On injuries, Da’Rick Rogers, the QB battle and a walk-on

Georgia State will be without 14 players on defense for Saturday’s spring game.

Ten of those missing will be because of injury, while four are out because of team-rules related suspensions.

Of the 14, six were listed as first-string on the pre-spring depth chart. Those who won’t play because of injuries include defensive linemen Allen McKay and C.J. Stephens, and linebackers Robert Ferguson and Mark Hogan. Coach Bill Curry said all of the players should return by May. Those who will miss because of suspension include defensive lineman Terrance Woodard and linebacker Dexter Moody. Also suspended are linebacker Jarrell Robinson and defensive lineman Roderick Thompson. Curry said, with the exception of Moody’s, the three suspensions should be lifted by next week. The suspensions weren’t related.

The spring game will be held at noon Saturday at the team’s practice facility.

Curry said the team’s injury situation is so thin, if any more are suffered in Saturday’s scrimmage they may end the game and switch to drills.

“It will last as long as we have enough people to play,” he said.

The team doesn’t have its full roster because the seniors have already left and most of the signees haven’t enrolled yet.

Walk-ons worth watching

The injuries have provided opportunities for several players, including safety Mitchell Vinson, who has been repeatedly praised by the coaches.

“Mitchell tries hard and I love him for that,” Curry said. “He’s smart, lines up and makes plays.”

Curry said Vinson almost tries too hard, so much so that he’s afraid he’s going to pull a muscle. It reminded Curry of his first day of practice in the NFL, when apparently he was pushing himself so much it was obvious to those watching.

Finally, coach Vince Lombardi pulled Curry aside.

Curry thought he was going to be cut.

Instead, Lombardi said he was trying too hard (”I didn’t think that was possible,” he said) and told him to relax.

“Just do your best,” Curry remembers him saying.

Vinson, 5-11, 195 pounds, originally enrolled at Benedict College after graduating from Monroe Area High School. He said he wanted to improve his education and enrolled at West Georgia. He then realized he wanted to come to Georgia State. So, he transferred again in 2010. He played in four games last season.

“I’m just coming out every day and working hard,” Vinson said. “They preach effort every day.”

Curry said linebackers Kyle Vorster, a January enrollee, and Dillon LiVecche, a transfer from Morehead State, and safety Rashad Stewart, who transferred from Louisville last year, have caught his eye. Stewart is playing with the first team.

Rogers transferring?

Tennessee wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers is reportedly interested in transferring to Georgia State. However, Georgia State said it hasn’t been contacted by Rogers.

Panthersville.com reported on Thursday that Rogers said if he were to transfer, the only school he would consider is GSU. Rogers, 6-2, 203 pounds, was a standout at Calhoun County High School. He was long-time commitment to Georgia, but changed his mind a few days from Signing Day and went with the Vols.

Rogers caught 78 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns in two seasons. He skipped Tennessee’s practice on Thursday amid reports that he was facing an undisclosed disciplinary action from coach Derek Dooley. Dooley told ESPN that he had no knowledge that Rogers wanted to leave.

“Da’Rick has some things he has to do internally,” Dooley said. “When he does them, he’ll be back. It’s an internal team issue. It’s something he has to finish doing some stuff and when he does, he’ll be back.”

Rogers wasn’t allowed to work out with the team for a short period earlier in the offseason. Rogers also got into trouble with Dooley at the end of the 2011 season.

A message to Rogers hasn’t been returned.

If Rogers were to leave Tennessee for a FCS school, he would be able to compete immediately. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Georgia State will play Tennessee in Knoxville on Sept. 8.

QB battle

Offensive coordinator John Bond said neither Kelton Hill, Bo Schlechter nor Ben McLane have secured the quarterback job yet.

McLane, who will be a redshirt freshman in the fall, is starting to see more snaps with the first team. Hill is the presumed starter after finishing the 2011 season with five consecutive starts and passing for 1,021 yards and 11 touchdowns. Schlechter started four games but gradually ceded time first to Drew Little and then to Hill.

Bond said the quarterback that wins the starting spot is the one who is the most consistent in the team’s new no-huddle attack.

“All three of the guys have to be a lot more consistent throwing the football in order for us to be as good as we can be,” Bond said.

Bond said McLane has been the most consistent of the trio, though he said he reverted to his freshman form during Thursday’s practice.

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

21 comments Add your comment


March 29th, 2012
12:40 pm

First. suspensions are killing us!


March 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

I hope we seize the opportunity to land Rogers, even for one year, if he’s granted a transfer. The QB position continues to worry me.


March 29th, 2012
3:28 pm

I hope we exit the Spring with a starter

Panther Straight Talk

March 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

If you’re a problem and a team cancer at a major D1 school like TN, you’ll definitely be a cancer at a smaller school that’s waiting to roll out the red carpet…Especially in Atlanta. That would only spell more problems that we don’t need. No thanks, Da’Rick. He’s also got one of the up and coming QB’s in college football at TN throwing him the ball in Tyler Bray. Seriously, why would he want to leave that to come to GSU, where our best QB would rather run than throw. Our problem isn’t WR. The last thing any of our QB’s need is a confidence killing prima donna WR barking about not catching enough balls. No way this is more than just a poorly thought out rumor.

