2013 Georgia State Preview - Offense

Posted Jun 26, 2013

CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - Georgia State Panther Offense

Georgia State Panthers

Preview 2013 - Offense

- 2013 Georgia State Preview | 2013 Georgia State Offense
- 2013 Georgia State Defense | 2013 Georgia State Depth Chart

What You Need To Know: At the very least, the Panther offense has a tremendous offensive coordinator in former Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski to lead the way. All five starters are back on the offensive line that's decent in pass protection, but it has to be far, far stronger for the ground game. JUCO transfer Gerald Howse has to ramp up a rushing attack that came up with just 1,216 yards on the year, while the quarterback derby has to produce a passer who can get the ball to possible Sun Belt all-star Albert Wilson. Ben McLane is the returning starter under center, but he'll be pushed by former Ohio Bobcat Ronnie Bell and newcomer Clay Chastain, who's more of a pure passer.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Ben McLane
139-264, 1,592 yds, 10 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Travis Evans
75 carries, 323 yds, 2 TD
Receiving: Albert Wilson
48 catches, 947 yds, 7 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Albert Wilson
Player who has to step up and be a star: Sophomore QB Ben McLane, sophomore QB Ronnie Bell and/or sophomore QB Clay Chastain
Unsung star on the rise: Junior RB Gerald Howse
Best pro prospect: Wilson
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Wilson, 2) OT Ulrick John, 3) C Michael Davis
Strength of the offense: Line Experience, Albert Wilson
Weakness of the offense: Running, Scoring


It's going to be an ongoing fight to try to get the passing game going, but 6-1, 210-pound sophomore Ben McLane has the most experience after starting nine times and completing 51% of his passes for 1,592 yards and ten touchdowns with 11 picks. Very smart and very scrappy, he's not a runner, but he'll take off from time to time and he'll hang in the pocket and take shots when needed. While he doesn't have a huge arm, he'll push the ball down the field from time to time. Now he has to be more consistent and has to cut down on his picks.

5-11, 180-pound sophomore Ronnie Bell got his feet wet as a true freshman completing 51% of his passes for 522 yards and three scores, but he gave up ten picks and had a hard time limiting the mistakes. The Ohio transfer and former Georgia high school star is a far better runner than McLane, and he has the talent and upside to push hard for playing time. Adding more size and potential is JUCO transfer Clay Chastain, a 6-4, 215-pound bomber who steps in from Georgia Military College where he threw 20 touchdown passes with seven picks. A good enough runner to get by at times, he's not going to be a sitting duck, but he's at his best as a passer.

Watch Out For … Chastain. After struggling with the passing consistency and being in so many blowouts, the offense needs to be able to bomb to keep up. McLane can throw, but Chastain is built to get the passing attack rolling.
Strength: Options. McLane is the veteran and Bell got in plenty of time, too. Chastain showed what he could do at the JUCO level adding a third player into the equation. All will get a shot at the job.
Weakness: Interceptions. Granted, the GSU passers had to keep pressing, but the picks were still a mega-problem giving away 23 on the year with a brutal stretch with three or more coming in four straight games.
Outlook: The GSU quarterbacks have to find a way to put points on the board – period. Whoever can do that, and whoever can move the chains, will secure the gig, but all three options will see time and get a chance.
Unit Rating: 4.5

Running Backs

The rushing game couldn't find its footing throughout the season, and now the hope is for Gerald Howse to come in from Oklahoma A&M and shine right away. The 6-2, 215-pound junior got to campus this spring and took over the job with good power and just enough speed to make a burst. He ran for 652 yards and ten scores even though he had problems with an ankle. The potential is there to be a workhorse.

Senior Travis Evans is a speedy option who served as a decent No. 2 option with 323 yards and two touchdowns averaging 4.3 yards per try. A good receiver out of the backfield, he caught 15 passes for 100 yards with a score. Used in a variety of ways, he'll get time under center in the Wildcat formation, but he'll do most of his work in the rushing rotation with senior Parris Lee, a 5-9, 190-pound speedster who's used on kickoff returns, but has yet to bust out. He only averaged 2.7 yards per try with 32 scores in his limited role, but he has been a part of the Georgia State mix from the start scoring four times in 2010.

When the offense uses a fullback, 6-0, 220-pound junior Sean Jeppesen will see time to go along with his tight end duties. Short, he's built more for the backfield and he's a great special teamer who'll fill in where needed and do a little bit of everything. The former high school running back and linebacker is a tough guy who'll hit.

