Minor
Defensive end Roderick Thompson
Wide receiver Mark Young
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Follow on twitter @ajcgsu