Okay Ben

March 29th, 2012
4:17 pm

How is this a poorly thought out rumor when the kid is quoted? SMH


March 29th, 2012
4:59 pm

If he is a problem off the field he won’t be on the team. There are quite a few players that can attest to that!

Chicken Bone

March 29th, 2012
7:25 pm

Well this Da’ Rick thing has GSU fans wondering what the heck is going to happen again? All I can say is we’ve seen Star Jackson and others transfer in and then out without much playing time and many fans asking why? I just hope we see Donald Russell get 20 carries a game in 2012 and if Mr, Rogers does work out at GSU then throw him the dang BALL please! Mr. Bond please utilize your offensive assets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


March 29th, 2012
8:09 pm

So Da’Rick is thinking of coming to GSU….. I’m a Ga Tech alum and I’ve been to 5 GSU football games over the past couple of years. As a fan base, I realize that you guys are wondering what kind of kid this is and what he may bring to the program. I’m sure the will be some baggage, but after a 3-8 season, doesn’t this at least peak your interest. Here is a kid that was a 5 star recruit coming out of high school that had over 1000 yards receiving at Tennessee last year against SEC defenses. What do you think he could do to your average 5′10′ cornerback in the CAA? He’s 6′3″ and can run like the wind. He was drafted by Lane Kiffin and was never given what he was promised at UT. A lot of 18 year-olds would be discouraged in that situation. Why not give him a chance? At the very least he is going to bring pro scouts to the Georgia Dome over the next couple of years that could possibly give other players that would have never gotten a look otherwise. You guys are looking to move to the FBS. The coaching staff should at least give this guy a look for the simple fact that he is going to bring more butts in the seats next season that you would have otherwise. It’s all about the revenue to make the jump, besides the fact that he would be the best receiver that you have on your roster currently. I know personally that GA State should be a contender in the state within the next few years. Forget about Georgia Southern, Kennesaw and the likes. You have more class offerings than Tech and UGA. It’s about time that we have another school in the state competing in sports with the major two.

Panther Princess

March 29th, 2012
8:15 pm

I like you, Tech Observer!!!


March 29th, 2012
8:22 pm

Agreed on #20DR. GSU needs to give him a blocking back too! I think Donald Russell could set some FCS records if given the chance. Please give “The Donald” more carries this year!


March 29th, 2012
8:23 pm

You had Donald Russell last season from UK that I saw gain 5+ yards every time he touched the ball. Another SEC transfer… however, he only got the ball limited times in the red zone. That’s not going to work going forward. You guys have an opportunity to have a high powered offense next year with the no huddle and two SEC studs as the focal point. Will your coaching staff allow that to happen? That seems to be the question to me.

GSU is in Atlanta

March 29th, 2012
8:29 pm

Tech Observer, you are pretty much right on and agree with the butts in the seats and pro scouts being a huge factor that we need to consider. I am down with him transferring to GSU and creating some hype around the program along with the move to an FBS Conference.


March 29th, 2012
8:37 pm

Another interesting thing to me is that you have one of the most prolific QBs of his time in the ACC, Joe Hamilton on your staff as a RB coach. He learned under Ralph Friedgen who most consider a lot of folks consider the offensive guru of the modern college game. He’s relegated to RB coach? No disrespect to Curry, he is a legend in his own right, but Joe can relate to these recruits coming out of high school much better in my humble opinion.


March 29th, 2012
8:43 pm

forgot the hyphens … sorry I went to tech… I’m not an English major. You get the point.

Panther Straight Talk

March 29th, 2012
8:51 pm

OK, so what if he publicly says that he’d transfer to Georgia State IF he were to ever transfer from UT. He knows he’s not transferring. And, it would still be a horrible idea. This guy stays in trouble and is a selfish prima donna WR. It will only get worse if he becomes an unsatisfied receiver due to incredibly mediocre QB play. And his off the field troubles would only get worse in Atlanta. You could put Calvin Johnson and AJ Green on this team…Albeit much better teammates than DR, neither of them would have a significant impact on the field. They’d both be limited by QB play. AGAIN, WR is not the problem. Don’t add a problem if he doesn’t help solve the problem. The fans would be even more disgruntled if there is a 5 star WR spread out wide, but the QB just can’t get him the ball. Nobody pays to see 5 star WR’s run routes, they pay to see 5 star WR’s catch TD’s. Why aren’t legit D1 QB’s threatening to transfer to GSU? Now that would be something to get excited about!!!!!!!!


March 29th, 2012
9:05 pm

@ Panther Straight Talk,

FBS = D1 QB plus alot more 5 star players in the DOME. Cannot agree with your Calvin and A.J. comment! Really? We have current QB’s that can throw the ball well enough to destroy FCS DB’s! with 5 star receivers!!!


March 29th, 2012
9:07 pm

Agreed. No one pays to see a five star recruit run routes, but if you don’t have anyone to catch the ball, the opportunity isn’t even there. What do you have to be excited about now?

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March 29th, 2012
11:32 pm

Glad to see that pulling the Spring Game from the Dome in favor of the new strength and conditioning program is paying dividends! Nothing screams improvement like 10 injuries and the potential to switch to drills due to lack of depth!


March 30th, 2012
7:51 am

Bond Is full of S#^% !!!!!!!!!

State of Atlanta

March 30th, 2012
10:23 am

State of Atlanta.