2014 Troy Preview: What You Need To Know
Troy WR Brandon Holmes
Troy WR Brandon Holmes
Posted Jul 11, 2014

Preview 2014 - Preview 2014 - What You Need To Know About Troy (Getty Images)

2014 Troy Preview

What You Need To Know...

- 2014 Troy Preview  
What You Need To Know About The Offense: After a huge season for the passing game – finishing 13th in the nation averaging 322 yards per game - some replacements are needed losing quarterbacks Corey Robinson and Deon Anthony along with leading receiver Eric Thomas, there’s a little bit of tweaking to be done. However, the line is fantastic and should be among the best in the Sun Belt, and the backfield is deep and talented with several different options to play around with. But Troy is about the passing game, and it has two good prospects in JUCO superstar Dontreal Pruitt and last year’s star recruit Brandon Silvers in the hunt for the gig. Bryan Holmes, Chandler Worthy, and JUCO transfer Jarvis Bentley form an excellent receiving corps to make up for the loss of Thomas.

What You Need To Know About The Defense: The Troy defense has been among the worst in the nation over the last few seasons, and defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt wasn’t able to change things up much in his 4-2-5 alignment finishing 112th in the nation and getting torched through the air. Fortunately, four starters are back in the secondary with several promising defensive backs who need to start coming up with more picks. Both starting linebackers – Wayland Coleman-Dancer and Mark Wilson – are back, but the problem is up front with three of the four starters gone along with most of the key backups. Tyler Roberts is a terrific pass rushing end, but he needs some support from the new starters in the mix – the Trojans need more than Roberts to get to the quarterback.

Players You Need To Know

1. OT Terrence Jones, Sr.
Possibly the Sun Belt’s best all-around blocker, the 6-3, 320-pounder is a huge, mauling blocker who’s outstanding in pass protection and doesn’t make mistakes. The First Team All-Sun Belt star could work on the left side if needed, but he’s at his best on the right side where he seems to be most comfortable. By far the team’s steadiest blocker, he’s the one the key plays are going to work around – he’ll be the quarterback’s best friend.

2. DE Tyler Roberts, Jr.
The team’s best pass rusher, and the only starter returning up front, the 6-2, 220-pound Roberts finished fourth on the team with 49 tackles and led the way with 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss with eight quarterback hurries. A disruptive force, he came up with two sacks against ULL and was great early in the season, and if he can be steadier, he’ll be exactly what the defense needs after a disastrous season for the pass defense – there needs to be more pressure on the passer. Roberts will be keyed on, but he’ll have some big moments.

3. QB Brandon Silvers, RFr.
A fantastic recruit for the program, is he ready to take the redshirt off and become a big-time passer? He has the talent and the arm to put up huge numbers if he can take over the job. The 6-2, 218-pounder is a good runner, he’ll take off from time to time and is good around the goal line, but he’s at his best when he’s making big plays throwing the ball on the move. He didn’t bomb away as a high school senior, but he has the moxie and the skills to be fantastic.

4. QB Dontreal Pruitt, Jr.
The star JUCO transfer out of East Mississippi CC bombed away for 3,939 yards and 45 scores last season and also ran for 507 yards. He’s not big at 5-11 and 180 pounds, but he’s a great athlete and he’s a yardage producer, earning NJCAA All-America honors and leading his team to the JUCO national title. Extremely quick, he makes plays on the move and knows how to make things happen on the fly, and he can spread the ball around well. He does a little of everything and can be a nice mix of what the Troy offense needs.

5. WR Bryan Holmes, Jr.
One of the team’s best all-around players and one of the fastest players, he turned into a playmaker finishing second on the team with 40 catches for 676 yards and seven scores, lighting up Texas State for 128 yards and a score on just three catches, and averaging a nice 16.9 yards per catch on the year. At 5-11 and 178 pounds, he’s not huge, but he’s good in the interior and dangerous whenever he gets the ball on the move. Now he has to become a No. 1 target who becomes the main option – he needs to catch at least 60 balls.

6. RB Jordan Chunn, Soph.
While he finished second on the team in rushing, and he didn’t hit the 100-yard mark, he was outstanding when he got a whiff of the goal line, rushing for 14 touchdowns scoring in every game but two. At 6-0 and 226 pounds he’s a power back, running for 514 yards averaging four yards per pop, and he can catch, too, making 21 grabs for 104 yards. Very physical and athletic, he’s a good all-around back who’ll have to fight through the pack of good runners, but he’ll be a top scorer again.

7. LB Mark Wilson, Sr.
The team’s leading returning tackler, the man in the middle finished third on the team making 58 tackles despite missing the final game of the year. He turned into a bigger factor as the season went on with ten stops against WKU and followed it up with 11 against ULM. At 6-3 and 230 pounds he has decent size and nice range, coming up with a sack and five tackles for loss, and he has to be the rock on the inside against the run.

8. RB Brandon Burks, Jr.
The team’s top back, he gives the ball up to Jordan Chunn around the goal line, but he finished as the team’s leading rusher with 675 yards and two scores, and was the third-leading receiver making 36 catches for 188 yards. He wasn’t able to break free for many big plays, but he’s extremely quick and is a great athlete with the skill and potential to start ripping off yards in chunks. If nothing else, he’ll be the No. 1 option.

9. LB Wayland Coleman-Dancer, Sr.
The Trojans needed instant help for the linebacking corps, and Coleman-Dancer did a decent job coming in from Mississippi Delta CC making 46 tackles with two sacks and six tackles for loss. Not big at 6-0 and 212 pounds, he relies on his speed and quickness and always works his way around the ball on the outside. He needs to get behind the line more, and he needs to come up with more big plays, but when he’s healthy – he missed a little time last year – he’s a producer.

10. WR Chandler Worthy, Sr.
A nice option over the last few years, the 5-9, 170-pound veteran made 25 catches for 403 yards and two touchdowns as a solid part of the attack. This year he’ll play a bigger role at the outside X position, but he might move if star JUCO transfer Jarvis Bentley is ready to use his 6-5, 205-pound size and deep speed right away. A wisp, Worthy might not be all that big, but he’s a track star with slippers, dangerous speed. Great on kickoff returns, he averaged 20.7 yards per try on his seven tries.

- 2014 Troy Preview