5 questions about Georgia State football, part I


I know that we are in the middle of hoops hysteria, but Georgia State will begin spring football practice on Wednesday.

To that, I’ll post five spring questions about the team that will bear looking at until practice ends April 6.

I encourage you to post your thoughts about each area because I enjoy what you have to say and I appreciate the feedback.

Anyway, part I:

1. Who will become in the impact player on the defensive line?

Whether because of scheme, size, technique or luck, Georgia State’s defense had many issues last season.  The unit that gave up 31.2 points and 403.3 yards per game. Those issues started on the defensive line, which neither consistently chased the quarterback or tied up the other team’s blockers so that the linebackers could make plays. Former defensive coordinator John Thompson changed his team’s scheme midway through the season and there was some improvement, but few will forget losing to NAIA St. Francis, which gashed the Panthers in a 30-27 overtime loss.

“We fell short in every area last year,” Curry said. “The emphasis is get your pad downs, defeat the blocker, run to the football, over and over again.”

Gone from that unit are Christo Bilukidi with his team-high five sacks, and utility player Kalan Jenkins.

A.J. Portee, who transferred in from Connecticut, was mostly quiet with just two sacks and five tackles for loss. He will lead a group that includes C.J. Stephens, Terrance Woodard and Allen McKay.

The defensive line doesn’t have to produce the impact player if it can occupy the other team’s offensive line long enough to allow the linebackers or safeties to make plays. But Curry wants his defense to get after the other team, which the defense didn’t do last year. The team finished with 21 sacks and opponents scored 80 percent of the time in the red zone.

“We didn’t create as much pressure,” Curry said.

The defense was going to switch to a 4-2-5 scheme, which Curry felt better used the talents of the players. However, with Thompon’s resignation and no coordinator yet hired, it remains to be seen what scheme will be used as the base.

Here’s the depth chart on the defensive line:

Defensive end

A.J. Portee

John Kelly

Roderick Thompson

Defensive tackle

C.J. Stephens

McClain Head

Nose guards

Terrance Woodard

Marcus Stetzer

Chris Russo

Defensive end

Allen McKay

Qwontez Mallory

Cole Moon

Zach Truitt

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

14 comments Add your comment


March 8th, 2012
11:56 am


March 8th, 2012
11:59 am

Whatever the defensive scheme I believe we will line up in a four man front most of the time. Portee and Co. have a tall order and players will have to step up and take ownership


March 8th, 2012
12:13 pm

It would be nice to see one of the defensive lineman step up and become a disruptive force in the backfield. I agree that a 4-man front will make that much more likely.

GSU is in Atlanta

March 8th, 2012
12:27 pm

Not much to go on until we have DC in place and know what kind of defensive scheme will be implemented at Spring Practice.


March 8th, 2012
2:07 pm

Agree with GSU is in Atlanta! The new DC will have a lot to do in a relatively short period of time. This will be very interesting to watch. Hope we fit the system with our player’s talents! Otherwise, it could be another long season.


March 8th, 2012
2:57 pm

Cole Moon and Mallory at DE? Will John Kelly have an impact?


March 8th, 2012
3:41 pm

Great work Doug.

Allen McKay is a nice player but will NOT be a starter once Melvin King arrives. King is 6′3, 230lbs and is an impact player.

Also keep in mind that the Panthers signed DT Jah-Mai Davidson from Brookwood HS, DT/NG Joe Lockley from Portal HS, King, DL/LB Tanner Strickland who will immediately join the rotation.

DE John Kelly was a transfer from Nevada and would have been a rotation player this Fall. Huge increase in depth with 12 defensive lineman (9 on scholarship) on the roster in June.


March 8th, 2012
3:42 pm

I’m not sure what to make of Cole Moon. Thought he’d have a future on the offensive side of the ball at H-Back. Mallory is NOT big enough to play DE. He’ll likely be there in Spring and move back in the rotation of LB in the Fall. He’s a prototypical OLB in a 3-4 scheme.

This change will have an affect on our smaller, quicker LBs. We need bell cows at LB in this defense.

[...] Here’s part I, who will be the impact player on the defensive line? [...]

Blue land

March 9th, 2012
11:20 am

Great job Doug. Along with the entire GSU football team, fans, students, alumni, and faculty (well maybe not faculty since the majority of them don’t attend or participate in our football program whatsoever) we would love to know who the new DC is going to be today since we begin practice on Wednesday. Doug, how do you think the interview processing is going? Just a suggestion, but I think if you work for Ga State your paycheck should be available at the football game during the season. You want to be paid then come and get your check at the game. It’s your university and your duty to make it a better place than it was before you started working for the school. …and you know who you are!

Blue land

March 9th, 2012
11:22 am

Garbage > Ga State Faculty athletics participation

[...] Here’s part I: a look at the defensive line. [...]

[...] Here’s part I: a look at the defensive line. [...]

Gstate Alum

March 14th, 2012
9:41 am

Melvin King, Jah-Mai Davidson, Joe Lockley, Tanner Strickland. Don’t mean to burst your bubble but if you look a little harder at the stats of those guys above, I think the highest one only had 36 tackles, and from what I see they will be Redshirt Fr. Also keep in mind that the new kids comming in have to mature a little bit not only on the field but in the weight room. Pollard has done a geart job with the group of players he has trained since he’s joined the program.