Watch Out For … Jonathan Jean-Bart, an interesting recruit with 5-11, 201-pound size and a world of upside with a good blend of power and quickness. He's coming back from a knee injury, and he might not be quite ready to roll out of the box, but he'll be a big part of the future.
Strength: The rotation. With the addition of Howse, all of a sudden the Panthers have several players who can get in a little bit of work to keep everyone fresh. Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski knows how to get the ground game going.
Weakness: Production. Donald Russell is gone after rushing for 747 yards averaging 6.2 yards per try. Overall, the Panthers finished with just 1,216 yards and nine touchdowns averaging 3.4 yards a pop. The team ran for over 100 yards just three times in 11 games.
Outlook: The running game is going to have to be the foundation, but the offensive line might not be in place to make it happen. Howse needs to be fantastic right away, and Evans has to bring more flash to the mix. It'll be a struggle, but the coaching staff will keep feeding the ball to the backs.
Unit Rating: 4


The Panthers have a good playmaker in senior Albert Wilson to work the offense around. The 5-9, 200-pound senior led the team with 48 catches for 947 yard and seven scores averaging 19.7 yards per try. Very quick, he's also going to get a few carries after running eight times for 22 yards. He ripped it up against UTSA with six catches for 150 yards and two scores, and he came up with six grabs for 149 yards and a touchdown against Old Dominion. When he's on, he makes really, really big plays with seven career 100-yard days. Also an elite special teamer, he averaged 9.4 yards per punt return and 25.9 yards per kickoff try with a score.

At 6-4 and 210 pounds, senior Danny Williams is a big, tough veteran and the top receiver in the short history of Georgia State football. He finished third on the team last season with 20 catches for 227 yards and a sore, but he could be a matchup problem with all the attention paid to Wilson on the other time. With his size, he's a terrific blocker. While he brings the size, 5-8, 160-pound sophomore Avery Sweeting provides the wheels with Georgia state championship speed. While he's not big, his speed should make up for it. First, he needs the ball in his hands after catching three passes for 21 yards. Also in the hunt for time is 6-2, 180-pound junior Nathaniel Minor, a very smart midrange option who caught seven passes for 59 yards. He could end up moving to the secondary if absolutely needed.

6-5, 235-pound junior Drew Pearson spent the last two years as a backup tight end, and now he'll be given the shot at the starting gig after catching five passes for 39 yards. Built like a bit wide receiver, he got time on the defensive side to try filling in when the line needed live bodies, but now he'll likely be a short-to-midrange target for the offense. He'll be backed up by 6-4, 230-pound junior Joel Ruiz, a transfer from Presbyterian College where he was part receiver, part fullback.

Watch Out For … Tyshaun Clemmons as either a receiver or a defensive back. He did both in high school earning Georgia all-state honors, and with 6-1, 205-pound size and a physical style of play to go along with his decent speed, he'll find a job somewhere in a hurry.
Strength: Wilson. He's the one guy who could legitimately play at a BCS program. A gamebreaker, he's the team's lone offensive weapon and he'll be getting the ball early and often.
Weakness: Consistency. The quarterbacks have to be stronger and the running game has to help the cause. Wilson will do his part, but he needs more help.
Outlook: The receiving corps has the potential to be the team's biggest strength, mainly because of Wilson. Williams is a good veteran and there's promise and potential among the reserves. If the tight ends can start making more of an impact with Emmanuel Ogbuehi gone, the passing game might work.
Unit Rating: 4.5

Offensive Line

The line wasn't all that bad in pass protection, but it struggled way too much for the ground game. Ulrick John is back at left tackle after starting most of last season. At 6-8 and 290 pounds he's really tall and really big with a great frame and decent athleticism. Tough enough to blast away for the ground game, he could play anywhere up front. However, the senior is too valuable to move from his left tackle job. Back on the other side is 6-5, 295-pound senior Grant King, a big, tough blocker who started every game in his Georgia State career before getting hurt halfway through last season. A strong pass protector, he's good when he locks his hands on a defender and moves his feet well.

6-3, 290-pound senior Michael Davis couldn't stay healthy early in his career with a knee injury he couldn't seem to get past. Everything changed last year as he took over the starting center job and became the leader and anchor. Very smart, he know what he's doing and has made the line his. However, if he starts having problems again with his leg, 6-1, 280-pound junior Ronald Martin will step in after spending last season as a reserve with one start. At his size and with his frame, he gets good leverage.

Junior Tim Wynn could slide over to center if needed but he's a starter at left guard. At 6-2 and 280 pounds he's not massive, but he gets good leverage and shuffles well. His motor is always going, while 6-5, 310-pound senior Harrison Clottey brings more bulk up front along with plenty of experience. It took him a while to grow into a football player, but he has a year of starting experience under his belt and he has the strength and toughness to potentially take his game to another level and do more for the ground game.

Watch Out For … Alex Stoehr, the future anchor up front. The 6-2, 275-pound center has a year to bulk up a bit as Davis gets one more season as the starter, but he could eventually be far better. A blaster of a run blocker, he could work at guard if needed.
Strength: Experience. All five starters are back from a group that did a nice job in pass protection could be far stronger and far more cohesive. This is a good-sized line that knows what it's doing.
Weakness: Run blocking. The GSU line did absolutely nothing to plow away for the ground attack. It's not a physical line and it doesn't come up with enough of a push, and that needs to change fast for the offense to start doing more.
Outlook: This should be an improved area with so much experience and decent backups to play around with the rotation. This is the foundation, but with four senior starters, the coaching staff has to make sure the younger players see meaningful action to be ready to hit the ground running in 2014.
Unit Rating: 4.5

- 2013 Georgia State Preview | 2013 Georgia State Offense
- 2013 Georgia State Defense | 2013 Georgia State Depth Chart