Kelton Hill enjoying another new role for Georgia State

Kelton Hill said standing in the pocket as a quarterback is much scarier than standing at the goal line as a kick-returner with 11 men running full speed at him with the sole intention of tackling him.

“Standing in the pocket, you have more stuff to think about,” he said. “When you are returning kicks, you are just running, looking for seams.”

Three weeks ago Hill was a back-up quarterback. Two weeks ago he switched to defensive back and kick returner. Last week, he became a wide receiver and returned two kickoffs for 24 yards in the loss to Texas-San Antonio.

He said he’s enjoying his new role. He played a few snaps at receiver against the Roadrunners. Because of an injury to Jordan Giles, Hill has practiced with the first-team offense this week as Georgia State prepares to play Richmond.

“It’s a lot more fun,” he said. “It takes a lot of stress off. It’s just about playing ball now.”

He said his hands are “pretty good.” He knows the routes from learning the playbook as quarterback. Now, he’s just trying to build up his stamina for all of the running and refine his techniques.

Coach Bill Curry thought Hill did well as a returner and receiver against Texas-San Antonio.

Curry said they moved Hill from defensive back to wide receiver because they needed his athleticism on offense, and it was going to take too long for Hill to learn the defense enough to be effective. Hill was named a first-team all-state player by the AJC at Lithia Springs High School.

Russell’s fumble

Donald Russell said his fumble against Texas-San Antonio was his first since coughing up the ball against Georgia in 2010 when he was at Kentucky.

That snapped Russell’s string of 155 carries without a fumble.

Russell said he was trying to keep his balance along the sideline in the second half of the game against UTSA when defender came from behind and punched the ball out.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” he said.

Russell suffered a pinched nerve in his shoulder during the game, but he said it’s fine and he’s ready to play against Richmond.

O-line progress

Perhaps lost in the struggles of the offense is the development of the offensive line, which had to replace four starters at the beginning of the season.

After giving up six sacks in the season-opening loss to South Carolina State, the line has allowed just four in the past two games, including just one against UTSA.

Line coach Mike Riddle said it can take a while for the players to develop chemistry.

“That first game was a little bit rough but I thought we came together and are starting to get some things going,” he said.

The unit goes eight deep and is benefiting from being healthy and soaking up game experience. The same group of five have played most of the snaps.

“You have to get game snaps,” Riddle said. “There’s a big difference between what happens out here [practice] and what happens in games. The speed of the game is so much faster.”

Riddle said he also likes what he sees from some of the players who aren’t getting game time: the true freshmen.

He said Mark Ruskell, a center from Duluth, had a great camp and has been productive. Riddle said tackles Treavor Flannigan and Garrett Gorringe have things to work on, but will be productive.

“We have a chance to be really good up front on offense,” Curry said.

Other headlines

Changes could be in store for Georgia State’s defense

Why doesn’t GSU run Russell more?

Georgia State’s woes go back to something that happened 18 months ago

Sun Belt eyeing Atlanta for hoops tournament and conference home

Georgia State destroyed by UTSA

Bond says McLane will start if healthy

Levick, Benson say patience is needed at GSU

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

15 comments Add your comment

GSU_MEX_ALUM

September 20th, 2012
9:03 am

BELL NEEDS A CHANCE TO BE THE STARTING QB!

I know this will only happen if McLane is hurt or if we are 0-5… Sigh.

hammer22

September 20th, 2012
9:26 am

I’m waiting for the homecoming game and basketball. Sad, but this season is over.

Blueblooded

September 20th, 2012
9:42 am

Don’t give up on our boys yet I think that when they finally decide to put Ronnie Bell in as the starter he will produce for the Panthers Bond just can’t seem to give up on McLane even if the rest of us have

Tuscon

September 20th, 2012
10:27 am

Guys, we don’t need to continue the QB carousel. That doesn’t work. McClane has done some good things and has had a lot of Receivers just plain drop their passes. He did a great job getting away from the defensive pass rush at TN. He’s thrown some beautiful passes and beyond the messed up snaps he’s protected the ball well. I’m not ready to give up on McClane.

What he does need though, is for Bond to run the ball A LOT more. It will open up a lot more opportunities in the passing game that just aren’t there right now. Why play action when the D knows you’re just going to try to sling the ball?

Red Panther

September 20th, 2012
10:55 am

Keep building the O line; that is where you win or lose football games

Go Panthers!!

September 20th, 2012
11:06 am

Bell looked good for a half, but that’s hardly enough to declare a need to change QBs.

Hell, we have a ton of QBs that have looked good for half a game over the last three years.

Let McLane take his beatings this year. It’s a lost season anyway.

Let him take the lumps and learn from it, and he will be better for the experience.

Panthers

September 20th, 2012
11:06 am

Perfessor

September 20th, 2012
11:16 am

…patience…

Chicken Bone

September 20th, 2012
12:44 pm

Agreed Tuscon, at this point in our third year of existence, it’s not so much the personnel we have on the field, as we do have some talented individuals, but it is the Strategy we are using with our existing player talent. Plesae CJB look into your bag of plays and use them wisely given your player’s strengths. We need to control the ball and limit the time our defense is on the field. Time of possession South Carolina State game GSU-24:20 / SCS-35:40 UTSA game GSU-18:31 / UTSA-41:29. The defense is on the field entirely too much!!!

Who Cares?

September 20th, 2012
1:09 pm

With all the football wisdom in the ga state fan base, the AD should have no problem finding qualified individual(s) to replace Curry…….

Tuscon

September 20th, 2012
1:10 pm

@Who Cares? Welcome to College Football.

Old GSU FAN

September 20th, 2012
1:59 pm

HAS ANYONE LOOKED AT THE PRODUCTION OF THE OFFENSE WHEN KELTON WAS AT QB? GSU RAN THE BALL EXTREMELY WELL AND THREW THE BALL PROFICIENTLY. THE DEFENSE WAS BETTER AND GAVE UP LESS POINTS, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT ON THE FIELD AS MUCH. DONALD RUSSELL AND THE OFFENSIVE LINE WAS BETTER OFF BECAUSE WE HAD OPTIONS, NOW WE HAVE NO OPTIONS, ITS DONALD RUSSELL OR PASS OUT OF THE POCKET, WHICH IS WHAT DEFENSES WANT AND WHAT HAS KICKED GSU’S BUTT. GO BACK TO WHAT WE HAD THE LAST FIVE OR SO GAMES LAST YEAR. BELL WILL GIVE YOU MUCH OF WHAT BEN IS GIVING YOU, A POCKET GUY WITH NO RUNNING GAME.THIS EQUALS 6 POINTS A GAME AND GIVING UP 38 POINTS A GAME. RESEARCH THE OFFENSE AND THE DEFENSE LAST YEAR AND COMPARE IT TO WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR THIS YEAR IF YOU QUESTION IT.

Panther

September 20th, 2012
2:59 pm

I don’t think it’s a lost season, but we need to get into gear and start making wins now.

Dooley

September 20th, 2012
4:05 pm

Kelton Lord Knows They Could Use You At Quarterback………..Please Transfer My Dude Because In High School And College You Put Way Better Numbers Up Than Both Of These Guys……..I Know Because I Played High School Ball With You Man……..I Know What You Can Do Kid…..Take Your Talents To Them Other Schools That Were Interested Like ARMY,NAVY,WAKE Or Somewhere And Play QB

Tuscon

September 20th, 2012
5:32 pm

I think the people here are getting nuttier and nuttier.